Meet Lynsey Shovlin – Supply Chain Senior Associate
An entrepreneurial spirit has propelled Lynsey Shovlin’s diverse career to her current position, developing Caledonia Offshore Windfarms supply chain strategy. But her grounding in business principles can be traced back before the start of her working life, as an 11 year old supplier of limited edition beanie babies.
We spoke with Lynsey to hear about her role as Supply Chain Senior Associate, her thoughts on how we can create a more diverse energy workforce, and her advice for supply chain companies interested in working in offshore wind.
Tell us about your career so far
My journey into offshore wind has been a bit of an unconventional one.
My career technically began at age 11, when my sister and I used our pocket money to buy the local stock of a Scotland-exclusive beanie baby, which we then resold on eBay for an inflated price. As kids we thought our e-commerce beanie baby empire would be a sustainable business model for life, but supply eventually outnumbered demand and we retired from being cyber entrepreneurs in our early teens.
Several years later, after graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Festival and Events Management, I tested out a number of career avenues including customer service on Scotland’s railway, student welfare, and ticketing and logistics for sporting events such as the Olympics and the Ryder Cup.
It wasn’t until I started working for Scottish Enterprise in 2015 that I was properly introduced to the offshore wind industry. I soon became a regular face within the supply chain network, organising knowledge exchange events, chairing the Forth and Tay Offshore Cluster and brokering industry initiatives to enhance capabilities.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
As Supply Chain Senior Associate, it’s my job to develop and implement a supply chain strategy for Caledonia Offshore Wind Farm. By doing this, I can then identify supplier opportunities and gather market information that will underpin Ocean Winds’ strategy for our wider UK portfolio.
Having started in November 2022, my highlight so far has been meeting the incredibly driven team dedicated to developing renewable energy and utilising local supply chain content as much as possible – it really is inspiring.
Share a key lesson you’ve learned working in offshore wind.
Don’t underestimate the importance of supply chain engagement and the fundamental role it plays in mitigating project risks, managing costs and shortening development times.
As the need for green energy increases, there will be a growing demand for suppliers with proven success, technological solutions, and skilled labour. It will be a competitive landscape driven by cost and quality, so early engagement, openness and feedback will be essential to ensure the accessibility and reliability of supply chain.
What advice would you give suppliers looking to work in offshore wind?
Know your place in the supply chain – then make a plan to stand out.
Take the time to understand where you are now and where you want to go, then target the deals that will help get you there.
There’s a brilliant collective of organisations supporting businesses in Scotland to add value to their offering. I’d recommend joining cluster and membership organisations for business alerts, upskilling and diversifying your workforce through Skills Development Scotland, and registering on tendering portals to increase visibility.
To achieve the energy transition, the industry needs more diversity in its workforce. Do you have any thoughts on how we can encourage this?
Implement changes now – it will benefit your whole workforce and give you a competitive advantage to attract the broadest talent pool.
Of course, this is a journey of continuous improvement, but some simple ways to be more inclusive are using gender neutral language in recruitment, implementing flexible working policies, and adapting your physical infrastructure for accessibility.
Also, as a person with a disability, I was particularly attracted to Ocean Winds as it holds a certified ‘Great Place to Work’ accreditation.
Finally, when you’re not hard at work, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Outside of working hours, I’m a board member on the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS), which reports on how to make public transport accessible, available, and affordable for people with disabilities.
I also love to travel and have visited 35 countries – a tally which significantly increased when I represented Scotland at various chess championships in my teens. I still enjoy playing socially, and occasionally threaten a competitive return!