Focus on Business & Support Services

My sector is Business and Support Services which covers a whole range of business sub-sectors, primarily I focus on the world of outsourcing. Be that asset maintenance through to soft services, cleaning, security and then business process outsourcing. So, the key businesses I work with will take a process from a client. A lot of central and local government clients and hopefully by making it more efficient and bringing synergies together saves money for all parties and provide a higher level of service. So what I like most about working in my sector is that I get to meet a variety of different business types that are all linked by one key theme which is they provide a service to a client.


Throughout the businesses I deal with, they always go through the bid mobilization and transition phase as well as that key focus on service delivery so you know that there's always a focus on the customer. Customer service is at the centre of what they do so I think it keeps the business I deal with very honest. I think when those clients are central government departments or local government departments, it means that they've got to be very clear about working in a very open and honest way as we've seen recently. I think the main challenges facing my sector at the minute are I think issues around governance, particularly as I said they are very heavily working for central and local government departments. I think the reputational risk for the sector right now is the key challenge it faces, proving it's worth and proving that it does provide value for money to the taxpayer.


A number of success stories, I think it's always great when you place an interim into a turnaround situation. It may be unfair to use particular company names but to be able to place an interim into a situation where potentially jobs are at risk and at worst, reputations are at risk, to turn that situation around into a successful outcome. More recently there was an individual who worked in a contact centre outsourcing business. They'd been losing money for some time. He went in there first of all as an interim sales and marketing director, turned around the strategy, took a lot of good people who were previously perhaps not directed or guided particularly well and turned them into, with a bit of training and a bit of guidance, very successful sales team. He then subsequently took on a failing business unit and acted as a interim MD within the same business, turned that business unit around and subsequently saved a number of jobs in Scotland.


There is no typical client or assignment. I think often an interim purchase is a distressed purchase or it's an urgent purchase. It's not something that you buy when everything's running smoothly. I think suffice to say, it's when a client needs somebody who's been there and done it and can step in quickly and hit the ground running to solve a problem. It is about solving a problem rather than fulfilling a job spec.