Meet the team: Krista Flanagan

This year marks eight years since the launch of Bluestones Supply Chain and we couldn’t think of a better time to introduce our new Meet the Team feature. We are introducing our brilliant team members so you can learn a little about each of them and what they do in their roles. Let’s start with Managing Director of our Glasgow branch, Krista Flanagan.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.


I started in recruitment when I was 20, nearly 23 years ago. Like many, I stumbled into recruitment. I signed up with a recruitment agency, but before I began another role, they asked if I’d like to temp in their office, which I decided to do and instantly fell in love with the profession. I eventually got invited to stay with them permanently, which meant taking a pay cut, but it didn’t deter me as I knew I’d found the perfect career. I started off working in the industrial sector and then moved on to running a driving desk, which has been where my heart has been ever since. I stayed with that agency for around nine years, and then I worked for another agency based in the North West for seven years. I then met Steve Pendergast, CEO of Bluestones Investment Group, who offered an opportunity that would change my life forever.


As you’re the Managing Director, how did Bluestones Supply Chain come to be?


I was the Regional Development Officer in my previous role, although my ‘region’ ran from Bristol to Glasgow. I decided to approach Bluestones Investment Group (BIG) and arranged a meeting with Steve, but on the day of our meeting, I was travelling back from Scotland and got stuck in traffic, and I didn’t manage to get there until 9pm that evening. Steve was kind enough to wait for me, and I knew I wanted to work with him right then. I explained what I was currently doing, what I wanted, and how I planned to achieve it. Steve gave me the chance of a lifetime… the rest is history.


In your role, what do you do?


As I’m the Managing Director, I wear many different hats. When I initially started Bluestones Supply Chain, I predominantly focused on sales and recruitment, but the business has grown significantly since then. We opened our office in Glasgow seven years ago, where I moved to in order to make the branch a success, and it’s now one of our flagship branches. In 2015, we opened our North East office and we’ve recently opened an office in Manchester as part of our joint initiative with Cogent Staffing.


I’m still very much focused on sales, but as our team has grown exponentially, I predominantly mentor and support the team, sharing my knowledge and experience from the last 23 years. I’m passionate about supporting each team member, building their confidence and helping them reach their full potential with rewarding and successful careers.


What do you enjoy most about your role?


Initially, I’d have said winning a new client, it’s always so exciting, but right now, nothing beats watching my team grow in confidence and achieve their goals. We recently attended our annual BIG Awards, and seeing a member of our team up on that stage receiving an award was phenomenal. It was better than when I won an award myself. I love being a part of BIG and getting to work with Trish (Divisional CEO); she’s incredibly knowledgeable and I’ve learned so much from her.


What is it like working with the rest of the team?


It’s incredible. We have such a fantastic dynamic, we’re always laughing together and each member works so hard. I couldn’t be prouder of them. I’ve replicated BIG’s ethos of reward and recognition because it’s something I genuinely believe in, and it’s gained me a hardworking team who feel appreciated and valued for their work.


What do you enjoy about working in the supply chain industry?

Overcoming the many challenges that come our way, including driver shortages, IR35, a pandemic, and so much more! There’s never a dull day in this industry. I also enjoy the relationships I’ve built in this sector; they’re second to none. I still work with clients I met 20 years ago – I’m not sure many people can say that!


What do you enjoy most about working with clients?


The genuine friendships I’ve built with my clients, not only can we have a good laugh and joke together, but we help each other weather the storms during challenging times. Women working in logistics were virtually unheard of 20 years ago, but the mutual respect I’ve experienced with my clients in this sector has been brilliant.


What do you enjoy most about working with candidates?


I love finding our candidates roles that they enjoy and seeing them happy. Some of our candidates have been with us for a while, so I’ve really got to know them and built great relationships with them.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?


Cooking and having a kitchen disco! My friends always tell me to apply to Come Dine with Me, but I would be a bit of a Keith Floyd, which wouldn’t work well on TV! I love spending time at home with my family, my stepdaughter Darcy and our golden Cocker Spaniels, Winston and Jarvis. I also love live music, so you’ll catch me at a gig or festival at any given opportunity. I have a fantastic group of friends and I’ve been able to see them a lot more since opening our office in the North West.