The role of Operations Manager at GPH is a varied and important one and includes everything from overseeing stock control and dealing with any HR issues to ensuring the smooth running of the business in all four of GPH’s branches. We caught up with Operations Manager, Steven Park to find out more about his role – here’s what he had to say:
Q: What was your background before joining GPH?
A: (Steven): I grew up in Inverurie and went to both Kellands Primary School and Inverurie Academy.
After leaving school I served my time at William Lippe Architects as an Architectural Technician and had brief spells in the drawing office with Ron Shanks Associates & Scotframe Timber. After this, I moved into the Oil & Gas industry producing fabrication drawings and compiling project completion documentation packages for structural and pipework orders.
As someone who is always wanting to succeed and improve himself I grew my skills within the industry by moving into the coordinating of projects through NDT, paint and shipping offshore. Again, I saw opportunities to learn more and requested a move into the estimating of oil & gas projects which lead to being offered Project Engineering and Project Managing roles within Wood Group, Harlen Energy and CPS. With the uncertainty within the Oil & Gas sector and the opportunity to join GPH, an established and expanding company, I felt this gave me and my family more security moving forward.
Q: Describe a typical day for you?
A: (Steven): Our operating hours are 7am – 5pm where my duties vary daily. As Operations Manager I oversee our four branches ensuring Health & Safety, Work Equipment Checks, Staff Training, Stock Control and Transport as well as making sure areas of HR are dealt with along with the able assistance of our individual branch managers.
Throughout my day I try to squeeze in my duties as Assistant Manager of Highland Football League side Inverurie Locos. I keep in touch with all the players – checking up on injuries/attendance to training while ensuring the facilities and equipment are in place for our two weekly training sessions as well as my coaching duties on training nights.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge since joining GPH?
A: (Steven): My biggest challenge since joining GPH has been learning about our full range of products. Having good product knowledge is essential within our company but with thousands of product lines to get familiar with, this has been quite a challenge having been away from the construction industry for 16 years.
Q: What has been your biggest professional success/achievement?
A: (Steven): Throughout school I was never one for wanting to sit down and complete my homework or study, so I feel my biggest success/achievement has come from recognition through my line managers. I am committed to carrying out my duties to the best of my ability and this has been rewarded with the gradual progression in my career.
Q: What is your favourite thing about working for GPH?
A: (Steven): My favourite part of working at GPH is the daily variety the role brings and the responsibilities that come with my role.
Q: What do you do to relax/unwind?
A: (Steven): I love to spend time with my wife Jill and two daughters Amara and Layla although the shopping trips with three girls can be onerous! As mentioned above I have football training two evenings a week with match days on a Saturday where it has been known for me to vent some frustration towards the match officials. As you might expect, I’m partial to a sociable beer.
Q: What’s the best piece of work related or personal advice you have received?
A: (Steven): My parents have always guided me, shown me and pushed me to try my best and work hard throughout my life – something I feel I have adopted and been recognised for by the people who know me. I have always shown respect to my elders and carried out duties when asked, something I feel is sadly lacking in the modern world we live in today.
Q: What would you say to someone who has never been to a GPH branch before? Why should they visit?
A: (Steven): I’d say ‘come in and visit one of our four branches’! We have friendly team members who are always willing to pass on their expertise. In the past it may have been portrayed that we are just a Builders Merchants however we like to welcome customers who want to dabble in DIY too. Our wide range of stock and fantastic looking landscaping display areas are a real attraction at GPH.