What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
The pace of change in the logistics sector is speeding up and I find that exciting. Change creates interesting opportunities to evolve into new sectors and to find new ways to add value.
Who inspired you most in your career?
There have been many I have learned a great deal from, but Richard Branson has inspired me the most. I have followed his progress for years and admire how well he uses marketing, branding and PR. He also has a great sense of timing and knows when it’s good to get in and when to get out and he never gives up.
Who or what makes you laugh?
My kids make me laugh the most, but in terms of humour, I love Green Wing, Black Books and the Mighty Boosh, as well as some US shows, like Family Guy and American Dad. I also laugh at myself, which is a valuable skill in any working environment.
What time do you get to work, and how long do you work for every day?
I tend to arrive last, though I am normally last out the door. Sitting in traffic annoys me, so I try to avoid rush hour. I guess 10 hours is a normal day, but there are times when 20 hours is not enough!
If you were an item in a warehouse, what would you be?
Sorry, I have absolutely no idea.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?
I am not sure I would do anything different, but I may have spent less time looking out of the window when I was at school. Spending eight years at night school whilst working full time was maybe not the best way, but it worked for me.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
I am sure the most embarrassing things were in my childhood and by now a distant memory. I did do a large pitch for PR services about 10 years ago that was cringing. The slide show and 30 page proposal on pubic relations was not quite what they or I expected. Fortunately, they saw the funny side of it and we won the business. Since then, I have never relied on a spellchecker.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I do have a strange knack for doing different accents, but I save that act for my kids as I am no public performer. Oh, and I play a wicked game of table tennis given half a chance.
Who would be your favourite party guest?
That would depend entirely on what kind of party it was.
What is the greatest luxury in your life?
The greatest luxury in my life is my two kids, Jasmine and Lauren. Being with them is always fantastic fun.
What do you fear most?
I don’t think I live in fear of anything much. The ability of such a small number of “experts” to completely screw up the world of finance and commerce has caused me concern. My Scottish blood maybe makes me more prudent than most and I work with a prudent company, so should have nothing to fear. But I do fear for many others who may be less fortunate.
If you won the Lottery, what would you do?
I do not play the lottery, so I needn’t worry about that.
What was your favourite hospitality jolly?
I don’t really do hospitality jollies because there are normally better things to invest in. But I have done my fare share when I worked in PR, where it is a critical part of the mix. The most memorable jaunt involved taking around 100 journalists to New York for a global product launch. It was really impressive and the client spent a million dollars in a day. Needless to say, it all ended up in a seedy lap dancing club at 7am. I had a gun pulled on me, had my wallet stolen and had a hangover that lasted for days – totally memorable!!
What’s your dream holiday destination?
Anywhere, as long as I have good company and the sun is shining.
What are your three favourite movies of all time?
Field of Dreams, The Big Lebowski and Jacobs Ladder all have a place, but there are so many to choose from.
What’s your favourite pastime?
I love camping and live music, so summer festivals are a firm favourite as they combine the two beautifully.
What’s your favourite book?
A Sense of Freedom by Jimmy Boyle.
Who or what do you detest the most?
I think detest is a strong word, but I do struggle with lies and liars. Truth is critical in business and those who like to skirt around it just hold things up and cause trouble.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into the industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?
It would depend on the person, but I would recommend that they do their research and speak to as many people as possible. When they have enough information, they can make a good decision. Then I would say go for it 100 per cent. If you do anything with gusto and keep your eyes, ears and mind open, you will do fine.
UPN was established in 2001 as a provider of high quality next-day delivery services for smaller consignments of palletised freight. The company now operates a national network of over 60 UK depots, all focussed on delivering the highest quality service available. UPN operates a purpose built hub near Melton Mowbray and has access to over 5,000 vehicles and two million square feet of flexible warehousing across its network. UPN is now widely recognised as a technology leader, because of its advanced real time and web based IT infrastructure, designed to improve freight visibility and customer service. It is the only palletised freight system with a real time signature capture system in place, designed to help thousands of companies improve their competitive edge and deliver better customer service, day in and day out.
For more information, visit www.u-p-n.co.uk.