Support, Sales, Consultancy, Marketing and Development. These are more than just departments at PKF Smith Cooper Systems they are teams of people that have brought the company to where it is today.
Many of you may not have interacted with any of these departments or you may have interacted with them all! Either way, this series is intended to introduce you to the people behind the titles and give you insight into the people who make up Team PKF SCS.
Following on from our previous articles in this series, we are talking to Hannah Orchard. Hannah is our Project Services Team Leader and someone who many of you may know very well.
Keep reading to find out more about Hannah and how her PKF SCS journey began.
We have also featured a range of other team members, so to catch up on our past articles click here.
How did your journey with PKF SCS start?
I was initially introduced to PKF Smith Cooper Systems via a recruitment agency. I wasn’t looking to move at the time but was happy to speak with Managing Director, Chris Smith, and Head of Project services, Craig Taylor, about where I saw myself in the future and understand a little more about PKF SCS as a Sage Business Partner.
The role I described didn’t exist within the business but gave Chris and Craig some ‘food for thought’ and they liked the idea. However, the timing wasn’t right, and we didn’t pursue the initial conversation for approximately 6 months when fate would have me bump into Craig at a Sage training event.
We chatted and the timing was right to pick up where we left off. We later arranged to meet up at a service station (classy) to discuss the idea of an ‘Implementation Team Leader’ role in the South region. The business was booming and, regionally, the South was getting busier and PKF SCS needed someone to oversee all consultancy and project implementations, and I was the woman for the job!
It wasn’t easy at first – I’d had a lot of personal changes and had moved to a property where there was no internet reception. This made it very difficult for a home-based role. We soldiered on and over time I’ve grown immensely alongside the business, I’ve learnt a huge amount about myself and the products/services we implement. I am extremely grateful to Chris and Craig for giving me the opportunity to show my dedication, commitment, and hard work to the business.
What are the duties of the Implementation Team Leader?
I start each morning reviewing all projects within the region. I have internal spreadsheets to monitor and update notes and progress, received from the consultants (as well as my own personally managed projects).
The Implementation Team Leader is required to deliver their own projects for products within their own skillset from Sales Handover to Support Handover. I am expected to manage some of our larger projects and assist in projects where required.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most and why?
I have a background in accounting and finance. When I became a Sage 200 Consultant back in 2014, one of the most appealing aspects was ‘Training’. With over 20 years of accounting experience, I absolutely love to help people get a better understanding of how to use accounting solutions and carry out their jobs more efficiently. To see someone gaining confidence in their ability to carry out their job is incredibly rewarding. To build friendships and relationships with customers and gain their trust in our ability to deliver a workable and more user-friendly solution is also incredibly fulfilling.
How has returning to the office affected you and your team’s work ethic?
Being originally home-based prior to lockdown, I felt incredibly fortunate to have previously adapted to a solitary working environment. I, therefore, didn’t struggle too much with the changes. However, during the lockdown, we were working with a much smaller consultancy team (having furloughed many staff) and we were stretched and working incredibly hard to continue delivering our best work, under a lot of pressure. I felt that during this time, the smaller team (specifically Dave and Ian) worked together as best as possible, and kept morale high by checking in with each other for support and encouragement during a very difficult time.
It’s nice to be able to back onto customer sites now and ‘connect’ face to face, rather than virtually. I feel everyone feels the benefits physiologically and physically.
That is all for this time around, thank you very much for reading and a huge thank you to Hannah for sparing the time to answer our questions!
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