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.
Today, we’re hearing from Peter Clark, our Senior Applications Consultant.
Keep reading to find out more about Peter and how his 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 start at PKF SCS?
In early 2021, I met Chris Smith to discuss some collaborative projects. We found that along with a shared pain of following once great (if you look far enough into the history books!), but now struggling football teams, there was also a clear shared ethos around building long-term relationships with customers, and quality of service. Things quickly developed from there, and in late summer last year I and the team from Cellular formally joined the company.
What does your day-to-day job as a Senior Applications Consultant entail?
Providing support internally to the Support and Sales teams, as well as working with external Prospects and Customers to review business requirements, design solutions, and often carry out the solution build itself to ensure clients get the maximum value from their software applications.
The job can vary greatly day-to-day, which is one of the reasons why I enjoy it so much, and why I’m still doing it 20 years after first working in the role.
Did you always want to work within software, specifically within Sage?
Honestly? No. My main interests growing up were sport and music, and the thought of getting a job working with computer software would have been incomprehensible for the young me, but without the required sporting or musical ability to avoid getting a “proper job”, I had to look at other options!
I started doing a Computer Science degree, and after doing a sandwich year as part of my course at a company that implemented CRM systems, I really enjoyed the problem-solving aspect of the job and working with different people across different industries and haven’t looked back.
How has the pandemic changed how your job role, and how you interact with customers?
I think like everyone, the wide adoption of video-conferencing technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams has given an easy alternative to the traditional face-to-face vs telephone options for communication.
Video conferencing has been around for a long time, but this wasn’t easily accessible to all without a degree of technical knowledge to set it up, and equipment cost. Teams is great value as part of the O365 subscription and Zoom meetings can be quickly set up as without cost (disclaimer: please see local licensing laws!).
I’ve got customers who have had to shield personally throughout the pandemic, and also that are shielding because of loved ones/dependents. With either a legal or social responsibility to isolate, often at short notice, the pandemic has sped up the adoption of products such as Teams and Zoom within business, and the increase in the options for customer interaction can only be a positive.
Where possible though, I do still prefer those onsite visits and meetings. When the job role requires you to understand a business’s requirements and processes, the walk around an office or manufacturing site, meeting individual people and seeing those processes in action is difficult to replicate, even with the adoption of products such as Teams and Zoom.
We’re social creatures (even in the software industry!), and that’s an important part of the job that I’ve enjoyed returning to a degree of normality.
What do you enjoy most about working for PKF SCS?
There’s a huge amount of work to get stuck into, and there’s a real sense of unity amongst the team as well as transparency on strategy and direction from the leadership group. In my time with PKF SCS to date, there have been many new appointments made across the organisation. People choose to join the company, and once here, very few people choose to leave. I think that probably says it all.
That is all for this time around, thank you very much for reading and a huge thank you to Pete for sparing the time to answer our questions!
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