Job title: Head of IT
Daily number of hot beverages consumed: All of them. We don’t do rounds in IT, it’s too continuous. You could say I’m a chain drinker of tea and coffee.
Accompanying biscuit of choice: Dark chocolate Hobnobs. The challenge is finding them in the first place, not many supermarkets seem to stock them.
How long have you worked at Reconomy?
I’m still relatively new to the company, having joined the team three months ago. I was introduced to Reconomy by a supplier, who informed me that they were looking to recruit a Head of IT. The time felt right for a new challenge, particularly as I’d reached a point in my previous job where the IT-side of the business was running very efficiently and a lot of problems had been overcome, so it was a good time to step away.
I’m based in London, meaning that I work remotely for most of the week, however I have family in Shropshire which is great because it means I get to spend time with them whenever I come up to the Reconomy offices in Telford.
What are your core responsibilities?
I’m responsible for overseeing all IT-related affairs and strategy for Reconomy. We have a great team in place that manages day-to-day IT support for the business, so it’s my job to think further ahead and predict what the IT needs of the business will be in the future as Reconomy continues to evolve.
No company will ever invest in their IT capabilities just for the sake of it, it is always to serve an end-goal or to make it easier for other people to achieve their end-goals. It’s my responsibility to deliver this but to also rationalise what we do, making it as affordable as possible and in line with available budgets.
How do you make a difference everyday?
The IT team is solely there to service the needs of other people within the business. We do what we do so that everyone else can do what they need to do as quickly and efficiently as possible. IT development can be expensive and it’s very easy to get a project wrong by either spending too much money or missing the point and creating something that doesn’t achieve its intended purpose. I make a difference by acting as a gatekeeper for all IT-related development. It’s a bit like chess, but you’re in control of large amounts of money, so it’s imperative that you think several moves ahead.
How is the changing face of the waste industry directly impacting upon Reconomy and your job role?
Historically the waste industry has had a reputation for lagging behind others in terms of embracing new technology, but that is most definitely changing. Technology-led services such as order tracking and electronic proof of delivery are commonly used within other industries and we’re now seeing these processes used more and more by the waste sector because customers are demanding it.
In the relatively short amount of time I’ve been with Reconomy I’ve learned that any minor changes to waste management processes or legislation can trickle down and impact our team in a big way. Because we service the entire business, anything that affects other departments and requires a change to working practice impacts on us too, as it’s up to us to help implement these changes.
What did you do before you joined Reconomy?
Before joining Reconomy I spent six years working as Group IT Manager for an international hospitality company based in London. We had hotels, restaurants, bars and shops in eight countries and employed around two thousand workers worldwide. Between all the staff members around 100 different languages were spoken and we traded in at least 10 currencies, so the IT requirements were vast and incredibly diverse.
When I joined, the IT department was in a bit of a mess and we were fighting fires all over the place. I brought structure to the team and over time we diligently chipped away at all the historical problems by setting up new processes and gradually things started to turn around. By the time I left, the IT department had become a well-oiled machine and was far easier to manage, so the time was right to seek out a new challenge.
What one possession could you never live without and why?
Does the internet count as a possession? We take it for granted every day, but what would we do without it?!
What is the best thing about your job?
I think you need to be a certain kind of person to work in IT. I love technology and I love finding new ways of applying it to different situations and making things happen. When we’re able to add automation, or improve electronic efficiency without breaking the bank, it’s very rewarding because you know that you’re making everyone’s day more productive.