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A spotlight on…Simon Inman

This month finds our spotlight back on Media City and part of our Senior Management Team, as we have a chat with Simon Inman, our Head of IT Operations.

Simon was a fairly new face to the old Ingenium business when BiP Solutions bought the company. He has since made himself an invaluable part of the team – and not least because he keeps the Media City office in coffee and loo roll! (We’re very grateful, Simon!)

He’s also an i-serve master and knows how to fix computer problems with witchcraft – he tells me it’s a ‘picnic’ issue?

Simon was also a winner at this year’s annual awards, coming joint ‘Manager of the Year’ – a popular and well-deserved choice for this accolade.

In what capacity did you join BiP?

I joined BiP on the first day back from Christmas of 2017, in a cosy, unglamorous office in Stockport as “Web Development Manager”, with a team of just me. Although it felt like I’d already been there some time after having my interview a few months prior and stealing Donnys ticket to attend the Christmas party.

What does your job as Head of IT Operations entail?

This month finds our spotlight back on Media City and part of our Senior Management Team, as we have a chat with Simon Inman, our Head of IT Operations.

Simon Inman, Head of IT Operations at BiP.

My role at BiP covers our network infrastructure, desktop support, Cyber Essentials, and our organisation’s quality and information security management. My team and I ensure our products remain live and on modern, secure systems, our colleagues have the technology and support to do their jobs and that our organisation is continuing to improve with effective quality management.

I also change the odd toilet seat, which I like to roll out at dinner parties when my partner’s trying to impress people.

With IT and software changing before I can comprehend them, what major developments do you think are on the horizon?

IT and software are growing massively every day, with offensive and defensive developments in information and cyber security but also in more at home areas like artificial intelligence. The growth of AI, is beginning to take away manual effort and user error from many everyday tasks and we will see this really take off to automated intelligent workflows, predictive services supporting report and content writing and even intelligent defences. Roll on Skynet!

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

We’ve changed so much in the past couple of years and are in such a better place than when I joined Ingenium, we have our innovation day coming up and I think if we’re really able to grow that, it could be spectacular.

When are you at your most productive?

Definitely at the start of the day after a couple of coffees.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Swift half with Stephen Donlan (DCMC) to break up our magical commute, catch up on any of the days gossip, or just simply talk about the up-and-coming town of Stockport. That, or I’ll be often found on away missions with some chums drinking Romulan ale. So… In the pub or in a different pub.

Quick fire:

  1. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  2. Ties or T-shirts – Ties
  3. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  4. Lager or ale – Ale
  5. Book or film – Film
  6. Football or rugby – Rugby
  7. Cat or dog – Cat
  8. Hot or cold – Cold
  9. Salty or sweet – Salty
  10. Tattooed or not – Tattooed
  11. Night out or night in – Night in
  12. Janeway or Picard – Janeway

A spotlight on: Courtney McCusker

This month we say hello to one of our newer employees based in Glasgow HQ.

Courtney McCusker joined BiP as part of our HR department earlier in 2022, working alongside HR Director Alan Mathie.

In what capacity did you join BiP? What did your previous job entail?

I joined BiP as a HR Advisor, my previous role was HR Coordinator for an Energy Company.

Why did you choose to join BiP?

I chose BiP as after my three (yes three!) meetings with Alan I got a nice feel for the place. It seemed like a really nice place to work, and I wasn’t wrong! Everyone has been lovely, and I feel like I have been here forever already 😊.

Also, stability was a big thing for me due to losing my previous job when the company unfortunately collapsed. So, I am here for the long run…

How has your BiP journey been so far? Is there anything we could do differently to welcome new colleagues?

I am loving it so far, three months down the line and I still want to come back every day, haha! Honestly though, I am enjoying every minute and still learning new things every day which is keeping me on my toes. At this point I wouldn’t change anything.

This month we say hello to one of our newer employees based in Glasgow HQ. Courtney McCusker

Courtney living her best life in Hoi An – Vietnam

Can you sum up what your job involves?

My role involves being first point of contact for dealing with all HR queries, managing the HR system with any updates, compliance, new starts, leavers etc. I also support with the delivery of Talent Acquisition so any CV’s interviews, job offers etc.

The BiP One Programme is also a main part of my role so the overall engagement with the wider business is something I work on daily.

How is working at BiP different to your previous roles (company and position)?

It is very different. My previous position allowed me to build a lot of knowledge and experience around dealing with complex HR queries that I maybe wouldn’t have been able to do elsewhere, so now I am at BiP I am learning a whole new side to HR that I am loving.

When are you at your most productive?

Definitely the morning.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Being in a different country, eating nice food and drinking nice wine

Quick fire:

  1. Football or rugby – Neither (football if I HAD to choose)
  2. Cat or dog – Dog
  3. Hot or cold – Hot
  4. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  5. Ties or T-shirts – T-shirts
  6. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  7. Lager or ale – Neither sorry!
  8. Book or film – Film
  9. Salty or sweet – Sweet
  10. Tattooed or not – Not
  11. Night out or night in. – Night in

Spotlight On: Vivien Chan

This month our spotlight falls on Media City again as we talk with one of our newer faces, Vivien Chan.

Vivien joined BiP as part of our DCMC and Cadence Marketing services in August 2021, she has quickly established herself as a vital part of the survey team – bringing some great new ideas and problem solving skills, along with some amazing baking skills and Chinese dumplings to the team!

She was also nominated for our New Employee of the Year award – a thoroughly deserved nomination.

In what capacity did you start at BiP?

Research Executive

What did your previous job entail?

Project management – meaning I had to be organised and detail minded, with a good pair of eyes!

Why did you choose to join BiP?

I like the market proposition of Cadence and it’s good that I can continue working in a research related job role.

This month our spotlight falls on Media City again as we talk with one of our newer faces, Vivien Chan.

Vivien Chan, Research Executive at Cadence.

How has your BiP journey been so far?

Exciting, I’ve been working with various clients on different research topics, and I’ve been given great the support by all my lovely colleagues.

Is there anything we could do differently to welcome new colleagues?

A team welcome tea break in the pantry? ​​​​​​​

Can you sum up what your job involves?

Understanding a client’s research needs, and transforming that into a survey which will engage the target audience. Then it’s a case of analysing that data collected and turning it into a meaningful research report/whitepaper for the client.

How is working at BiP different to your previous roles (company and position)?

In terms of the target audience, it is quite different. In my previous role, the projects were more related to commercial/consumers/employees. Now it is more focused on public sector audiences.

When are you at your most productive?

Morning time is the best.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Baking, cooking and enjoying delicious food!

Quick fire:

  1. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  2. Dresses or T-shirts – T-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  4. Lager or ale – neither – cider please if you’re buying!
  5. Book or film – film
  6. Football or rugby – neither, haha
  7. Cat or dog – cat
  8. Hot or cold – hot
  9. Salty or sweet – sweet
  10. Tattooed or not – not
  11. Night out or night in – night in

Spotlight On: Amy Bourne

This month our spotlight focusses on our Salford office, and a stalwart of the sales team there, Amy Bourne.

Amy began her BiP journey in 2013 starting as an Account Development Manager with what was Ingenium.

It was back in 2016 that the BiP family expanded with the acquisition of the public sector marketing specialist to help boost the BiP brand.

Now, six years on and an evolution of the department has seen our Cadence brand embed itself into BiP, with its direct engagement of the public sector reaping rewards. As SME spend becomes ever more crucial to government procurement, the department helps facilitate early engagement of buyers and suppliers, bringing new innovations to the public sector market.

amy bourne

How would you sum up your job at BiP, Amy?

New business management is the main aspect of my role, supporting clients with external marketing activity, I also help train any new staff that join the team.

When did your BiP journey begin?  

Through the acquisition of Ingenium.

In what capacity did you start? Why did you join BiP? Why did you stay?

I started as an Account Development Manager, worked my way through to Sales Manager, then back to a full time portfolio management role with an added training function.

I joined Ingenium originally because I saw how much Sam Gilding enjoyed the role and wanted a new challenge outside of the world of customer service. I had dabbled in sales and marketing a little in previous roles at BHS and Direct line (B2C), following the acquisition I stayed in the role as not too much changed at first – same people, same product. I’m still here now because I like the client engagement and both the internal and external relationships I’ve built up over the years.

It’s a completely different organisation to the one I joined, but I like to think that I’ve adapted to the change and continue to apply my knowledge and experience to the business.

When are you at your most productive?

Definitely in the morning (I should say all day, right?)

What are the major differences you’ve seen between Ingenium as was and becoming part of BiP?

With a few exceptions, a completely different team in the Manchester Office, it was a very informal office. BiP definitely has more ambition to grow the business unit and there are more progression opportunities now, which is a positive.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in sales and marketing throughout the years?

There’s been a big shift in process. Everything has become far more processed driven for onboarding clients and raising PO’s and measuring performance metrics.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Before becoming a mum, I would have answered with socialising, spending time with friends, day drinking, having a good laugh. Now its spending time with my daughter, watching her develop into a little character and teaching her new things. Of course, the other stuff would be nice but I’m still finding my feet post lockdown.

Quick fire:

  1. Joggers or Jeans – Jeans
  2. Ties or T-shirts – T-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Coffee
  4. Lager or ale – Lager
  5. Book or film – film
  6. Football or rugby – Football
  7. Cat or dog – dog
  8. Hot or cold – Hot
  9. Salty or sweet – sweet
  10. Tattooed or not – Tattooed
  11. Night out or night in – Night in​​​​​​​

Join us next month for our spotlight on Software Developer – Alvaro Sanchez.

Spotlight On: Eddie Regan, PASS Procurement Consultant

Eddie Regan is one of BiP’s longest serving employees and a font of procurement knowledge

Starting at the company in 1984 as a salesman, Eddie is now our PASS Procurement consultant, sharing his experience in and knowledge of government procurement with clients and colleagues alike.

How would you sum up your job at BiP, Eddie?

I suppose a bit of a “Jack of all Trades” would be a good description. I deliver training, consultancy, webinars, occasional blogs, speak at conferences, judge the GO Awards, assist sales when they need my input, work with the Events Team, annoy IT Dev and generally try to keep out of trouble.

When did your BiP journey begin?

In 1984, back before many of our colleagues were even born. I saw an advert for a salesman, came for an interview and Ron and Leslie decided to offer me the job and the rest, as they say, is history. From sales, I moved into production and eventually into delivering training and consultancy.

Why did you stay?

I like the job, my colleagues, the variety of my role and the challenges it presents. Over the years, when you catch up with some of the people who’ve left, they often tell you how much they enjoyed BiP.

When are you at your most productive?

When given a challenging task and a deadline, just like most people I suppose. The thing about my role (and a shout out to Phil here as well) is we’re often up against deadlines and that’s probably when we enjoy it most.

We have all heard the tales of the legendary Portakabin® where BiP was born, but what was it really like?

Just that, a cold draughty Portakabin® on a Building Merchant’s site. One long room, with three small offices off it, with one of them containing the equipment we used to publish Contrax Weekly, the great grandfather of Tracker and everything else.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in the company and in procurement over the years?

In terms of the company, it’s grown beyond comprehension. From the Portakabin® all the way to our Glasgow and Manchester offices and from half a dozen people to currently around 140 people. It’s also been one hell of a journey.

In terms of procurement, no-one understood it in the early days. We would get letters and calls from public authorities threatening legal action against the company for publishing their notices, as they didn’t want suppliers from all over the country bidding for work. Thankfully, buyers and suppliers are a lot more attuned to the regulations these days and I think it’s fair to say that BiP played a major role in opening up the public procurement marketplace.

Are there any major changes in procurement on the horizon we should know about?

There are major reforms coming in England and Wales in the next 12-18 months and Scotland and N. Ireland will probably, at the very least, tweak some of their current regulations. However, procurement never stands still, which is one of the interesting things about my role.

What’s your favourite thing to do outside of work?

Spending time with my wife Roseann and walking Mac, our Westie.

Quick fire round:

  1. Joggers or jeans – Joggers for lounging about the house, jeans for weekends
  2. Ties or t-shirts – Love my t-shirts
  3. Coffee or tea – Tea, but only first thing in the morning, then it’s usually water
  4. Lager or ale – Lager, but only craft or imported – British lager is awful
  5. Book or film – Book every time
  6. Football or rugby ‒ Football
  7. Cat or dog ‒ Dog
  8. Hot or cold – Hot, but not too hot
  9. Salty or sweet – Savoury for me
  10. Tattooed or not ‒ Nope
  11. Night out or night in – Night in mostly

In our next spotlight we will be chatting with Amy Bourne in our Media City office about her role in BiP.

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