A day in the life at Temple…General Manager
My role as General Manager means I have responsibility for a wide range of activities within Temple, covering Operations, IT, and Facilities. I’ve spent just over four years with Temple and have seen a lot of exciting changes within that time. I really enjoy working for a company where change and growth are encouraged, and all ideas are welcome.
My days can vary, so I plan for some time to focus and ‘get my head down’ each day around meetings (sometimes easier said than done!) and I usually get into the office at least twice a week when meetings aren’t back-to-back. I find using my calendar really useful for planning my days and weeks and ensuring I can prioritise urgent requests against longer running projects.
As we approach the end of the calendar year, I am busy planning for April onwards, spending time working on my budgets and business plans for the new financial year. I have a monthly meeting with our Management Accountant to ensure that spending the last month across Operations, Facilities and IT is within budget. We look ahead at forecasted spending to check it’s accurate and add in any additional costs or savings against the budget which I know are coming up. Tracking and constantly revising budgets means that a lot of the groundwork for the new financial year is already done and I’ll start writing proposals for additional spending on new projects as I write my business plan.
I also have my regular bi-weekly meeting with our Financial Controller where we check in on any cross functional projects, which currently include plans for purchasing IT equipment in the new year, and we also iron out any issues or queries. Our teams work together every day so it’s helpful to have time set aside to catch up and it’s another opportunity to look ahead.
I check in with my team. I’m currently managing Temple’s Support Team whilst our Office and Facilities Manager is on maternity leave, and I also manage our IT Consultant. I have one-to-ones with the team each week to resolve challenges and share ideas on improvements to best support our colleagues in technical teams and across the other functions.
I finish the morning by replying to emails and approving some purchase orders, checking items are allocated to the correct budgets. I’m terrible at getting away from my desk at lunchtime, especially in Winter but the intention is always there!
I oversee Temple’s suppliers and supplier contracts and today I’m ordering three replacement electric vans for our fleet. A project this year has been assessing the fleet that we need for our ecology work, and it’s been exciting to move over to electric vehicles from diesel where practical. We’re careful to ensure our purchasing is in line with our Sustainability Strategy and are constantly looking for ways to reduce our footprint within our supply chain.
Managing suppliers also include our network of Sub-consultants who are a key part of the business. Today I’m setting up a new Sub-consultant to work with us on one of our major projects, ensuring they have the correct skills and experience and checking their insurance meets ours and our client’s requirements. I’ll also liaise with them on our terms and conditions; I may need to get advice from our Commercial Director or our lawyer depending on the Sub-consultant’s feedback.
One of the highlights at the end of the year is planning (and attending) Temple’s Christmas parties and other activities for the festive season! I work with our London office lead to finalise plans and communications for our London party which will also include our Haywards Heath, Norwich, and Lewes teams. I also make some final arrangements for our Wakefield, Lichfield, and Manchester teams’ joint Christmas party in Leeds. We’re really excited to get teams together to celebrate the end of another very busy year!
I finish the afternoon by working on an internal procedure I’m writing on managing insurance claims. I have managed our insurance policies and our annual renewal for the last two years and I’ve learned a lot about an area I did not previously have experience in, so now I’m focusing on getting a lot of information that is either in my head or in various documents written down. I work closely with our brokers to make sure they are always updated on changes that affect our policies, such as our fleet of vehicles, offices, equipment, and changes to our working practices.
I finish up by looking at my calendar for the following day, adding time to focus on anything urgent that I didn’t get around to, and rejigging other priorities where needed.