Q&A with Paul Stevens from Independent Network
August 10, 2019
Where do you come from?
Originally from Watford in Hertfordshire, but I currently live in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.
What’s your background?
After leaving school I completed my apprenticeship in Carpentry and joinery where I was tempted to the bright lights of the uPVC industry. My experience has been working with large national companies as well as smaller local companies and some of these include Everest, Anglian and Amdega!
I’ve become proficient in most areas of our industry from Service Engineer to Installer, Surveyor, Project Manager and ending up as Operations Manager.
How long have you worked in the industry for?
I’ve worked in the industry for over 30 years!
What made you want to work for Independent Network?
Having experience with the VEKA profile over the years and knowing their strong reputation, when the opportunity arose to join Independent Network, it was a position which I couldn’t refuse!
How long were you an installer for?
I was an installer for 15 years, the first part was mainly with windows and doors and the latter part was installing windows and conservatories so I’ve got a broad experience of our industry.
Why did you change roles?
The chance to be at the front end of the business rather than the back end of the business giving me the opportunity to influence and make changes as opposed to being reactive at previous companies.
What do you do at Independent Network?
I have a very varied role and will mainly be involved from the operational side of the business and will be looking at our installer members, their fitters/surveyors to identify where improvements can be made. There will be site audits with our fabricators to determine where we are with our unbroken chain of quality. I will also be looking at new affiliate members to enhance our Independent Network offering by bringing on more technical services that will help our members on a day to day basis.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy travelling around the country and meeting our members face to face, discussing how we move forward as a membership and just having a good old chat!
What have you implemented at Independent Network?
I’ve implemented new ways of providing technical support to our members, including: fact sheets, the Vision, training sessions and our new Whatsapp line where you can gain instant technical support.
What do you think about the fenestration industry?
The fenestration industry gets a bad reputation from hard pressure sales and unqualified workmen, to coin a phrase there are some ‘Cowboy traders’ out there. But with Independent Network’s Installer programme we’re striving to change customer’s perceptions.
Which two things would you like to learn this year?
I’d like to achieve my coaching badges in football to help my son’s football team, as you know I’m an avid Chelsea supporter!
With my son learning the drums at school, I’d like to pick up where I left off so we can learn to play the drums together.
What’s your party trick?
I’m notorious for being the fastest at downing a bottle of beer with a straw in less than 2 seconds!
Which animal represents you most and why?