Q&A

Q&A – Paul Evans

We’re introducing a new segment to our Blog where we ask employees of Blom to go through a short question and answer session.
We hope it gives you the readers a chance to get to know the great members of staff we have working here at BlomUK and our European offices, a little bit better,.

First up we have our very own Paul Evans, from Blom UK.

When and what brought you to work for Blom?

I joined Blom in January 2005. I was introduced to the business as part of a potential BIMBO (Buy In Management Buy Out) of Simmons Aerofilms in the autumn of 2004. That failed but Greg Simmons asked if I wanted to work for the company initially on a part-time basis. Unbeknown to me at the time Simmons was about to be sold to the Blom group and the rest they say is “history”!!

How has your role developed since joining?

As stated initially I worked part-time for the company – after Helen and Derek Simmons retired this I worked more for the company becoming full-time in late 2007. My work has been in Finance mainly but I had a spell as Managing Director from 2009 to late 2010. Currently I am working for the group in a “management support role” helping the management team in Blom Romania. This has taught me some new skills such as some limited (!) Romanian language and how to iron a shirt neatly.

I guess like the business my development has been “up and down”

What do you find most inspiring working for Blom?

Tough question! I think it is not knowing what might happen next! Whilst some people don’t like uncertainty others thrive with it. Whilst I am a person who prefers things mapped out (excuse the pun) it is always quite interesting arriving in the morning not knowing what may or may not have happened business-wise. The other inspiring things are probably the day to day excitement of winning a tender of finishing a project (with a profit!!) or getting a customer to pay us/negotiating a deal which gets agreed. On their own these are small things but inspiring none the less.

Of course the main inspiration is getting to work with a lot of very interesting (some may say peculiar) people ….! Need I say more?!

Me on a trip to Balea Lake

What’s a typical day for you working for Blom?

I like to be in the office for 7,30 (that’s really 5,30 in the UK!) and usually work till 6,30 or so in the evening. There is no “typical day” really. Every day can be quite varied with some quieter times during the month but at the end of the month/year and budgeting time it is very hectic. Mostly I am in the office in Targoviste but see some suppliers (international one’s who speak English!) and this is usually done in our Bucharest office. A lot of time is spent with the finance team here trying to interpret figures for Norway and/or answering questions from them, as well as speaking with project managers to understand project costs. In addition there is a fair amount of time spent on conference calls with HQ which takes some preparation time to ensure that the right answers are available. Regular Operations/Finance and Management meetings are also part of the workload and I have the tiresome job of doing the minutes!

What are the stand-out changes have you seen in the industry during your career?

Not an industry specific change but a general business change has to be the use of technology. This really has revolutionized the manner in which all our work is done (especially in the office). Whilst there is a lot of positives about this (less paper, more knowledge, ease of access, cheaper/no cost communication) there is also the negative aspects such as greater demands, too many e-mails and having lots of information but not much knowledge!

In my first ever full-time job when I was 16 I had to hand write rent receipts on a NCR (No Carbon Required) accounts sheet …. It is only when one looks back that we can see the massive changes that have taken place! In our own business I suppose the biggest similar change was the move to digital photography from film …. Being partly responsible for closing down the photo lab at Potters Bar it again shows what a fundamental change this has been to how our industry works!

What predictions do you have for the industry in the next 12 months?

My view on this is drawn from the global economic indicators – one of which stated – “Amid considerable global uncertainty, one thing is certain: the old saying ‘may you live in interesting times’ is sure to be fulfilled.” (source – Business Monitor International)

We do live in interesting and challenging times – the continued Government cut-backs, especially in Europe will continue to impact hugely upon our industry and business in general. I guess it continues to be the case that we have to hold tight and hold on. I would anticipate the next 12 months to continue to be extremely competitive but still with opportunities – particularly in developing markets (East Europe and South America). Positively, Blom is well-placed geographically to access both these markets and has experience in dealing in both so can hopefully do well. Finally I’d expect some reduction in capacity as well – if firms do not have good financing they will go out of business and, whilst recently this trend has slowed, it would not be surprising to see one or two firms bite the dust which may provide an opportunity for others to take up the slack.

Fishing at Bratesti, which yielded nothing!

Quick fire questions – one word answers

TV or book?

Book

Football or rugby?

Football

Restaurant or take-away?

Restaurant

Theatre or cinema?

Cinema

Club or gig?

Gig

Slopes or sand?

Sand

Lager or Ale?

Ale

Ferrari or Mercedes?

Ferrari

BBC or ITV?

BBC

Connery or Moore?

Connery

F1 or MotoGP?

F1

Rock or chill-out?

Chill-out