Last month, James joined us in the new role of European Sales Director.
The six questions below will help you get to know a bit about James and what his new responsibilities will entail.
Why did you decide to join Commerce Decisions?
I have previously worked at Commerce Decisions and know what a great company it is to work for, so when the opportunity came up to re-join, I couldn’t wait to get started. It’s exciting to work across different sectors such as defence, infrastructure and transport – and a privilege to support strategically important projects in delivering the best possible outcome. Commerce Decisions is a very forward-thinking company and is committed to providing a superb working environment for all employees globally. Everyone is extremely supportive of each other and this enables everyone to grow professionally and personally.
What will you be doing in your new role?
Since 2001, Commerce Decisions has been trusted by Governments to provide evaluation services to over $500bn worth of projects. These have largely been into UK, Australia and Canada, so in my role I am going to be focusing on broadening our service offering into the European marketplace. When delivering strategic, high value or complex projects, all Governments, regardless of geography, want to ensure that they are delivering the best possible outcome for their taxpayers. I will be engaging with many of the key decision makers who are responsible for delivering some of the most important defence, transport, infrastructure, education and healthcare projects across Europe. I’ll be discussing the ways we can assist them, from planning their market engagement, achieving value for money, developing a robust criteria set and through to conducting fair and transparent evaluations using our AWARD® solution.
What is your focus for the first year?
Although Commerce Decisions is very well known across the UK Government procurement space, it is less well known in Europe. I see my initial focus as being educational; engaging with Programme Directors in key sectors such as defence and infrastructure and discussing how we can support them in delivering their goals. Commerce Decisions has worked on some of the most complex projects in the UK; Crossrail, 2012 Olympics, Hs2, across the MOD and PPP projects, and we have a wealth of experience and knowledge that will help deliver the best possible outcomes for major projects across Europe.
What are you most looking forward to?
I think the most exciting aspect is the “opportunity”. We have seen the benefits that Commerce Decisions has bought to strategic projects in the UK, Australia and Canada; whether that be a 40% time saving to the evaluation process or the environmental saving that online evaluation brings – I think this is over 12,000 trees saved per annum. Once people start using the AWARD solution the feedback is incredible and it is extremely satisfying to be part of that process.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Like a lot of sports-mad dads, most of my free time is spent providing a taxi service to my kids. I took my son along to mini rugby at Marlborough RFC when he was 6 and was asked if I could help out “just for a morning”. 8 years later I am still there and turning up every Sunday morning to run the sessions. It’s great to see the boys grow up and learn to love the values of the game that I enjoyed so much. I also like cricket and, although I am not particularly good, my daughter has developed a real passion for the game and now represents Wiltshire, of which I am extremely proud and I love to watch her bowling her brother out!
Where did you start your career?
My background is military and I spent almost 10 years in the UK Army. I was lucky enough to attend RMA Sandhurst and joined the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment as a young Platoon Commander. Nothing makes you grow up as fast as standing in front of 30 tough soldiers and realising that you must now set the example from both a professional and personal perspective. I had a great time seeing the world on operational tours from Crossmaglen to Baghdad. I learnt a lot about life in a relatively short space of time and I think the most important lesson I took away is that if you build the right relationships and invest your time in getting to know all those around you, then you can overcome the toughest obstacles – I believe this lesson is equally applicable to my commercial career.
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