Time out With.. Josephine Stanley-Milnes

Josephine Stanley-Milnes
A little bit about your background: Firstly, can you tell me more about your role within AP?

I am on the client management team, so I get involved in processing all the new applications and doing all the relevant compliance checks including money-laundering and “Know Your Client (KYC)”. It gives me the chance to build relationships with the customer and look after them throughout their funding journey.

Working alongside the sales guys means you get involved in a real variety of deals and sectors. Once the client needs to be onboarded, whether it’s from the UK or Ireland they are allocated to my colleague Taruni or me and then it’s up to us to build the ongoing relationship. We’re the first point of contact talking through the system, making sure they understand how it works and, at the end of the day, make sure the invoices are processed and paid out on time. It works both ways, and you get to know the client as well, how they work and how their business works.

The level on involvement depends on how “tech savvy” the client is, some are straight in and use the website and portal without questions, others require a demonstration. Some you have to hand hold the first run through, but as the system is pretty intuitive, they soon get the hang of it. All really lovely clients though, so I really enjoy it!

You have only recently joined AP, what was it that attracted you to the company?

I first heard about AP through Guy Jones (Business Development Manager) who I had worked with at a previous company. When I looked at the website, I loved the product. I’ve been in receivables finance for a few years now, places where it has been run with a pretty standard set of criteria and no scope for flexibility. Here at AP, we’ve removed the requirement for Personal Guarantees, and immediately that opens up the door for a new genre of businesses, those people who may not have had access to this type of funding before. It makes it a wholly more exciting and interesting model to work with. And, the great thing is that the model works with huge success and uptake.

How are you coping with the current remote working environment?

I love it. One of the other things that attracted me to AP was the diversity, right the way down to the people. The team are from all over the place, different characters, different ages, different nationalities. I could be talking to someone in South Africa one minute, Ireland the next and then Canada.

I’ve not actually met anyone physically from the team (apart from Guy but that feels like I’m cheating slightly). Which is pretty amazing! You wouldn’t have thought it possible to do the work that you do without actually having met anyone. I think it was slightly easier because all the interviews were on teams and the training aspect was also virtual – it is almost like I haven’t known any different with AP. As I’m not going to be in the office day to day so it is the way things are “meant to be.” It’s the end of a 9-5 rat race.

I don’t think anyone hiring during lockdown has an easy task but AP team have really welcomed me with open arms, I feel that I have a connection with everyone and every department even though we’ve not been in the same room.

What do you do in your spare time, have you undertaken any lockdown projects?

I seem to have been dealing with mad decorating frenzies to pass the time. My friend was saying today that I haven’t got anything left to decorate! Thinking perhaps I should start again… So yeah, that’s pretty much my lockdown thing, what can I change in the house? Not overly exciting really as no one can see the outcome apart from me! Other than that, I love to walk for miles and miles with one friend and my dog. There are quite a few nice places in my part of the world to go walking.

Of course, there was a time before lockdown, which I can’t even remember what everyone used to do. Actually, basketball matches. I used to go to watch Cheshire Phoenix, our professional local team.  It was my son who got me into it. He begged me to take him, I tried to get out of it for ages but one day I had no more excuses left to give so we went and it was brilliant. Fast paced and really exciting to watch.

What are you most looking forward for 2021?  

I can’t wait to see my friends properly, rather than through a letterbox. I plan to book a table at a restaurant followed by a wine bar. It doesn’t matter which cuisine, possibly swinging towards Italian or Indian but it would be great to sit down without time or space limits.

I think that lockdown has been a time of reflection for lots of people, and I’m definitely considering things now that I wouldn’t have done previously. Small things, like there is a local running club that 2 years ago I would never have thought about, I am now thinking of joining. The lockdown has forced a segregation of people meaning that when things open up, they will naturally seek others out.


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