A day in the life... with Carl Whitfield, Electrical Asset and Support Manager

Having been part of the Selwood team for 19 years, Carl started out as an electrician before moving into the role of Repair Centre Workshop Manager. Carl was promoted to his current role of Electrical Asset and Support Manager four years ago.

Based at the Liverpool branch, Carl manages electricians across the business, electrical assets and equipment and the Electrical Repair Centre.

“My position varies, as with any people managing role, what I’m doing day-to-day changes. There are often challenges but finding resolutions brings a great sense of satisfaction – it’s one of the things I really enjoy about my job!”

Carl supervises the Southern and Northern electrical managers, who head up the electrical teams across Selwood.

“They manage our electricians day-to-day, whereas my job is to manage workloads, support them and ensure that everything in this area of the business is running as it should. We meet weekly for team briefings, and I meet daily with the team in Liverpool. I’m in constant conversation with various departments to ensure everyone is kept up to speed.”

Electrical Repairs

Carl spends the majority of this time in Selwood’s Electrical Repair Centre. “I supervise at the Repair Centre and do a lot of monitoring and work behind the scenes.

“I liaise with Project and Installation Managers, coordinating the assets and equipment in repair to make sure they are ready for hire or wherever they are needed in the business. We receive a report each morning that tells us everything that’s in repair and what has just returned from hire. I look at the utilisation of the equipment – how much of it is used and what the demand is like at each branch.

“Based on this, we are able to prioritise equipment in demand to ensure it is back up and running, ready for our customers to hire.

“We recently set an objective for the team – as soon as a damaged pump or piece of equipment comes back into the branch, we need to inspect that damage and once the quote has been agreed, we aim to complete the repair within a week.

“I’ll often monitor and review our processes to see how we can improve the way our teams work and streamline procedures. Getting the kit out of repair as quickly and efficiently as possible is always a key priority.”

Training the Team

“When we bring in new equipment, we need to train everyone how to work with it, take it apart and put it back together correctly and safely.

“I usually organise this and play a part in running the online sessions for the Solutions and Sales teams so they can understand how to spec the equipment. Most recently I ran the practical training for our electricians and fitters. We did four sessions, two in Chandler’s Ford and two in Liverpool, ensuring every electrician across the business was available to take part.

“Once a pump is ready and the training has been completed, we will transfer it to other branches for them to use and hire out. We also offer the teams continuous training on the ground and refreshers wherever needed.”

Research and Development

“I get involved in a lot of Research & Development – it’s my favourite part of the role. This involves researching new equipment and putting together the business cases. Once we’ve got approval on the business case, I’ll work with the team to infleet it.

“One of the last bits of kit we added to our fleet were Börger pumps (we call them process pumps) and they pump sludge. I was heavily involved with designing the stands for those. Seeing a design come to life and then out in action is a really rewarding feeling!

“There’s a lot of work behind the scenes to get something ready for the fleet. If we buy a pump from another supplier for example, first we must put identification on the product and ensure it passes our rigorous testing process before labelling as ready for hire.

“Bringing a product to market within the business is very rewarding. Seeing a product go through all stages, from design to implementation in the fleet, is something I really enjoy because there is so much that happens prior to a product being ready – it’s a great feeling!”

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