Tell us about your background
I began my career working for a Highway Engineering company in Manchester, before moving to Cheshire where I spent 7.5yrs as a software engineer in the Nuclear sector. I then left to set up my own software consultancy and for 20+ years, I ran my own business as an independent consultant developing custom software for businesses all across the UK. I first made contact with Greystone back in early 2016 and after meeting with the directors, it became pretty clear that there was a significant amount of cross over in the organisations we served and our approach to business. Following several conversations, and a fair bit of thinking, I decided it was time for me to take a leap of faith and I joined Greystone as a Director in June 2016. It’s been an absolutely brilliant decision, not only for me but for the customers I was serving and the existing customers at Greystone. The biggest benefit being that we could now offer a more extensive range of services as well as increasing support availability and decreasing risk.
On a day-to-day basis, I am responsible for managing some of the development team and act as project lead on several software development projects. Regarding what a typical day looks like, I can honestly say that no two days are the same. I am also grateful that my role is varied meaning I get to experience a wide range of disciplines, technologies and market sectors.
So, why do you enjoy working at Greystone?
From day one, it felt like I had met a group of likeminded souls and had a sense of belonging from the beginning. Being a small and agile company here to serve other SMEs, we are able to cut out a lot of the red tape often associated to larger organisation which allows us to streamline the way we work for the best results. We are a really close-knit team and work collaboratively on projects with one common goal in mind – getting an amazing result for the customer.
Greystone are lucky to experience a variety of projects helping SMEs to grow. As one of the driving forces behind the software development team, I can really help define the solutions we create and the technologies we use. We recently developed and launched a matching platform for tutors and students built in React JS which was a fantastic learning experience for the team.
One particular part of my job that has been surprisingly fulfilling is taking on the mantle of networking. This is something I hadn’t ventured into before, but I have to be honest and say I really enjoy it. There is a real sense of community at the events I attend and I couldn’t have hoped to meet a more supportive group of business owners.
Any particular projects you have enjoyed working on?
When any new project starts, I get a huge feel good feeling about what we can deliver for the customer. Regardless of the size of project, we approach them all with the same enthusiasm, commitment and attitude which helps us build long term trusting relationships.
Over recent years, we have had the great pleasure of working on some ethically driven projects and one in particular that stands out is Hapipod. Hapipod was conceived to help tackle loneliness and housing issues by matching independent homeowners with spare rooms wanting a little more company or help, with lodgers wanting to offer that in return for substantially reduced rents. This was a fantastic project to work on, as it was it was brought about to help address a significant problem effecting the UK and we made a difference in making the concept a reality.
Another project that springs to mind is with an organisation that was established over 20 years ago who have consistently worked with paper based systems. Our task is to completely digitise their back office and operational activity as well as developing a corporate website to showcase their products. This is the perfect project for Greystone. It demonstrates how we work collaboratively to design and develop an end to end solution that will improve efficiencies and productivity as well as facilitating growth.
What keeps you happy outside of work?
I am lucky that my three young adult children are still at home with us, so I am always kept busy outside of work. I am a football enthusiast, supporting Manchester United all my life. I play weekly with a local team and I think that my weekly kick about and walking the dog are the two activities that keep me feeling well balanced.
It may surprise some people to learn that holiday wise, I am a huge fan of a cruise, so much so that my wife and I have been on 45 cruises over the past 20 years. It gives us the opportunity to completely unwind. I unwind at home reading books and watching films. My preferred genre is probably fantasy fiction with Raymond Feist being my favourite author. I also love books by Ben Elton, James Patterson, Dan Brown and Dean Koontz to name a few. I love it when I’ve read a book that then gets made into a film. That happened with Silence of The Lambs and The Firm.
Another little known fact about me is that throughout the 80’s, I was a mobile DJ with my best friend – that was a lot of fun!