McFT Blazing the Trail

Published: 26 Jan 2018

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McFT is a very ordinary business. We fix cookers and fridges – in commercial kitchens. Technicians in vans, attending sites around the country, resolving issues.

And therein lies the challenge.

If your entire proposition is built around the engineer who arrives with a smile, resolves the issue, leaves a customer who values the service, you have a future. If that engineer experience is mediocre, your business will be, at best, mediocre. And not for long.

Couldn’t be clearer. Now, what you do about it is a different matter…pretty complex.

And it ranges from deciding on your target market and properly understanding their requirement; setting up systems and processes to handle workload and send/receive information from the field- and fully documenting everything which has been done – to ensuring your technicians have the regulatory training but also the constantly developing manufacturer training – whilst emphasising the soft skills and the commercial sensibilities which will help deliver profitable business performance. (all the above delivered by People!)

This in an industry without even common agreement on what a catering engineer does – still less a qualification or accredited training. Playing with gas, electricity, refrigerant – and busy, hot kitchens.

The “glass-half-empty” says that’s a crazy place to start off.

The “glass-half-full” says what a fantastic opportunity...

We think we’ve demonstrated a lot of the commitment and living the values – who else do you know who is IiP Platinum and has a Princess Royal Training Award? And has a client list which testifies to those standards? Alongside compound annual growth of 28%.

And we do think there’s another half of the glass to fill – just how far can we take this thing?

We believe there’s lots more potential in the UK – not least around our Franchise Model -  and then we’ve started in the Middle East (with operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar) – aiming to be open in Saudi Arabia in 2019. And then who knows – could we do something across the Atlantic – or, with our developing relationships in the Netherlands, start a European base?

From 100 or so folk in the UK and 40 in the Gulf – could we become the preferred service provider in multi-national territories???

We’re looking for a critical member of the leadership team who will help make it happen – the Head of People.

Interesting conversation with a colleague the other day : how will the HR team grow as our numbers increase? And the answer was “we’ll be more efficient – so a lot slower than the growth in numbers.” Difficult to argue with that. And if the strict definition of HR is admin – hopefully correct.

But if the issue is around people in a field service operation under pressure, the challenge is not admin – the challenge is engagement. What does the future of field-service engagement look like? how much self-managed teams, how much black box, how much just culture? Did you see the feature on bottom-up leaders? Do you know that 90% of the people we interview have never heard of Lean – simply couldn’t happen in manufacturing. Fewer than 15% have heard of Emotional Intelligence, still less Span-of-Control or Negativity Bias…

And we’re not blind to cutting-edge tech – we’re just embarking on a KTP project with Cranfield to help our field technicians by the use of AR – why use spanners when you can use the Force? And our IT folk, despite popular rumour, are human too. Just a different species – with particular needs…

I see other recruitment features talk about the impact of this role on your career: very simple : nothing else will ever compare. You will help create something unique – if we’re not being talked about over the next 20 years, we will not have done it properly. Whether towards the start of your career or rounding it out.

What sort of person are we looking for ? Massive commitment – sorry, this is not a work/life balance role, energy, drive, imagination, life, cerebral empathy, insight, un-precious, appropriate, focus, erudite, vulnerable, perspective, relentless curiosity, execution. Making stuff happen. Changing lives.

Full on? Yes. Moderated and passionate in balance.

If you’re looking for a mission, come and talk to us – a brief, chatty note as well as a CV to Chris@McFT.com. NO AGENCIES, not even NASA. 

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