The team down Bowlalley Lane continues to grow with a new relationship manager joining Pagabo. Ben Jones will be based out of Bedford and covering London and the South-East region. Ben tells us there are a great many golf courses in his patch but also vast opportunities for our clients.
So Ben, welcome aboard…
1. What are your main duties as Pagabo’s new regional relationship manager for London and the South-East?
I'll be supporting clients, whether they’re procuring the latest town centre redevelopment, extending a school or university via one of our leading construction frameworks, or appointing a consultant via our Professional Services framework. I’ll also be supporting our fantastic group of contractors and consultants across all our frameworks.
2. What’s your top tip to working in procurement?
The public sector has been a key part of my client base my entire career so I'd say the key to success is understanding the structure of the sector, how organisations differ, their drivers and the decision-making process. The private sector is a different beast all together, but something I'm sure I will get to grips with when working on projects procured through Pagabo for Business.
3. You’ve just completed the Pagabo induction in Hull, what were your impressions of the city?
I hadn’t been to Hull before, so didn’t know what to expect. What I got to see in a week was great. Pagabo’s based in the Old Town, so the culture is on the doorstep, from a great indoor market, Hull Minster, and the country’s smallest window, all within a short walk from the office.
4. What opportunities does the South-East region present?
Massive ones. It’s such a diverse region, from the North Norfolk coast to Southampton, Oxford to Dover. Naturally, London, as the UK’s economic epicentre, offers huge opportunities for the construction industry, but so too does the development of the Oxford to Cambridge corridor and the huge investment going into the region’s 55 universities. What’s great about the South-East is there’s so much going on.
5. How do you find working from home in Bedford?
I’ve got my own office set up, separated from the rest of the house, so have always found it most productive. That said, you miss the hubbub of the office. Bedford’s a lovely town, right on the River Great Ouse, and the town centre is a great place to spend weekend afternoons. It's also a really convenient and comfortable place to meet clients, suppliers and colleagues.
6. You have a young family so how do you get the home/work balance right?
It’s always a challenge, so making sure work time is work time, and family time is family time, is the key. Naturally, you have to be flexible but that’s all part of the fun. I suppose the daily habit has got to be doing as much with the kids as possible, and bath times are always great fun.
7. What hobbies do you have?
I love a round of golf, but that takes up a lot of time, so I don’t get to play much. I’m slowly getting my 7-year-old son into it, and he’s getting pretty good, so it won’t be long before I’ll be out there every weekend again. I enjoy cooking - pretty much anything - but of course, my favourite thing is spending time with the family… nothing better!
8. If you have to entertain a few clients what would you do for them?
Well, the options are almost endless, so getting to know them would be the 1st priority. There’s football, rugby, great golf courses within easy reach and plenty of the country’s best restaurants. For something a bit different, and for those who don’t mind heights or a bit of adrenaline, a sponsored climb over the O2 Arena for the Pagabo Foundation, with a glass of champagne at the top to calm the nerves for the way down.
9. A recent survey said the best way to relax is to read, what is your suggestion for taking the stress out of the day?
I find running is a good way to get in shape and think through some of the bigger challenges of the day. Also, a nice meal with my wife, either home-cooked or eating out, and the kids are great for de-stressing, they perfectly put things into perspective.
We are delighted to have you onboard, Ben. Good luck!