It has been two months since we fully integrated our Logic paperless system at each of our depots. This month, we caught up with a member of the Logic Technical Team who supported the roll-out of this technical innovation to find out what’s next on the agenda for digital technology at HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd.
Richard Fox, Digital Coordinator, joined HW Martin (Traffic Management) Ltd back in 2021. He transferred from one of the organisation’s sister companies, HW Martin Plant.
Richard, could you tell us a bit more about what you do for us here in Traffic Management?
The Technical Team is working hard to help improve how the business carries out its duties efficiently and effectively. My focus up until recently was transferring us over to using the electronic work instructions. As my job title suggests, I will have an involvement with many things digital, and will be supporting many projects that involve a transformation to digital ways of working.
Most people will know you from the time you’ve spent at our depots recently supporting the role out of Logic. Why has this been such an important step for the business?
I think the business wants to make the rollout of Logic a success and make it the right fit for the way we work. The importance of me, and the team, being out at the different depots is to make sure we’re all using the system correctly, and to gather important feedback on how to tailor the system to our specific requirements.
And in terms of what you do, what aspects are you most passionate about and why?
Everyone likes that feeling of having a productive day. I like providing the tools to help people be more productive and efficient, it means people are happier in their work, and have more time planning rather than rushing around doing.
I do enjoy problem solving, and with a new system there’s always a lot of problems to solve, so I’m kind of in my element.
And what led you here?
I started at HW Martin Plant over five-years ago where I helped the teams utilise their digital systems better. They were using those systems since before I started and I missed the opportunity to choose or develop the systems from the outset, so it felt like a golden opportunity to get involved with Logic at an early stage, with the bonus of doing it on a much bigger scale for Traffic Management.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishments so far, professionally or personally?
I wouldn’t say that I’ve really accomplished anything yet, I’m a harsh critic of myself. I guess like a lot of people out there, I’ve managed to stumble into things that keep my head above water.
Notable things that come to mind… Personally, I’ve completed two half-marathons, which are fun to look back on, but not so fun when you’re two hours in. Professionally, having no meaningful qualifications at all, I’ve held a variety of important roles over the years.
There’s a lot more I can/would like to do; I just need to keep being open to the opportunities revealing themselves.
What principles do you consider most necessary for success in a personal or professional sense then?
“Ubuntu” – I am better because we are better.
Take ownership and be accountable, don’t assume someone else is sorting it. Maintain integrity, do it right even though no one sees it.
Ask the right questions and don’t avoid asking questions. Time spent finding the answer is better than paying for a bad guess later down the line.
Thank you, Richard, that’s insightful. And what do you consider to be the biggest mistake you’ve ever made that taught you a lesson? And what was that lesson?
Some years back I started at a company where I came in at 100mph and was full of enthusiasm and drive. I started delivering the solutions that the business wanted, but they totally misunderstood the maturity of their business and culture. I had to tone it down a bit and tailor the approach to their ability. Now I avoid assuming things are face value.
I’ve got a few more personal questions for you now, to get a bit more of an insight into the man behind the technical hat?
What do you do outside of work?
Anything people ask me to do really. I’m never short of a chore at home.
Sometimes I get roped into all kinds of DIY, photo editing, making videos, crafting things out of wood, and helping friends with their tasks.
I squeeze in a run every now and again and I like learning about everything and anything
Do you have any pets?
Yes, a 12-year-old collie. We rescued her four-years ago, absolutely rubbish on the lead, but you can’t let her off because she’s deaf and doesn’t hear you calling her.
My wife has a horse, so I’m a horse-widower by trade. Sometimes I get invited to competitions, but only if there’s a lot to carry.
Anything else we should know about you?
I changed my life a couple of years back and became vegan, one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m saving the planet one day at a time. Being plant based as much as possible has such a positive impact on health, on so many levels
If you could do anything knowing you couldn’t fail, what is the one occupation you’d love to have and why?
I would like to have been some sort of mad inventor, coming up with new concepts, and bringing them to life. I’m never usually short of ideas so I’d be in that job for a while.
I’d like to finish with a look to the future if you don’t mind.
What is on the horizon for the technical team?
Lots. We’re just getting started with Logic, there are ideas to keep improving on the system over the coming years.
There are many other tools that the business uses currently that can be transformed, and new tools that we can source or build. There are new ways of working that we’ll devise, both in the office and out in the field.
The team don’t just support the business with software, we also help with hardware and assets, and even building projects like the new cone laying HGV.
I think that the more we move in the current direction, the more ideas will start to be generated, so we’ll not be short for things to get involved in.
What do you hope to achieve personally and or professionally in the near future?
A number of things!, I’ve always got something on at home that’s keeping me busy.
At work the team are cracking on the commercial elements of the Logic system right now, so I’m really focused on making those changes work in the way they need them to.
What are the traits you’d most like to be remembered for?
I’d like to be thought of as the person that sees through the mess and gets to the crux of the issue, someone that can connect the dots.
Anyone that knows me well enough knows I’m never short of a solution, it might not always be a serious one, but at least it’ll make us laugh until a real solution pops up.