When you reach a crossroad in your career, there are always options for growth at ABB, whichever way you turn.
Service Execution Manager - Measurement & Analytics
“…At ABB, everyone is heard and respected.”
Lee Smith, Service Execution Manager - Measurement & Analytics, Aberdeen, Scotland, achieved a university degree in Business Management with Marketing and soon secured a position with a major accounting firm. But after a year in the job, there was a problem.
“I decided accountancy just wasn’t for me,” said Lee.
Still young and at somewhat of a crossroads as to where he wanted to go with his career, Lee made a change to what he thought would be a relatively short-term position with ABB as a spares coordinator, which basically consists of looking after the ordering and delivery of spare parts and materials.
Fourteen years later, Lee is still with ABB, except now he is Service Execution Manager - Measurement & Analytics. “In my journey to where I am today, I’ve worked through various roles and I eventually moved into the Supply Chain and Internal Purchasing teams in Aberdeen.”
Owing to Lee’s success in his respective roles, in 2016 ABB transferred coordination activities for all the UK service engineers and the local team leaders to Lee, to form a new team.
Lee said, “It was a challenge, but was highly successful and marked the first time ABB had consolidated such services as a single entity within the company. We built a really strong team that I’m very proud of, and I stayed in that role until 2020, when I moved again to my current position as service execution manager.
“I must mention that I was mentored all along by two very good senior managers at ABB, one of whom cornered me when we ran into each other at Manchester airport and asked me if I’d be interested in pursuing a management development program, starting with an Open University master’s degree, all funded by ABB. From that you can rightly deduce that ABB was way ahead of me in terms of mapping my career. They saw how much I enjoy working with and managing people.”
Lee continued, “One of the great things about ABB is that everyone is respected as an individual. It’s part of our corporate culture to understand and nurture what motivates colleagues and support staff. ABB fully understands that, so is flexible about playing to strengths and accommodating individual employee circumstances to enable them to do their best work.” The strengths Lee describes were particularly important when remote working became commonplace. Valuable lessons were learned, and experience gained that are now key components of coordinating engineering staff that are geographically widespread and working at culturally diverse customer sites.
“The role of service execution manager for Measurement & Analytics definitely plays to my strengths,” said Lee. “The team are all highly experienced engineers, so they know what they’re doing. My job is to ensure they always get what they need to deliver the best customer service and support. It’s also a case of motivating them to be sure they are being mindful of what’s taking place outside their direct area of responsibility. It’s not just about going in and installing a new analyser or fixing a legacy device and leaving. It’s about being aware of the context to not only ensure what is being done is the best course of action, but that it's being done in a way that takes into consideration the possibility of equally beneficial improvements that could be performed concurrently, or in the future.”
Lee states that you need to be your customer’s focal point and help them evaluate various technologies to jointly arrive at the best solution with complete confidence.
“The aim is to seamlessly blend management, sales and engineering so we’re all speaking with one voice,” Lee said. “It’s one of the things that gets me motivated every morning. No two days are the same, so I know I’m going to be challenged to keep everyone moving forward together, and I look forward to it.
“You want to make everyone as efficient as possible and provide the motivation to do their best work every day. You do that with encouragement, collaboration, and teamwork. It’s built on mutual trust, with input from every part of the equation. ABB-style inclusivity ensures that everyone is heard, and respected.”