In the second edition of our Cameo team Q&A series, we speak to Bid and Planning Manager, Steven Gray, who discusses his journey from logging calls to his current role, why trust is such an integral factor in hardware support, and why the ability to adapt to change is the key to success.

Describe your role at Cameo in no more than 100 words

As Bid Manager, it is my role to ensure that the bid team have a pricebook that is up to date with current market rates, to ensure competitive pricing for the company. I also review pricing for machines on a regular basis and support the bid team on high end requests that may require more specialist pricing.

As Planning Manager, it is my role to ensure that all parts are held within our forwarding stocking locations using the information provided by the customer and the SLA that we adhere to, referenced against expected failure rates for the components within the machines on support. I also review live failure rates for items already on support.

In your own words, what makes Cameo different from other companies?

Cameo is a company that prides itself on its customer service and delivery of support first and foremost, putting the priority on fixing any issues rather than searching for somebody to blame and then reviewing the process accordingly to avoid any issues happening in the future. The company is fluid and is always looking to evolve and change in line with the times.

Give us a brief overview of your career in the IT channel sector so far

I started off in the industry at the age of 17 and have worked in the IT sector ever since, starting off in a call centre logging calls and ensuring they were routed to the correct teams for specific technical advice/resource. I then moved onto the technical call centre providing second line support for users with faults and gaining valuable experience about how different machines worked.

From there, I worked in a contracts administration team processing agreements and ensuring that all items that had been placed on support were on the correct SLA and logged at the correct locations.

I then joined a planning and bid team, effectively planning for the parts on support as well as quoting for the business itself.  This allowed me to gain valuable knowledge on component value and market rates, as well as understanding the process of what parts to put where based on an SLA requirement.

In your experience, how are the hardware support needs of channel partners evolving and why?

I believe that most customers are still interested in delivery of SLA, but the evolving nature of business has shown that customer service relationships are becoming more and more important as time goes on – with trust being a key factor.

Where do you see the biggest opportunity for channel partners to improve IT hardware support services for the end user?

Training and investment into the areas that are likely to come onto support, to ensure that there is technical resource and parts availability for machines that come out of manufacturer support.

What’s next for you as Bid and Planning Manager and how do you see your role changing over the next five years?

For me personally, having been at Cameo for a year I see the role evolving to include organic growth in both teams with roles specific to each area the more that the business develops. For this to be successful, we are always looking for better ways to streamline the processes that we undertake to provide the best service to our customers.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to anyone wanting to take up your role in the industry?

Always look to be flexible and receptive to ideas, if you are process driven but are unable to adapt to change you don’t get very far and business suffers as a result.