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Customer service is key for new Grimsby food laboratory chief

RICHARD Shepherd has been appointed as general manager of the Grimsby site of Eurofins Food and Water Testing UK, following the retirement of Harry Hellam, pictured below right, earlier this year.

Customer service is key for new Grimsby food laboratory chief

The 38-year-old will now head up one of the busiest sites in the company’s nine-laboratory portfolio, boasting large microbiology and chemical facilities, with ambition to grow further.

He joined Eurofins in May, after 16 years with ALcontrol Laboratories, working up to regional operations director.  

Mr Shepherd said his immediate objective was to put customer service “front and centre” of the operation, while furthering the integration of a business, itself brought into the fold just over a year ago.

“We need to do this so that absolutely everyone understands its importance and in order for it to breed customer loyalty,” he said.

 “There will be under the bonnet changes to ensure robust business infrastructure and enhanced processes, which will then lead to first-rate customer service.

“Ultimately I want to grow what we have in Grimsby, and to better integrate the site into the Eurofins model to diversify the offer to the customers in the region, utilising the reach of the Eurofins labs across the UK and Europe. 

“If we can’t offer the testing at Grimsby, can we offer it elsewhere? What else can we add to our testing scope and what new markets we should be in?”

Celebrating its 30th year, Eurofins, the European market leader in its field, bought out what was Exova in June last year. It has served the fish processing industry and wider 'Food Town' needs for more than a quarter of a century, having previously operated as Allied Labs before the first buy-out in 2008. This summer a £200,000 investment was revealed that increased testing capacity and capability, with clients from across the north of England and southern Scotland served by a team of more than 100. 

Mr Shepherd  said he saw a bright future for the site, with potential to boost numbers.

“The job creation angle is linked to getting customer service right,” he said. “We need to move the business forward and bring the right contracts in and then be ready and ahead of the curve, managing the growth by having effective recruitment plans. 

“If we can further improve the core infrastructure and enhance the customer service culture, then that will bode well for growth and job creation.”  

He arrives having just overseen the consolidation of the Eurofins NewTec site in Billingham.

Phil Coles, pictured left, the managing director of Eurofins Food Testing UK and Ireland, is from Cleethorpes. He said: “Richard’s appointment and his immediate priorities are deliberate in order to meet our growth objectives and to meet and exceed our clients’ requirements.

“Grimsby is a key site for us and so having strong commercial relationships there will be crucial to the future performance of the business and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract someone of Richard’s ability and reputation.”

News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com

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