23 February 2023

SMS Value Champion Interview - Tom Hewlett

Kicking off our value champion interviews is Tom Hewlett. Tom has been with SMS Environmental for approximately six years; He discuss's his progress from an apprentice plumber to account manager; Highlighting how the skills he picked up during his career were able to support him in dealing with a difficult situation during one of his first contract meetings with an existing client.

Tom Hewlett (TH) interviewed by Gavin Harris (GH).

GH: Hello everybody I am here today with Tom Hewlett.

TH: Hi everyone.

GH: So this is the first instalment where we are going to attempt to do some interviews with various employees across SMS to try and share some stories, so we thought we'd kick it off with Tom.

To give you some background to Tom: Tom's been with SMS for about six years. Tom started as an apprentice trainee plumber and was doing that for about two years.

Then once he'd passed his apprenticeship he moved into plumbing for about 18 months.

After 18 months of being a plumber Tom was then moved in to become a Trainee Account Manager and is today now a fully fledged Account Manager. So I'm just going to ask Tom to give us a little bit of an insight into how that process, what he learned about SMS, plumbing and then in the account management.

TH: Yeah so two completely different outlooks: Plumbing you are facing customers on a daily basis but in a completely different method and then obviously coming into the trainee account management role; Various training sessions that put me through my paces and really put me in good stead for moving forward in terms of the fully fledged account management.

GH: So hopefully we did put you through your paces enough because it's never easy transitioning from being a plumber to an account manager.

TH: It’s a completely different perspective, you understand that side of the business and as soon as you come into the account management role just your core focus completely changes; it's interesting on both sides but completely, completely different.

GH: And I thought one of the stories, and that's why we wanted to interview Tom, that painted that picture brilliantly was something that happened to Tom recently where he was asked to go to a meeting with a NHS client. Do you want to give us an insight into what happened there then?

TH: Yeah so the meetings are quite frequent. Normally they're very friendly. You go, have a coffee, have a sit down and just go through the contract itself. However on this occasion it definitely wasn't that. There had been a change of structure within their business and it meant that someone who'd come into the business had a completely different perspective of SMS’s delivery. So when I got to the meeting they had a certain outlook on the contract, they were interested in understanding exactly what we do and to really looking to move away from using us as a contract provider. I had to remember all of the tools that I had throughout my training period to prepare me for that moment. I managed to do it. We sat down together, we went through our Opuz reporting system (it was a massive benefit one of the key components of that interaction).

We went through the the contract and tasks on the system itself looked through various task sheets and by the end of the meeting the client had completely changed their perspective of the business and was actually looking to SMS to undertake more work on behalf of them.

GH: So did you come out of that afterwards and suddenly things started to fall into place in terms of your journey; Where previously you may have questioned parts of that journey?

TH: Honestly I think the easiest way to put it is it's like a jigsaw. I've had so many different pieces throughout my career and finally in that moment you put them all together and you saw the whole image.

GH: So we're keeping this brief because, like I said, we want to do some more interviews and try and introduce other people in the company and the roles that they do and what we get up to and why we do what we do. Hopefully as Tom quite eloquently spoke there about how things fit together.

So thanks for watching, we're not professional video makers so apologies about the standard of the video and the audio you just have to put up with that and hopefully we'll see you on another exciting instalment soon.

TH: Thanks very much for your time.

GH: Thank you everyone.


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