Bronte Water Coolers Ltd has been established for over 20 years. We’ve asked Diane, one of the company Directors who’s been here from the beginning, to share her story about how her role at Bronte has developed across the years. This is what she had to say…
I remember the days when I would finish my 9-5 job at the University of Huddersfield, then travel over to the Bronte Plant in Howarth, to bottle the water on evenings and weekends.
We worked in a small office with 2 other staff members, John and Ann, who are still going strong and part of the team today. John is the guru of Bradford deliveries and Ann is in charge of the installing and sanitising team.
Back then we wrote each delivery note by hand. We used to invoice clients once a month and sent statements at the same time to save on postage. Wow! How things have changed. We do that amount on a slow day now!
We had 1 PC in the office which we had to share between us. I would do my financial work whilst Ann was impatiently tapping her foot behind me, waiting for her turn. Nothing was done online, so we couldn’t just quickly check the bank balance. We had to fax everything (does anyone even do that anymore?) and we dealt with each cheque exclusively.
Every day I would have to make a trip to the bank to psychically pay in the cheques. That’s another big change in technology – now all I do is simply take a photo on my phone using a banking app and the money appears in the Bronte account. Ta’dah! I think it’s some form of witchcraft to be honest!
Being a Director of a growing business means that you never really switch off. When I had my baby, Bronte Jo was fortunate enough to be born at Christmas time which meant I got 2 weeks maternity leave. After that, I was back in the thick of it, helping to grow the business. I would bring Bronte Jo to work, shushing her whilst taking orders over the phone, and I bounced her on my knee whilst I did wages. I consolidated invoices whilst I fed her in a quiet corner of the office. That was working-Mum life! I was so lucky to have a good – sleeping baby.
As we expanded the business, we took on more and more staff, which coincided with more wages to do. This lead to new and exciting ways of doing the financial work! Finally, my job became a little easier. We adopted a new system which we all now use in the office and… guess what?! Not only do we each have our own PC, we also all have TWO screens! We’ve been spoiled.
I really enjoy being part of the office team, which now consists of 4 people. The office is a hive of activity in itself. The delivery drivers, sanitising and installation team, various suppliers and visitors naturally gravitate to the office. It’s definitely the hub of Bronte HQ and always a pleasure to see people!
Did you know that since Bronte Jo started University, I now have full custody of Merlin? He’s the lovable Bronte Mascot! I have to make sure he gets to work on time every day to set a good example to the team and make sure he’s looking his best. You wouldn’t believe how long it takes me to do his hair! Merlin lifts the morale of staff on the extra busy days and is an important, if not THE most important member of the Bronte Team. Maybe I should put him on the payroll!