Q&A with Andrew Moss & Paul Munsch – professionals in Education/Office furniture sales
Welcome to CAPS, Andrew and Paul! We are delighted you have joined our team that works with clients from education and office sectors. Using this opportunity, we would like to get some insight from your professional background. Would you mind answering a few questions for us?
Paul & Andrew: Not at all. Fire away!
How many years’ experience do you have working in the office furniture industry?
Paul: 34 years
Andrew: 18.5 years
What was your first job in office furniture?
Paul: I worked for a company delivering and installing furniture throughout the UK. I also used to arrange collections of second hand furniture, get it refurbished and then sell it on – we were the original upcyclers!
Andrew: I was a trainee account manager and had to do everything within the company for the first 6 months before being released into the wild world of sales.
What specific skills have you developed over your career?
Paul: Most recently, as Operations Director at Broadstock I was responsible for delivering and maintaining exceptionally high levels of customer service. This involved every stage of our operational processes from order receipt to invoicing and was utterly dependent on great teamwork. My pet subject is definitely logistics and installation- I was responsible for an in-house fleet of 10 trucks which would easily double during our peak season and we earnt a reputation as a unrivalled professional and trustworthy service provider. I was also responsible for the sales office, production, supplier assessment, health and safety and quality control. In 2017 our order output was over £30,000,000 plus
Andrew: After a few years ‘cutting my teeth’ looking after customers in the West Yorkshire and Derbyshire area, I was asked to go into the South West as Broadstock had just got onto the SUPC framework. I won my first major contract with the University of Plymouth and over the next 10 years or so, built up my portfolio of Public and Private Sector customers, taking sales from zero in this area to over £2m. My strengths have been within the University sector, dealing with Estates, Procurement, Contractors, Architects, Designers and end users, managing their requirements, which could be just a single chair or a project in excess of £800k.
What was the most challenging project you have managed?
Paul: There have been many, my “favourites” Birmingham University’s new Library, The Forum at Exeter University, The Spark Building at Solent University, CIS Tower Manchester (replacing the furniture over 21 floors twice). All were complex multi-million pound projects and had they did have their inherent frustrations- but they also had their very funny moments too.
Andrew: It was 2 large projects at the same time at the University of Exeter – The Forum and the Business School, which combined came to a value of over £1m. These both took place over one long summer on top of all the other enquiries I was dealing with at what is always the busiest time of year.
What was your favourite project?
Paul: From 2012- 2015 I worked closely with the NSPCC as they rationalised their property portfolio. This included working at their HQ in London, setting up several Childline call centres, 20 plus Regional offices and a new 100 person office in Belfast. It was a privilege to help such a worthwhile cause and to contribute to their vital work. Total spend £2 million plus.
Andrew: not a project as such. My favourite part of the job was seeing my customers after an installation when it had gone well and everybody was happy.
What changes have you seen in office furniture design?
Paul: Office furniture has and is constantly changing. The current move away from the static desk and chair to a more agile and collaborative workplace is the most dynamic I have witnessed. People now expect to be able to be flexible at work and not be “nailed” to a single seat.
Andrew: It used to be a lot simpler – see a customer, measure up, produce a plan and quotation about a week and a half later and send everything in the post. Now, it is far more complicated with all the extra skills and services that surround office furniture – e.g. electrics, break out, acoustics, agile learning etc. and everybody wants all the information back yesterday via email!!
Thank you for your time and sharing your experiences with us. And, good luck in a new chapter of your career!
Author: Lucy Sparks
Lucy works at CAPS Interiors, a CAPS Group company, as Office Manager and is involved in fit-out and project management for key clients in the UK.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the company: at CAPS Group we get it. We provide a ‘one stop shop’ service to retailers that care about their sales performance and the power of customer experience. Get in touch and challenge us!