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Welcome to Plastic Pallet People, our profile feature where we find out what makes the individuals in our fabulous team tick. This time, we chatted with Lee Denyer.
Thanks for your time today, Lee. So, what is your position and how long have you been at goplasticpallets.com?
I’m Finance Director and I joined the company just over a year ago, so I’m still a relative newcomer to the business, but it’s been a busy first 12 months and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Eastbourne so far.
Apart from “crunching the numbers”, what does your job entail?
My key remit is to work closely with the Directors – Jim and Chris – to oversee all financial aspects of company strategy, monitoring business performance, optimising existing processes and developing new ones. This role gives me the opportunity to be a lot more hands-on and to make a real difference.
Before joining goplasticpallets.com, I spent 12 years at aerospace and defence company L3Harris, where I held the role of Head of Finance. This was a large American-owned corporate business, where I focused heavily on compliance and regulatory issues.
Earlier in my career, I also worked at food manufacturer Kate’s Cakes, as well as Parker Hannifin, a global leader in motion and control technologies.
Did you always want to work in finance?
Haha. Well, mathematics was my strongest subject in school. My family were builders, but that didn’t really excite me. After school, I went to college to do a business diploma. As part of that course, I did a placement at a building society and then later at an accountancy firm. As I came to the end of my course they offered me a contract, where I worked my way up through the ranks and did my chartership – and the rest is history!
What’s your favourite aspect of the job?
Working with different teams across the business and being able to provide them with timely information so they can make informed business decisions. For instance, this week I have been looking through different stock levels within our warehouse and then relaying that to our sales team, so they have a clear idea ahead of conversations with our customers.
It has been a busy year for goplasticpallets.com, especially joining Rotom Group this summer – what are the priorities for 2024?
It is very simple really. The ambition is to keep growing the business and strengthen our position as the market leader in plastic pallets and pallet boxes. Our partnership with Rotom will provide massive opportunities for our company to grow even further, as it will open up new avenues and service lines for our customers moving forwards. We are currently in the integration period, and I’ve enjoyed meeting our new colleagues in the Netherlands. We are currently busy mapping out plans for the next 12 months. Watch this space!
You mentioned you joined from a large corporate business. What are the team like in Eastbourne and how does that differ?
I much prefer it in Eastbourne. The key difference is that every single person is willing to roll-up their sleeves and get stuck in to help one another. There’s a real emphasis on achieving things as a team and there’s a friendly atmosphere.
I am lucky enough to assist different people across the business on a daily basis. I’ll liaise with Andy, our Purchasing & Supply Chain Manager, on stock levels and what products we are purchasing; and I also work regularly with Emma, our Office Manager, too. She’s the glue that keeps us all together!
As Finance Director, I imagine you’ve had a key role to play in the company’s declaration of the controversial Plastic Packaging Tax too?
I absolutely have. The introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) has seen me spend significant time on compliance and reporting over the last 12 months – and, of course, it also comes with a substantial financial burden.
I believe the criteria is very “grey” in terms of what falls under PPT and what doesn’t, and I do think HMRC needs to look at this more closely, as we are providing products that benefit the environment in the long-term.
Finally, what do you like to do away from the spreadsheets?
I have two young daughters and they keep me very busy. During the evenings and weekends, I’m often dropping-off or picking-up one or the other – and sometimes both! I try to spend as much time with them as possible, but I also like to sneak off for a round of golf when the weather permits. I have been a member at the Sussex National for almost 20 years and I play off a handicap of 8. However, I prefer playing in the summer, as you can imagine. I also support Tottenham Hotspur, so they keep me entertained/demoralised every weekend.
The trophies are coming. Thanks Lee!