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Here's why a career in Spares could be just the ticket for you

Author: 4MAT Administrator
Posted:12/10/2020

Are you passionate about delivering exceptional customer service and love to always be learning something new? If that sounds like you we can think of several jobs at P&H – part of the Travis Perkins Group - that would be right up your street, starting with our Spares division. To give you an idea of what it’s like to work in the Spares team we spoke to Dave Griggs, our Managing Director. Here’s what Dave has to say about life at P&H and the exciting initiatives the team are working on:

When did you join P&H and can you tell me about your career progression?

I joined in 1991 during my A-levels as a part-time customer assistant for Wickes. I built a career for myself there, moving through different management positions and by 2005 I was getting involved in various project management roles across the business. The next step was a Regional Director role at Benchmarx before moving to City Plumbing where I looked after the South East. Then in January 2020, I took on my current role as MD Spares.

It’s a strength of the business that if someone has the will to learn and the talent to develop then there is a career plan that you can work towards. The opportunities are group-wide and that’s been great for me because I’ve had so much diversity and have furthered my career whilst remaining with the Travis Perkins Group.

What is it like working in the Spares team?

It’s enjoyable is the first things I’d say. To be part of a team that is focused on doing the right thing for the business and customers. As for diversity, we look at how we can evolve the business to be more forward-thinking and rather than rely on what we’ve always done well, we now look at how to improve.

What’s nice about Spares is that there are lifelong Spares colleagues that have been working in the business for 40 years and they’re still learning. It’s a topic that you’ll never know everything about but your experiences stand you in good stead to then deal with the next challenge that comes your way. It’s different every day and, what’s more, you know you’re doing something that makes a difference.

Why are the Spares team integral to P&H’s success?

It adds a lot to the business, but mainly it gives our colleagues the chance to solve that emergency purchase and then build a relationship with the customer so they keep coming back to us for more planned purchases.

Are there any recent initiatives that you can share?

So, I took the role on nine months ago and the first thing we looked at was where our strengths and opportunities were. Our speed in getting products from our supply chain to the customer the next day came out as a huge strength. To improve that we’ve moved towards a more digitally-led platform. We now have spare parts fully online so we can get a customer online to identify the product and either collect from a branch or deliver it anywhere in the UK.

And we’ve created a menu of choice to speed up access to the products - moving stock that’s sitting in our distribution centre into branches, so it’s on-site locally. This is improving same day service and making click and collect a more viable option, ultimately giving our customers that flexibility. Spares is about time and speed, nothing is planned because you don’t know when something is going to break down and when it does it’s about how fast you can solve it.

What are the typical roles and is there a clear career progression route?

Within the P&H branch network, there are Spares Manager and Spares Advisors who are both Spares specialists and are responsible for the growth of Sb[pares in the branch. Both roles are centred around progression so you might move from the customer service side of the business to become a Spares Advisor and then progress into a Deputy Manager role. So, it’s a great development step where you can take on a specialist role at a more senior level in the business. 

What are the core skills you need to be successful in these jobs?

Trust and integrity are really important. You need to make sure if you say you’ll do it, it’s done and you’re not letting your colleagues or customers down. Also, the ability to work at pace in a reactionary environment. And lastly the ability to have a bit of fun along the way and enjoy your day. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

For me, the first thing every morning is to work out where we are at with our sales performance. Then I’ll look at how we can balance the day to day operations, so our supply chain capabilities and how we’re driving our customer proposition plans. Today I’ve got a session to see how the business is performing and how the next year looks so we can start to plan for next year’s budgets, then later in the day we have a session on making sure the IT development is supported in the plans. I’ll be finishing up with HR to make sure our people plans are progressing and development activities are on schedule for launch. As you can see my day is really varied.

Have you got a favourite moment from working with the Travis Perkins Group?

It would be very difficult to pick one favourite moment because there have been lots of great times. What stands out about the business is that it’s a great opportunity for people who want to work hard, not only to be recognised, but also to build a good career for themselves through the development opportunities and support that the business offers. The P&H business is very people-focused and supportive, it gives people the opportunity to progress.

Find out more about working at P&H

Dave’s is a brilliant career progression story and there are many more like his at P&H. If you’re interested in finding a job that is more than just a job, then P&H could be the place for you. We don’t always look for previous experience in the industry because, for us, it’s about finding someone who has the right attitude and is ready to take ownership of their own success. Find out more about life at P&H.

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