Spotlight on….Karen Milligan

In what capacity did you join BiP?

I joined BiP almost ten years ago as an exhibition sales executive and was promoted into the Senior sales role, followed by the Sales manager role and my current role is Head of Exhibition and Event Sales.

What takes up the most amount of your time in your day-to-day? 

Meetings tend to take up a lot of my time whether that’s event scoping meetings, project meetings, meetings with the sales team, SMT meetings or the most important ones – prospective client TEAMS meetings.

Are there any changes or initiatives you’d like to implement into BiP? 

I would like it if BiP adopted an early finish Friday as a permanent feature. Slightly longer working hours Mon – Thursday and a business wide early finish every Friday would be great. I think this would support a stronger work life balance overall.

What are the biggest challenges you have in your role – how could your colleagues help? 

If I was answering this a few years ago during a global lockdown and no face-to-face interactions being permitted, it would have warranted a very different answer – thank goodness that’s a thing of the past😊

The biggest challenge I find in my role just now comes down to me. Time management and being organised is not my best attribute (to put it mildly) so juggling everything and prioritising different tasks tends to be challenging at times.

I feel very fortunate to work with some amazing people across BiP and there really is a sense of willing everyone to succeed therefore, even in the crazy busy periods (which is always, when it comes to events!), I know that my own team, Laura A’s team and generally the wider business is always happy to lend a hand and help out to make sure what needs done, gets done.

What do you like most about your job? 

I love working in event sales and being a people manager in this industry is brilliant. The buzz of the chase and the satisfaction of achievement as well as the psychology behind what makes people tick all add to just some of the things I love about my job.

What do you like most about working at BiP? 

The main answer here must be everyone that works at BiP.

I do also love how we work in a constantly changing market. Every week there is something new to learn and BiP are very good at making sure everyone in the business can be as knowledgeable as possible across our market sectors.

What does a great day at work look like?

Being Head of Exhibition & Event Sales, the answer must be = Lots of event sales 😊

Do you have any unusual hobbies? 

Moving house lol. I have moved house many, many, times since joining BiP and I do think buying and selling houses is quite exciting but it’s a very expensive hobby, so my plan now is to look for a slightly cheaper hobby.

Been anywhere strange?

I haven’t been anywhere strange that I can think of, but I do like to travel. So, recently I have been trying to visit one or two new countries each year. I am only 10% of the way around the world’s list of countries so far.

Blow your own! … what do you excel at? Work or leisure 

I like to think I am a positive and friendly person.

Quick fire: 

  1. Coffee or tea – Tea
  2. Book or film – Film
  3. Cat or dog – Dog
  4. Hot or cold – Hot
  5. Salty or sweet – Sweet
  6. Tattooed or not – Tattooed
  7. Night out or night in – Both ?!
  8. Email or meeting – Meeting
  9. Teams calls: video call or audio? – Video
  10. Eating: al-desko, break room or break out altogether – Desk (but this is a bad habit that I am trying to stop!)
  11. Mountain or beach – Beach

A spotlight on…. Anne McKinnon

We start 2023 with a look at one of our long-term employees at BiP Solutions, Anne McKinnon. With over 15 years at BiP in public sector sales, Anne knows a thing or two about the company, its people and products.

Anne is responsible for managing UK Public Sector sales team, working closely with business stakeholders, product development and promoting UK leading electronic tendering tool Delta eSourcing.

She’s most recently been involved with the relaunch of Delta, giving one of BiP’s oldest products a fresh new look, bringing new life and energy into the platform and the overall brand itself. The new Delta will energise the evolution of eSourcing and put the Delta brand in a great position to continually adapt and grow in an everchanging industry.

In what capacity did you join BiP? What role did you start in and what role do you have now?

I started my career within the business as a Sales Executive, now knowns as Client Relationship Manager. My role now is Head of eSourcing and Supply Chain.

Any interesting stories from back in the day?

No mad crazy, bad things, just weird coincidences with timing and people.

I was interviewed and offered a job in the Tracker team a few years before but turned it down for another role in another company.

When I did come to work in the Public Sector team, my first day in the role I heard the dulcet tones of someone shouting my name, (you know how you get the fear! Especially when they use your maiden name), turns out it was Sandra Toner who was my classmate in primary and secondary school.

Later that week I met my Business Development Manager I would be partnered with, and it was a very old friend John McGhie I hadn’t seen since I was 10 years old, just over 20 years. Our IT expert back then was Andy Brodie who I worked with before, and it goes on….just seems this place is about timing, people, and good people. Made some long-term friendships here.

What takes up the most amount of your time in your day-to-day?

Now there’s a question LOL.  Client meetings/support/demos, team support, internal meetings.  Never a dull moment.

Are there any changes or initiatives you’d like to implement into BiP?

I think we are already a very progressive and innovative company when it comes to supporting our staff with internal initiatives but also how we affect and deliver change when it’s needed to help support the business strategy and growth. The fact that everyone can and should feel they have a voice within the business is important and hopefully everyone feels this to be true. We all make the business and can help implement changes for the better.

Everyone should make use of the suggestion box via the Hub https://bipsolutionsltd.sharepoint.com/SitePages/BiP-Suggestion-Box.aspx

Selfishly, one bug bear of mine is lunchtime meetings and colleagues inserting meetings into your diary where you don’t have time to breathe in a busy day.

Stop, Start, Continue, something we all need to think about. What can you stop doing, what can you start and continue that adds benefit and value to you, your role and your team.

What are the biggest challenges you have in your role – how could your colleagues help?

Market Changes. Our market within Public Sector is changing all the time, from compliance within the new Procurement Reforms, to requirements on product development to sector specific suppliers and awarding authority collaboration, reshaping the market volume and proposition.

We are looking at a BiP wider portfolio proposition we can offer our core Delta clients to bring them in to the fold and looking at how we are approaching new markets and enhancing our Supply Chain and PASS offering.

Colleagues and business are supportive in developing and marketing a fit for purpose product in Delta eSourcing, which you will have seen from our new Refresh at the end of November, with further development planned in the next 12 months. Core areas of the business play very important roles in what we are achieving from product development, marketing, research and very much so is our sales team and Help desk support team.

Colleagues do help and continue to help, teamwork is key.

We start 2023 with a look at one of our long-term employees at BiP Solutions, Anne McKinnon.

What do you like most about your job?

Building relationships with new and existing clients and chasing a deal.

What do you like most about working at BiP?

Always the same answer…. The people. Some real gems and it’s what makes us who we are and as successful as we are.

What does a great day at work look like?

Ticking off and completing my to do list, solving a problem or removing a hurdle for someone and having time to laugh.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?

Not really, normal stuff like gym, love music, spending a lot of time trying out new cooking recipes, mainly Indian food (love Indian food), spending time with family & friends. I do dabble in some not so mainstream stuff….love a conspiracy theory (or are they?), horror movies, UFO’s, good energy, poetry, and a lot more. Yes, I’m one of a kind.

Been anywhere strange?

Went to Iceland a few years ago with temperatures like -10 and stood in the blue lagoon wearing a bikini, face caked in mud, sipping Prosecco with icicles in my hair while the pool attendants walked around wearing full blown winter wear, boots and balaclava’s LOL just weird but amazing!

Blow your own! … what do you excel at?

I make a mean Indian Pani Puri and Italian meatball.

Can beat the best of them when it comes to doing shots (well mostly LOL).

Being a good friend 😊

Quick fire, choose one option:

  1. Coffee or tea – coffee
  2. Book or film – film
  3. Cat or dog – neither, had every conceivable pet growing up, had enough lol
  4. Hot or cold – hot
  5. Salty or sweet – sweet
  6. Tattooed or not – tattooed
  7. Email or meeting – meeting 100%
  8. Teams calls: video call or audio – video
  9. Night out or night in – in
  10. Eating: al-desko, break room or break out altogether – break room
  11. Mountain or beach –  beach

New staff hatch from incubator

Following a four-week nurture process, we’re delighted to see new colleagues Ciaran, Dave, and James complete their BiP induction and hatch out into the Business Intelligence sales team.

Our new team members have undergone an initial induction to the company, combining sales and product training. The public sector marketplace is a huge beast to get to grips with and BiP is working hard to ensure every team member has a good understanding of the public sector landscape, how it’s changing, and how we can help with procurement and tendering.

Comprehensive training

Comprehensive training has been delivered to the new team members on their product – Tracker – ensuring that they have a full overview of its benefits and services and understand the system completely before demonstrating it to customers.

New staff hatch from incubator

Ciaran, Dave, and James.

As well as dedicated time with head of training ‒ Colin Stewart ‒ the new ‘onboarding’ approach has also been actively supported by a number of stakeholders from across the business, who provided an overview of their products/marketplace and how the jigsaw of BiP’s holistic services fits together.

Team leaders, senior key account managers, product owners and researchers have all been involved in sharing their knowledge with the new team members, providing invaluable insight into the company.

Colin Stewart, Sales and Product Trainer, said: “These were invaluable sessions, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their engagement.”

Following each module, the new team members successfully completed assessments, returning great scores in each.

Incubate and integrate

Colin continued: “The group have responded really well to the training and have been engaged and enthusiastic throughout the initial weeks. All are now on the phones and putting it all into practice.

“The next phase is an incubation on the sales floor working through leads to engage our customers and secure demonstrations of Tracker Intelligence before their integration into the Team.”

There’s still lots to learn for our new team members and the training process will be ongoing, as procurement never stands still! Big changes are on the horizon, which were outlined in the Government’s Procurement Green Paper ‘Transforming Public Procurement’.  These will overhaul the public sector procurement process and BiP will be able to guide you through these new challenges.

Brilliantly innovatively People

BiP is committed to investing in new colleagues and ensuring they are nurtured through their initial employment, while incumbent staff benefit from regular knowledge sessions and updates from the procurement training team.

We’re dedicated to developing our Brilliantly innovatively People!

BiP’s apprentices: where are they now?

Image result for national apprentice week

Here at BiP, we are strong supporters of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme. We have a proud history of developing apprentices throughout the business and have certainly reaped the benefits of doing so.

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, we want to take this opportunity to reflect on the successes of our employees who joined the business through the programme.

Our apprentices – where are they now?

Scott McKechnie

Joined Business: September 2007

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Scott came into BiP as a Business Administrator and after completing his apprenticeship, moved to a role within our Helpdesk team. In 2012, Scott moved to our Public Sector Sales Team as a Customer Relationship Manager and progressed tremendously within the team. After spending a number of years as a Business Development Manager travelling all around the country to promote our services, Scott is now Sales Manager for the Public Sector Sales Team. What a success story!

Rory Denny

Joined business: November 2012

Apprenticeship programme: MVQ Level 3 marketing

Current role: After moving into the sales team of our Market Engagement division, Rory has now progressed to the role of Key Account Manager, driving revenue and managing strategic relationships with some of BiP Solutions’ key customer accounts.

Jodie Pratt

Joined business: January 2013

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Jodie currently works in our Accounts department as a Credit Controller and is undertaking training to become an accredited member of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM).

Heather Cooper

Joined business: April 2014

Apprenticeship programme: Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship

Current role: Having moved into the role of an Editorial Assistant after her apprenticeship, Heather has now been a Senior Client Services Executive for the past two years, particularly overseeing our client research survey projects.

Kyle Dearie

Joined business: August 2014

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Kyle now works in our Accounts department as a Business Administrator. In 2018, Kyle also completed the Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme to further develop his digital skillset.

Robert Gough

Joined business: November 2016

Apprenticeship programme: SVQ Level 3 Business Administration

Current role: Robert originally joined the business as a Credit Controller. After receiving his Business Administration qualification, Robert also completed the Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship programme and has since progressed to the role of Data Analyst.

Laure McGill

Joined business: April 2017

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: Laure now works in our Research team as a Content Researcher where she is responsible for producing and editing content for a number of our business intelligence solutions.

Paul Docherty

Joined business: July 2017

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: After 18 months of working in our Research team, Paul has now progressed to the role of Technical Helpdesk Advisor with responsibility for first line user support on our portfolio of products and services.

Christopher Doolan

Joined business: April 2018

Apprenticeship programme: SCQF 6 – Digital Applications Advanced Modern Apprenticeship

Current role: Chris, whilst working in our Accounts team as a Business Administrator, is currently in the process of completing the programme with one more module to go – nearly there Chris!

Each of these individuals demonstrate the importance, contribution and value of the Modern Apprentice model within the business. We look forward to the continued development of these employees as they develop their career within BiP!

To learn more about our business, roles that are currently available and apprenticeship opportunities, visit our Careers page.

Proving that you can develop a career within sales

Yes it’s an old cliché, but genuinely, we know our people are our biggest asset.  Across the business, we have a hugely talented group of individuals who contribute massively to our overall success.  Our focus, clearly, is how to best retain, develop and progress those individuals to allow them to build their career within the BiP Group.

Over the last two-years we have worked hard to create and introduce a structure which supports clear routes for progression…both in terms of career development and the associated remuneration awards.  As part of this, we have defined performance levels and associated salary bands within each department.

But our focus is not just on lateral progression within your chosen discipline; instead we encourage and where possible look to facilitate our colleagues moving into different areas of the business.

In doing so, we benefit from retaining their knowledge of our products and our market; our job is to then support them develop the necessary skills to best perform in that new role.

In the last financial year, over 21% of our employees enjoyed progression within the business Going into this financial year, this is an area we want to further develop.

Interested in becoming part of this?  Please contact our recruitment team on 0141 270 7606 for an informal discussion.  For existing opportunities that exist within the BiP Group, please visit http://www.bipsolutions.com/careers/

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