#RealPeople | Loading Systems | Ken Oldfield, Regional Sales Manager (North or England and Scotland)
Ken is the Loading Systems Regional Sales Manager for the North of England and Scotland, home based out of Preston. He joined Pickerings Lifts on March 9th 2020, just before the first Covid-19 lockdown.
There are a multitude of products in Ken’s portfolio… dock levellers, scissor lifts, dock shelters, and dock seals, loading houses, vehicle restraints, automatic barriers, loading bay communications, and roller shutter, insulated sectional, security and High speed doors.
He works with customers to understand their loading bay needs, and advise them on the most appropriate solutions, to help them with cost efficiency, energy saving and practicality.
We caught up with him before he headed up to Glasgow to do a site survey for a customer.
Q: Have you previously worked in the lift industry? If so, for how long and in what capacity?
“Oh, I’ve been in the industry quite a while. I’ve sold goods lifts, and scissor lifts for over 25 years.”
Q: How does Pickerings Lifts do things differently to the other businesses you have worked with?
“Pickerings Lifts has good people in key positions. This helps the business achieve goals and work together. There’s better teamwork at Pickerings.”
Q: What are the key elements of your role?
“Well, it’s sales – but it’s not ‘simple’ sales. Everyone’s loading bay needs are different, and they can be quite complex, requiring individual solutions to individual issues and environments.
For instance, one day I might be handling a single item job such as a roller-shutter industrial door. The next I might be working with the customer to find a solution for a twenty or thirty loading bay national warehouse hub, and that in itself might involve dock levellers, dock seals to retain stock integrity, scissor lifts, vehicle restraints to stop the articulated lorries shifting dangerously, and high speed or ‘fast’ doors, to maintain ambient temperatures.
So selling loading system products, maintenance and servicing can really be about extremes. We can be dealing with an owner-user at one end of the scale, and the procurement and facilities department of a multi-national logistics or retail corporation, at the other.”
Q: What has changed about your role since the Covid-19 crisis?
“Oh I should imagine the same as everyone else. Arranging meetings has been harder. Some now take part over Zoom, but sometimes my role needs face-to-face contact to create the correct solution for our customer.”
Q: What qualities do you think are most needed to be successful in your role?
“You need to be professional, likeable, trustworthy, and know your stuff! Especially the last. Knowledge and experience counts for an awful lot where health and safety and cost-efficiency are involved.”
Q: What are the most memorable experiences you have about working at Pickerings Lifts so far?
“Being able to create a bespoke scissor lift project solution, for one of our major account customers, and close the deal. But also, being able to talk to new customers, knowing we’re in a position to help them and offer the best advice.”
Q: You are attending a dinner party and can invite three famous people past or present – who would you invite and why?
“Geoff Boycott – straight talking individual and my cricketing Hero when I was growing up…
Frank Worthington – an Ex Huddersfield Town Footballer…
And Boris Johnson – so I could ask him what he would do better if he had another shot at Brexit and Covid-19 decisions [he laughs].”
Q: What makes you want to head into work in the morning?
“Ah. For me personally, it’s about knowing I can help customers daily. Plus, I’m working with some great professional colleagues who make it easier.”
Q: What did you want to be when you were younger?
[He laughs again] “Would you believe, a Draughtsman or in the RAF?”
Q: Which historical figure would you most like to meet?
“Winston Churchill. Who wouldn’t? No matter what you think of him, he witnessed absolutely momentous times.”
Q: What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
“Drinking water, sun screen, and a case of Whiskey… not necessarily to be used in that order.” [he smiles].