Logged In With....Neil Percy

Posted: March 08, 2010

Article published by Business Desk, North West

Job title:  Vice President, customer service and operations
Organisation: Shred-it
Employees: 404

Who has had the biggest influence on your career to date?  It is difficult to pinpoint just one person. However, my father is a successful business consultant, and gave me the belief and confidence to succeed.

What are your key responsibilities? Developing the day-to-day security, efficiency, operational delivery and subsequent customer support services of the Shred-it business.

What do you enjoy most and least about your role? Developing the careers of those people that I work with and manage and helping them to be successful. I least enjoy hearing of businesses operating within our sector which cut corners when it comes to ensuring their document destruction process is completely secure.

As a business leader, what's the key to managing people? I believe in taking an interest in and trying to understand what are the important motivating drivers for each person, whether in terms of career, financial or personal goals. From this I believe in developing a career plan with defined support and training to help them towards these targets.

What are the biggest barriers to your organisation's success?  While I believe all barriers may be challenged and overcome the single largest barrier is in the general market place confusing the secure destruction of confidential material as a waste issue. If such materials were waste why would someone benefit from accessing and stealing such material?

What more could be done to help businesses still struggling?  I don't believe there is one magic solution. People far better positioned than I believe the answer lies in a mixture of the return of both available and affordable finance at realistic rates to SME business. I tend to agree.   

How has technology changed your life in the last five years?  The availability of information and the speed at which information may be transferred  and acted upon. In particular mobile technology such as the BlackBerry allows me to remain in contact and function wherever I am.

How has it changed/impacted on your business in the same period?  Technology continues to improve our speed of reaction to our customers security needs.

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what alternative career would you chose and why? I enjoy travelling and visiting new places. A career as a travel journalist would be a good alternative.

Which sectors do you think will thrive/ struggle in the coming years? Manufacturing in the UK has struggled for many years owing to a variety of economic factors. I don't see things improving in this sector in the near future. I am lucky to be working in field of information security. This is a sector that is developing rapidly and I see many years' growth ahead. A substantial percentage of the market place remains un-served

What do you feel are the key skills/qualities needed to run a successful business in the 21st Century?  I think the basic qualities to succeed have changed little. Strong leadership with a clear strategy and values understood by all. A focused and motivated workforce is key in delivering strong customer service and to provide differentiation from other providers. 

Which public figure do you admire most and why? Sir Ranulph Fiennes. I am always impressed by people who are prepared to challenge both themselves and the unknown and ask the question  "What if ......"

In five words, describe your character: Considered, confident, sociable, resilient and respectful.

Which actor/ would you chose to play you in a film and why?  I'm told my voice sounds similar to that of David Morrissey so he may be a close fit.

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