Today we are going behind the scenes at Ultimate for the first in our ‘Meet the Team’ series. First up is Dan Platt, one of our three Directors.
1. Let’s start from the beginning. In brief, describe the role of your job at Ultimate and what you do?
Working closely with our Senior Management Team and fellow Directors, I am involved in all aspects of the business, from Sales, Accounts, Estimating, Contracts Management, Design & Specifying, liaising and negotiating with suppliers and sub-contractors, overseeing Health & Safety and also general business development such as branding, website, social media, brochures and the like, so you could say I never have a quiet day… which is just the way I like it!
2. All things considered, what type of work and projects excites you?
It is a pleasure to deliver what you promise as part of a team and to see a happy customer at the end.
All projects, buildings, clients and design criteria are different; there are no two alike….I would have to say large fit outs are my preferred projects, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a hotel, office or restaurant…. large schemes have a long programme on site and you really get to know all the people involved from the client team through to the the various sub-contractors, building managers, landlords, health & safety co-ordinators, architects and interior designers etc. Liaising daily and meeting weekly by the end of a project you have all been on a journey together, through the various challenges of a project and all being well at the end you become a big family and really know one another. It is a pleasure to deliver what you promise as part of a team and to see a happy customer at the end.
3. What incredible new invention would make your job easier and turbo charge your productivity?
It would have to be cloning our people, we have steadily built ‘Ultimate’ over the years and added team members along the way and it seems no matter how many we have in our team everyone is always flat out. We have focused on finding people that are multi-skilled for example most of our Contracts and Estimating team are ex-site fitters / joiners. We find people with extensive site experience are hardworking and excellent at estimating and project management whilst fully understanding the importance of Health & Safety and customer service.
4. When all the hard work is over, what is the most satisfying aspect of your job at Ultimate?
The best part of our job has to be the handover of a successful project, being able to walk around your creation that only several weeks ago was a vision on paper is very satisfying.
5. If you could teach one lesson to your younger self about your area of work, what would it be?
Put a big importance on being a master of time management and map out your daily activities and be flexible, this is all crucial to ensure you don’t go insane and ensure smooth delivery of a project. There are so many ‘plates to spin’ at once and more so when your involved in more than one project at a time which as always the case. You build a project from the bottom and each one has the same process to take it from an initial conversation to getting it onsite. The process most usually involves an initial client meeting to discuss design expectations and then you need to go through a sequence of surveying the site, creating a scope of works, pricing the works, negotiating the numbers, agreeing a payment plan, project procurement, Contracts Management, overseeing the Health & Safety and managing client expectations.
6. When a project presents you with a difficult challenge, what is your ‘go-to’ tactic for tackling it?
Hit it head on and call on your team for input and alternative viewpoints as it is highly likely someone else has faced the challenge before. Every project will have a challenge and some more so than others, in contracting you quickly learn that nothing goes smoothly, you have to be flexible and prepared to change.
7. Finally, at the end of a long working week, what does your perfect weekend involve?
Chilling out with family and friends, good food, good wine, gym and MotoGP all make up my weekends and allow me to full recharge ready for a busy week ahead.
Posted May 12, 2015