Meet Paul Smith, Commercial and Operations Manager
20 June 2019
Paul joined TJ in April 2018 as Commercial and Operations Manager. In his 16 months at the company he has made a big impact with his hard work on various projects. Paul splits his time between Bristol and the south coast to ensure all his areas of responsibility are running smoothly. In his spare time, Paul enjoys running, skiing and living by the coast and all that has to offer.
What does your role involve?
Pretty much everything! It’s certainly a very varied role and because I’m responsible for both the south coast and the south west, I travel from Fareham to Bristol quite a bit. TJ’s Avonmouth site was purchased at the start of 2018 and I started shortly after so I’ve been responsible for the development of the site. It’s a 10-acre piece of shared land, which had to be engineered, services installed and offices built. We run our south west office from there and it is also home to around 35 TJ haulage lorries as well. I line manage two supervisors at Avonmouth and there are 25 full-time drivers within my remit too.
The other half of my time is dedicated to Forest Lodge Quarry in Hampshire. I work closely with Steve Grant, our Commercial Director to develop the quarry commercially. There are also several other business opportunities that we are exploring at the moment as well.
What’s your career background?
I’ve worked in the quarrying and aggregates industry for most of my life. I’ve held various commercial, operational and project-led roles over the past 20 years, which has given me some great experience that I’m now able to utilise in my current role.
What are the most interesting and challenging elements of your role?
The most interesting part is definitely the business strategy side. I love thinking about what we want to do next and how we’re going to do it. From there, the planning process and business strategies go hand in hand.
The most challenging element is time management. Working at two sites that are so far apart means that I have to travel between the two, which takes up a lot of my time. I have to manage my time well to ensure that I have enough time in the working week to complete all that I need to get done and that can be tough at times.
What are your objectives for the next 12 months?
Of the 10-acre Avonmouth site, TJ occupies only half of it so it’s my job to make the rest of the land profitable. We currently lease 1 acre to a soil remediation company and I’d like to find a few other companies to share the rest of the space with us, ideally companies that complement what we do, as the soil company does.
At Forest Lodge I want to make sure that they are achieving their volume outputs and selling the materials in the amounts that they should be. This in turn will ensure that we’re creating the void space that we need to for restoration in the future.
I also want to continue exploring some new business development opportunities. I enjoy assessing and analysing opportunities and creating business plans for possible projects. We also have one or two partnership possibilities on the cards at the moment, which we are considering.
What’s your top TJ work achievement?
Definitely the development of the Avonmouth site, which I’ve led from day one until now and is still ongoing. To manage that project from the start to almost completion is very satisfying. Recently, some of the senior TJ managers made the long trip to the site to see how it was going and I received some very positive feedback from them, which was great to hear and very rewarding. Makes all the hard work worth it!
Why is TJ a great place to work?
The people are lovely and whatever part of TJ you’re working in, there’s always a great, humorous but hard working atmosphere. Everyone pulls together to do the best job they can.
I love the fact that I’m trusted to get on with the task at hand; I’m free to use my initiative to carry out my work in the way I feel is best, so when things are going well, I know it’s down to my hard work and acumen.
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