March 27, 2018
Allied Fleet’s production department works hard to continually develop new designs and produce high quality vehicles. Commercial contracts and tenders manager, Steven Smith, does everything from sourcing parts and compiling seating layouts to researching for future innovations.
Here we speak to Steven for some behind the scenes insight as to what’s involved in this role.
“When I receive bespoke orders the first thing I do is try and source the necessary parts.”
Hi Steven, how long have you been working with the company?
I first started with the company in June 2003 as a production line vehicle assembler working on the E7™ taxi. It wasn’t the original position I applied for but that’s the one I ended up getting! From there I’ve worked on various products, including our FlexiLite™ minibus conversions.
So what does a normal day look like in the production office?
I’ve hung up my overalls and I’m now office based, which is a big difference. I start the day by checking emails from suppliers for enquiries that I’ve made and helping out sales with any unique enquiries they receive. I look at every component of the vehicle and take into account the entire costs for materials, labour and accessories, to name but a few factors.
With how intricate my tasks can be, every day is different and I’m always learning new things which helps me in the long run.
Understandably with new products, such as the FlexiLite™ minibus, or even bespoke orders, there can be a bit more work involved. What does this entail?
When I receive bespoke orders, which is most weeks, the first thing I do is try and source the necessary parts if it’s something we haven’t fitted to a vehicle before. I would also consult with other organisations and suppliers who may have used similar parts before to gain some insight into how best to use these in our builds.
What are the biggest challenges you face in your role?
The toughest aspect of my job is collating information which has never been done before. As I’ve not been in this position for long, I’m still getting used to the processes and there’s a challenge every day. Jobs can be held up by delays in delivery or availability and I can’t do much about it as it’s out of my control.
And finally, what do you enjoy most?
I really enjoy the variety. I’m always learning new things which helps me in the long run. My tasks don’t feel monotonous as they’re all different and it’s the same with the people I speak to.