Developing a career in Sowga
Having worked at Sowga for a number of years in multiple roles, Sam Lee has experienced all aspects of life at the company. Through the various jobs he has undertaken, Sam has been involved in all areas of our core service groups - Compliance, Maintenance & Projects. Here we find out more about his progression within the business.
After graduating university with a BA Hons History degree, Sam was unsure of his career path. His main priority was to find somewhere with opportunities to develop his skills. After spending the first few months working in part time jobs, the chance to join Sowga arose. From the start it was clear that the leadership team felt very strongly about career development, affording opportunities to staff wherever possible, and this made joining Sowga an easy decision to make. While he enjoyed his degree and the problem-solving skills it taught him, Sam knew he wanted to step away from History books to work in a more practical profession.
Starting as a trainee gas engineer, Sam gained experience in the field while completing a Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Plumbing and Heating. Later, he joined the mechanical installation side of the organisation, working primarily on the installation of Air Conditioning systems in pubs and commercial buildings – notably with Weatherspoon and on one of Sowga's biggest installation projects to date at Piccadilly Circus in London.
Following this success, Sam was able to transfer his skills by joining the outer London mobile maintenance team, visiting sites across the South, from Slough to Southampton, to conduct PPM and reactive maintenance tasks. These included fire alarm tests and temperature checks, as well as assisting client sites that had lost heating, cooling or power.
Through this client-facing role, Sam's business acumen became apparent, and as a result our MD Dave Howard and Commercial Director Aaron Guidice invited him to aid the development of the commercial side of the organisation. And he's never looked back.
In his role as Business Improvement Executive, Sam assists all facets of the organisation, working closely with all departments to aid and improve all internal processes. He has conducted a number of internal audits on Sowga's processes, looking at a variety of aspects such as profit and loss, subcontractor and supplier consolidation, and assisted in the compliance of our accreditation credentials such as ISO 9001, 14001 & 18001.
Sam is now a key member of our tender bidding team, with data input and the presentation of bids being cornerstones of his duties. He also doubles as our in-house IT consultant, aiding office staff and engineers alike when they need support on technical issues involving digital information. His wealth of experience across the different areas of the company has proved invaluable to our business development. Sam has been instrumental in driving the improvement of a number of internal processes such as quoting and reporting, by implementing a new CAFM system (SimPRO) across the organisation. Alongside understanding how the system worked and how best it should be implemented, this project consisted of a huge amount of data input, such as the integration of the SFG20 catalogue task by task.
Now a driving force in Sowga's mobilisation team, after winning a contract Sam supports our contract manager, engineers and office staff in providing the right level of service to our clients, occasionally working on clients' sites to offer additional staff support when needed.
More recently, Sam has been heavily involved in developing Sowga's new brand identity, working closely with the marketing agency PMW Communications to reimagine the company's image, evidenced in Sowga's new-look website. He has also been reviewing company-wide communications, implementing a series of new measures such as satisfaction pulse surveys and newsletters. Behind the scenes, he's been busy studying to complete a Level 5 HND in Business, and is hoping to obtain his BA Hons degree in Business over the following year. We wish him every success; we know he will go far.
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