Meet the Reconomy Team ““ Duncan Watkyns

Job title: Supply Chain Manager
Daily number of hot beverages consumed: I think I may hold the current company record. I’d say I average 10 a day.
I’m not a huge biscuit fan, which is just as well considering the number of drinks I have every day, but if pushed I’d go for a chocolate chip cookie.
How long have you worked at Reconomy?
I’ve been at Reconomy for just over 10 years now, so I consider myself to be part of the furniture. My current job is the 5th role that I’ve held within the business. I started off working on the plasterboard trade desk, trading with plasterboard recyclers, before becoming a Contracts Manager. I then spent 4 years on the road’ working as a Site Liaison Officer before moving back into a more office-based role providing training on the Reconomy Portal to the company’s many supply chain partners. I did this for around 2 years before moving into my current role in January of this year. Because of the diversity of jobs that I’ve held over the years, I think I’ve been able to build a really comprehensive knowledge of Reconomy and how we operate as a business.
What are your core responsibilities?
At Reconomy we work with over 1,000 supply chain partners that are located all around the UK. As Supply Chain Manager it’s my responsibility to build and maintain strong working relationships with preferred suppliers. These suppliers are responsible for fulfilling a significant percentage of our customers’ service requirements, so it’s imperative that they are always providing the best possible service.
It’s my job to carry out regular visits to our preferred suppliers in order to assess their performance levels, environmental credentials and their health and safety compliance. This helps to improve standards across our supply chain, which inevitably benefits our customers. This occupies around 80% of my time, whilst the remaining 20% is spent further developing our supply chain by approaching new companies that Reconomy could potentially work with.
How do you make a difference everyday?
I think I’m regularly able to make a difference because of the understanding I have of Reconomy and the way we operate. Having worked here for so long and across so many different departments, I’ve built up a considerable amount of knowledge and experience, which I’m always happy to share with my colleagues. Because I liaise so closely with many of our suppliers this has also given me an insight into how they work on a day-to-day basis.
How is the changing face of the waste industry directly impacting upon Reconomy and your job role?
The waste industry has changed a lot in recent years, but I think more changes are needed in order to improve efficiency levels. Many processes that the waste industry introduced decades ago are still in use today. It’s somewhat ironic that the waste industry itself creates a lot of waste because it has always operated a paper-based ticketing system. I believe the industry needs to move away from its reliance on physical paper trails towards more automated, online systems. The Reconomy Portal is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by moving processes online, because it provides all the information our customers and suppliers need without creating any paper waste.
What did you do before you joined Reconomy?
Before joining Reconomy I spent around 10 years splitting my time between the UK and Spain. In the winter months I worked at British Sugar, which was a seasonal role, and in the summer I managed a family-owned bar in Spain. In 2000 I moved to Spain full-time before eventually returning to the UK in 2005.
What one possession could you never live without and why?
I’d be lost without my fridge ““ how else are you supposed to keep your beer cold? In all seriousness I’m very family-orientated and although I certainly don’t consider her to be a possession, my daughter is the one thing I could never live without. She’s my world.
What is the best thing about your job?
I think I’m very lucky because my job affords me the opportunity to get out and about and to visit many different parts of the UK. I’d get cabin fever if I was tied to my desk every single day, so getting out and meeting with suppliers helps to keep things interesting.