For this month’s Staff Profile, meet Stephen Nelson, the Estimating Manager at Swanline Group who has been with the company for over 12 years, and in his current role for the past four. Steve’s journey at Swanline is one of determination and hard work, having started as an admin assistant and worked his way up the ranks to become the Estimating Manager.
Interestingly, Swanline was Steve’s first ‘proper’ job, and he almost didn’t apply for the admin assistant role at Swanline because of a spelling mistake he made on his application form, but luckily his mother encouraged him to submit a CV and cover note instead. Within three years Steve’s potential was spotted by then Estimating Manager, Ian Wass, who pushed him to apply for an estimator role, from which he progressed to his current position.
As the Estimating Manager, Steve is responsible for overseeing all pricing submissions at Swanline. He ensures that his team responds quickly to all customers’ briefs, from small single item jobs to large multi-component displays, and prioritises them accordingly. He liaises with the sales team on a daily basis to make sure that job brief details are thorough, and prices are reflected correctly. Steve is proud to be a ‘go to’ person when anyone has a question that is Swanline related. From working in different departments, even helping out on the factory floor when needed, he’s gained a lot of knowledge of how Swanline runs. He enjoys liaising with customers about Swanline’s capabilities and has formed great relationships with a lot of the customers. “I’m always just a phone call away if any customers have a question, and if I don’t know the answer – I will find out!” states Steve.
For Steve, the best part of working at Swanline is the people. “I always have someone who has my back at work, whether it’s my team or the people I sit close to, we all look out for each other. I’m also so grateful for Nick Kirby and Richard Towers for having faith in me, it goes a long way.” Steve tells us.
His proudest moment at Swanline was implementing a new pricing system from the ground up, a process that took 14-16 months to complete back in 2017. “We took the historic system and ripped it apart, starting completely from scratch and still use the one I implemented to this day.”
Steve’s fondest memories of working at Swanline are the get-togethers and parties that he has enjoyed with his colleagues, getting to know them outside of work.
When Steve isn’t estimating for Swanline customers, he is a self-proclaimed ‘adrenaline junkie’ who loves climbing, skydiving, sim racing, and mountain biking. He even has a climbing wall in his home! Steve got his licence at the start of last year and has done 23 jumps already. Steve has also shaved his head for charity annually for the past three years, raising close to £4,000 for Douglas Macmillan. Last year he had his head shaved into a mullet style and the more money raised, the longer he had to keep it in that style.
In his department, Steve encourages his team to own their mistakes, a motto he believes is important to live by. “A big thing in our department is owning your mistakes, if you put an excuse behind it, you will never learn from it but if you own it, you will never make that mistake again.”