Meet the team, Becky Jackson – Procurement Manager

procurement manager

Our next ‘Day in the Life’ focuses on our brilliant Procurement Manager, Becky Jackson. Becky recently joined the business and works at our head office in Salford. Becky’s background was originally in performing arts but after taking the leap of faith to change her career, Becky has rapidly risen up the ranks in procurement and is now our lovely Procurement Manager and hasn’t looked back since!

Can you give us a brief insight into your career path which has led you to become Thermatic’s procurement manager?

I had a background in theatre originally! I started out in an administrative officer role with nothing but a BTEC National in Performing Arts. I quickly moved to a bigger company as temp cover, but was offered a permanent position within 6 months. Another 6 months after that I was given a supervisor position, then was offered the opportunity to do the CIPs course (chartered institute of procurement and supply).

After a year completing my level 4 diploma, I was promoted to a procurement officer, and by the time I finished level 5 and 6 I had also been given a small team to manage.

By this point I had finished my Advanced Diploma and decided it was time to move on to a new challenge, which brings me to Thermatic as a Procurement Manager!

Are there any moments in your career, past or present, that stand out to you?

Being nominated for a procurement excellence award was pretty special to me. I had put the submission together by myself and knew the project inside and out, so to be able to put it forward as a proud achievement and have others recognise it as an example of ‘best in class’ procurement was a big personal win.

What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?

There’s tonnes of skills a procurement professional needs in order to be successful, negotiation, social skills, strategic thinking, problem solving….but the biggest thing for me was to learn to utilise the experts and their skills instead of trying to reinvent the wheel all the time.

Even if you work alone, you are part of a company filled with people who have different knowledge to your own, if you aren’t using their skills and combining them with your own then you are missing out on a different perspective.

Can you tell us about a typical working day for you as procurement manager?

Tough question! No two days are the same for me as procurement manager, which is why I enjoy the job so much.

Generally, I organise the on-hiring and off-hiring of the fleet, then deal with any accidents or damages on the vehicles. Then I might have a couple of meetings with suppliers to keep our relationships strong or negotiate a new deal. After that I’d potentially jump in on some new starter inductions to speak about how procurement supports the business.

I’d also do some research into any new suppliers who have come into the market, and do some benchmarking exercises to ensure we are getting competitive prices.

I try to review our processes as often as I can to try and find ways to make us more efficient, we are currently hiring staff so I have been able to dive into the administrative duties and see for myself just how we can make things run smoother.

How do you think Thermatic reacted to the pandemic and what kind of effect on the overall industry do you think it will have?

I have only been in the business for a couple of months so can’t say much for how Thermatic reacted initially, although from what I’ve seen we have been very lucky to have had almost all staff working during lockdown and only a few briefly on furlough. We ensured the correct PPE and equipment were given to engineers and continue to do so to keep them all safe.

Overall, I think our business is essential to many clients and so we will continue to remain strong as we come out of the pandemic. I expect this would be the case for most of the industry, although we have already seen price changes and lead times increase which will definitely have a knock on effect down the supply chain. If companies don’t prepare for these changes and put in contingencies to counter then they could find themselves in trouble.

Where do you see Thermatic Energy Services in 5 years?

I think that Thermatic Energy is well positioned to provide something that the market really needs. Everyone has been ‘having a go’ at creating sustainable practices and environmentally friendly initiatives, but it’s time for businesses to use experts and make changes that will really have an impact.

I think a company like Thermatic Energy is so easy to sell because the value is so plain to see – You use their services, you reduce energy output, you save money and help the environment. Simple!

If they continue to thrive as they have been then there’s no stopping what they could do in 5 years, here’s hoping we become a household name.

Can you tell us about the hardest moment in your career and how you overcame it?

I feel like I haven’t had the hardest moment yet! I try to take any issues and deal with them one step at a time, but honestly I’ve always had such a good support system around me that I feel empowered to make the right decisions even during the hard moments. I suppose one of the harder moments was deciding to leave my previous company. They supported me for many years and got me on my current career path so it was a difficult decision that wasn’t taken lightly. I wrote out all the pros and cons, but ultimately went with my gut decision, no regrets so far!

Thermatic’s culture is at the heart of the business – can you describe what the culture means to you?

I’m always amazed at the size of our business support teams, one office in Salford filled with people who manage clients up and down the whole of the UK. If someone asks us a question then we just walk right over to the team that know the answer and get it straight away. We all go the extra mile to work together as a family.

I think this ‘everyone pitches in’ attitude can be lost in the corporate world sometimes, to be able to get that balance of local support but on a corporate scale is an important part of being an employee at Thermatic.

What do you believe is the greatest thing that Thermatic Energy Services has achieved so far?

Being able to get themselves set up as their own entity was a big step for Thermatic Energy last year. It shows that the potential for growth is there and gives us our own brand and identify.

Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the industry?

The main thing is to make sure you represent yourself in interviews. I have seen people lose out on a position because they were busy trying to tick ‘qualifying boxes’ instead of listening to what we were asking and giving us real, honest answers.

If you are passionate about working in the energy sector or in the HVAC industry, then talking about it should be easy and your passion should shine through. We can offer training and development to get you any missing skills, but it’s the culture and the family aspect of Thermatic that is most important to us.

What do you love most about your job?

No two days are the same, there’s always some new challenge I need to overcome or something new I need to become an expert in. I can ask lots of questions and see the bigger picture, which helps me understand how the business works and how best I can serve it.
There’s also a lot of scope for me to manage things exactly how I want to, there’s no red tape I have to get past in order to make changes, I just explain why I want to change it and what benefits there will be, and its done!

Finally, if there was one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Go with your gut! I spent a few years in an admin position as a young adult before I started my career in procurement. The atmosphere in the office was not good, and I spent a long time convincing myself that I wasn’t cut out for ‘office politics’.
If I had just taken stock of my feelings then I would have looked to move away much faster and begin my career in procurement.
I try to listen to myself a lot more these days, if something doesn’t feel right at work then I make sure that I don’t ignore my underlying feelings.

About Thermatic Energy Services

We work with end-user clients to help them achieve their energy management targets. Our support ranges from Install, monitoring and compliance to procurement. Our main focus is giving our customers visibility to their systems and data to allow them to make actionable decisions to reduce their energy consumption, improve their building operation and achieve their sustainability targets.