Joanna K Dawson, Formerly, International Operational Systems Manager, Costa Coffee International

Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert.

As the strategic Project Manager of The Costa System, I worked with Penny Hopkinson over a 2-year period between August 2007 & 2009.

From the outset, Penny became a lifeline because I was starting from a blank sheet with a massive amount of Content to structure, document and streamline, while ensuring alignment with our Franchise Agreements – both UK and International. I started by attending her specially tailored 2-Day One-to-One Workshop in the UK. This helped me understand how to write clear, succinct, generic minimum operating standards and procedures that were capable of being understood easily or translated within all our international markets. I completed the Workshop with a full understanding of how to create a blueprint for each function within the Costa System together with a template that each Head of Function could populate to deliver appropriate Content for each manual.

She also advised me on how best to structure Content across the suite of manuals as well as the flow. Penny’s high level editing skills proved seamless – eg. in achieving compliance and uniformity of style. Her editorial background and industry sector knowledge enables her to ‘put into words’ the seemingly inexpressive technical or operational process. At the same time, she is able to identify and recommend improvements to bridge operational gaps.

During the writing and implementation period, Penny was responsive and a great trouble shooter. She also maintained a great sense of humour which, when under pressure, is a great relief! When difficulties arose, or Content had to be revised or reviewed several times due to changes within the System or, contributors experienced difficulty in writing a section, Penny remained calm and responsive, listening actively and came to their rescue quickly and decisively.

When it came to understanding the best format or system for updating and uploading the manuals online, Penny facilitated several options explaining, in layman’s language, several methods I had heard of but did not fully comprehend.

It gives me great pleasure to recommend Manual Writers International unreservedly. It is a tribute to Penny’s commitment and quality assurance that since The Costa System was launched, Costa has continued to contract Penny to develop and edit additional manuals for Health & Safety and Human Resources and, most recently, an extension of their Supply Chain System.

* * *

Terry Court, Senior Partner, Court & Co LLP

I have no hesitation in recommending Penny. She is brilliant at what she does and is certainly a leader in her field. Added to this is the fact that she is a lovely, warm and generous person whom you can trust completely as she brings the highest levels of integrity to her business.

* * *

Helen Knox, Managing Director, Helen Knox Publishing

Penny came from nowhere and transformed the way I write about my subject for the public. She guided and supported way beyond the call of duty and she genuinely cares about the people with whom she works, not just their business. Organised, methodical, trustworthy, full of integrity and pedantic about fine detail, Penny is definitely someone to trust with your business as well as your friendship. She wants the best results possible, every time. I long to work with her again.