Nick Smith | Technical Project Engineer | Lift & Access Products
Lift Installations, Refurbishments and Modernisations across the north of the UK
Nick is a Technical Project Engineer for Pickerings Lifts. He’s based out of Leeds, but he’s responsible for tendering for lift installations, lift refurbishments and lift modernisations, across the north of the UK, from Birmingham, up to the Western Isles of Scotland.
He works with both prospects and customers to tailor lift modernisation solutions to their needs, with a special emphasis on improving the reliability and performance of their lifts.
He joined Pickerings Lifts in August 2015. We caught up with him whilst on site at St James’ NHS Teaching Hospital in Leeds where he was overseeing the refurbishment of their lifts.
Q: You joined Pickerings Lifts fairly recently. Had you previously worked in the lift industry?
“Oh yes, for forty-five years. I served a full five-year apprenticeship, attended college once per week, and an additional night school for electronics, to become a Lift Technician.”
Q: How does Pickerings Lifts do things differently to other businesses you have worked with?
“Pickerings Lifts have always had an emphasis on quality, and they’ve gone to enormous lengths to put in place the processes and Health and Safety safeguards necessary to gain a whole range of accreditations and memberships.
They were one of the first in the industry to gain ISO45001 (replacing the 18001) and they already had 9001 and 14001. They’re also Constructionline Gold accredited and CHAS compliant.
For me, what you see is what you get with Pickerings Lifts… quality.”
Q: Has anything in your role changed because of the Covid-19 crisis?
“Not much really. We’re essential workers, so to speak. Not like the NHS of course, but because we keep key Customers like hospitals, care homes and major supermarkets up-and-running. They all rely heavily on the lifts we maintain and install, so we’ve been on-call all the way through.
Yes, we’ve had to be more careful, but we are finding that’s the new norm now isn’t it?”
Q: What qualities do you think are most needed to be successful in your role?
“The ability to listen! Really listen!
People have a tendency to think a lift, is a lift. But nearly every new lift installation we do is different. It could be a lot different, or it could just have minor differences.
Either way, it’s not a simple as one-size-fits-all, so you’ve got to listen and really understand what’s needed from the customer.”
Q: What is the most interesting thing you have worked on/memorable experience at Pickerings Lifts?
“There have been several Projects that come to mind, but one particular client asked us to modernise 23 Lifts, worth £1.7M, over a period of 4 months! That was quite an ask, as something like that would normally take 8-10 months.
But our Modernisation Team were up-to-it. We mobilised the engineering teams and delivered the project on time and within budget.
We’re now ready to hand-over the second phase – which was a further 11 lifts, worth an additional £1.2m.”
Q: What makes you want to come into work in the morning?
“Life itself and looking after my family. I think that’s why most people work isn’t it?
[At this point Nick gives me a cheeky grin]
but… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoy my job too. That helps.”
Q: What did you want to be when you were younger?
“A professional footballer. I even had trials with both Bradford City AFC and with Leeds United AFC. Unfortunately I didn’t make the grade, so played semi-pro football for many years, before I moved on to being an Engineer, to follow in my father’s footsteps.”