An interview with our new Business Manager – Matt Lewis
Tell us about the man outside of the office
A keen football player and supporter Matt takes pride in being the Goalkeeper for his local club and a supporter of Manchester Utd FC. Before those that know Matt challenge this strange loyalty, given his heritage in the North East, Matt explains “I was bought the kit by my neighbours when I was 4 years old and the support started then, I did not jump on the success bandwagon!” Matt also is a learned advisor on pubs, restaurants and bars in Leeds having sampled the local “cuisine” on numerous occasions of an evening.
Give us an insight into the career to date
Attracted initially into Criminology given his initial interest in research I challenged Matt on the move into recruitment: “Following my degree course, I chose to move into recruitment given my growing desire to evolve a career that was centred around human interaction and advisory services. My recruitment career therefore began in a supply chain business led by ex-industry specialists. Unfortunately, due to market conditions they closed their Northern operations and I chose not to relocate to London, instead, joining a FTSE 250 recruitment business.”
It became clear that Matt had become integral to the business evolving their Supply Chain offering working across a number of core sectors including Consumer and Life Sciences. Spending most of his time in Northern England, he became the sector lead and subject matter expert. I asked Matt about the sector expertise which ended up in a laugh and explanation: “Sector and subject matter experts were humbly named ‘Geniuses’. I would be an advisor on core market issues leading a small team and supporting a regional indirect team” Matt’s focus ranged from advising SMEs, national and international businesses to Account Managing a number of critical customer accounts and contracts.
What does career success look like for you moving forward?
“For me success is a constant journey rather than a stage gate process. I would like to think that as long as I am continuing to evolve then success is achieved.” It was hard for Matt to picture what completion of that journey looked like but there were a number of clear goals along the way. “I aim to build a £million+ business, leading a team that can help plan and evolve the continuation of this journey above and beyond. I am also keen to ensure the opportunity to travel more extensively internationally and, possibly, open up an International office in a location like New York.” What is clear from speaking to a passionate Matt is that he is unerring in his belief that success is only delivered through exceptional service provision. Matt states “I always want to build trust and confidence making a difference to customers, but not at all costs. The advice and recruitment service I provide will be focused on ensuring commitment to long term ambitions not just short term fulfilment”.
So what does Matt think of the recruitment industry?
Matt believes there is a general level of negativity surrounding the industry. He provided a clear analogy: “One of my customers provided the most visual comparative that resonated with me. He stated that using a recruitment business was like getting your car repaired. You fully expect to be ripped off but, occasionally, if you do find the right service provider you will never deviate from that provider.” Matt believes that recruitment is, and should be, a personalised business. Trust is built by individuals but unfortunately business and brand perception can erode the personal relationship and belief.
So what does Matt offer to the Supply Chain leadership community with this in mind?
“I truly believe that I bring knowledge and experience across situations, markets and sectors that allow the right advice to be provided for the right circumstances. As I mentioned earlier I aim to provide as much of my time personally to ensure trust is built understanding that constructive feedback is essential for people and businesses to evolve in a Supply Chain market that is starved of excellence in recruitment support”.
What changes have you seen in the Supply Chain market in recent years?
“When I first started in Supply Chain it was perceived as a very operational and functional process. Now through a clear understanding of the commercial benefits of embedding S&OP and IBP businesses are understanding that top line growth is not the predominant factor in business success. Optimisation of Supply Chain effectiveness is becoming more critical in the face of Brexit where pressures on procurement, distribution channels, currency fluctuation and talent sourcing create uncertainty in markets and structures.”
Why TS Grale?
“It’s an exciting proposition. The company is an SME moving forward at pace. I wanted the opportunity to shape and grow a business at foundation level. The journey that I am therefore embarking on will ultimately ensure success for myself and the people around me”.
Why will the Supply Chain offering at TS Grale be different?
“The business will be shaped and grow with the correct values. As I mentioned earlier I question whether a first class supply chain recruitment business exists at senior and executive level. It is my intention to build a business that becomes the best in market and the TS Grale group is committed to the same objective”.
Thank you Matt for your insights and welcome on board to the TS Grale business!