RSS Names Coleman Heathrow Depot Manager

Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) has named Sophie Coleman manager of its Heathrow depot.

Coleman joined the company 14 years ago, at the age of 16, as an administrator before being promoted to sales and hire coordinator, based in Pyle, South Wales. She relocated to London in 2019 to take an office manager’s position; the site was three years old at the time, having been set-up as the company’s fifth location.

Today, RSS has 10 national facilities, including the Gemmak Engineering Ltd. fabrication site, situated near the company’s de facto headquarters in Wales. The Heathrow depot is an hour or so drive from the company’s Aylesford operation in Kent, to the southeast of the city. The two teams will continue to share resources, with Coleman working closely with her counterpart there, Graham Dawson.

Coleman said: “I am excited about the new challenge. I believe my experience at the company will support me, but I recognise that I need to remain committed to continuing professional development to build my knowledge and skills. Immediate goals include maintaining quality customer relationships, preserving best-in-class reputation, and nurturing our company culture.”

Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “Upon relocation, Sophie had an immediate impact, improving all aspects of the operation. We eased her into the role via a trial period [from April] but that was just a formality; we knew she would be successful.

“Sophie excels in all facets of leadership and is outstanding at customer engagement and service. It’s a reality that it remains a male-dominated industry, but Sophie possesses great people skills and gets the best out of people at all levels of the business.”

Coleman responded: “There are areas that I have identified that work well, and others where I will look to implement changes. Only with a team-wide approach can we achieve these objectives, but strong foundations are in place. Mid-term, we know that the site will need to address expansion, and we must equip ourselves for that phase of growth.”

She will lead a team of 10 at Heathrow, which is largely employed by crane hire firms and major infrastructure projects, including some of the country’s most notable developments, such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and HS2.

“Pursuing a career in the lifting industry at such a young age, was considered an unusual choice,” Coleman continued, “but my progress is evidence that the sector presents opportunity to an ambitious young woman. Lifting, and RSS, have given me the ability to relocate and meet remarkable individuals along the way. There’s a big difference in who I am from four years ago, let alone when I first started working in the industry.”

She added: “If it wasn’t for Steve [Hutin] and the rest of the team at Pyle, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I can’t thank them enough.”

Coleman can be contacted at sophie@rssgroup.co.uk.

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