As EMR grows and tackles the ever-more-complex challenges of building a sustainable and circular economy, its use of software and IT systems is also evolving fast.
Overseeing some of this change is Simon Wilson, Product Owner at EMR.
“My role is to sit in between the development team and the business, gathering the requirements of the different departments and putting together a plan to make sure they align with the overall business strategy. We have a development approach which is focused on user experience. It’s then my responsibility to ensure that the development team understand the business requirements and that software is developed and tested thoroughly,”
As EMR has grown, its technology needs have changed. Simon is helping lead the transition from on-premise, in-house developed software solutions to a range of robust cloud-based in house solutions and globally-recognised platforms.
It’s all about finding the best solution for the situation. For example, Simon is leading the roll-out of EMR’s online customer portal, for customers to request payment and update their own account details, using in-house developed tech. On the flipside EMR’s buyers and salespeople have a need to update contact details, appointments, and notes for their accounts whilst on the road and here an external solution is chosen.
“We are redeveloping our legacy account management system and moving this to the cloud, and all of our internal systems will ‘talk’ to this. We went live with this for retail accounts in February and I am responsible for the management of this evolution to the cloud,”
Moving from internal software options to the latest technology developed by software giants doesn’t come without risks, however:
“the challenge is that, because of the way the metal recycling industry operates, everything has to be able to run offline as well. How do we do that if we aren’t able to connect to the cloud?
“It’s one of the many areas of focus that my team have to keep at the front of our mind as we develop and deliver new software into the business.”
Simon says his overarching mantra is ‘keep it simple, stupid’:
“When my team and I were developing our new customer portal we needed to make sure that the customer journey would be very smooth. We don’t want to hinder customers from what they want to do.”
This passion for creating easy-to-use and customer-friendly experiences has been a continuing theme of Simon’s career:
“After college, I began working at Argos’s then parent company, Home Retail Group, in their customer service department. I was answering calls and booking in deliveries. My supervisor soon realised I am not someone who will sit quietly when there is a process that isn’t working and I became part of a model office team, trialling ways in which the business could improve its customer journey.”
During this early part of his career, Simon also developed his software expertise in a rather unique way, testing computer games to find ‘bugs & exploits’ for gaming firm EA. As part of the community group BFROC (Battlefield Rules of Combat) Simon also helped to manage 50 gaming servers worldwide.
It was after working as for Global Freight Solutions in a range of customer service roles that Simon was given the opportunity to become Junior Project Manager (Product Specialist) at the firm, beginning his career in software development.
“It’s a great time to be involved in this industry and I’m excited because, at EMR, we’re doing a lot of different and new things which require software solutions."
As EMR focuses on building a sustainable, circular economy built on state-of-the-art recycling technology, Simon Wilson’s commitment to developing great software solutions will ensure the business maintains its reputation for customer service excellence.