A Working Day for John Shaw

World Markets Specialist

John originally joined the Army as a trainee mechanic. Rising up the ranks and qualifications at both military and civilian education level, he reached the position of military manager of the civilian workshop at the Royal School of Mechanical Engineering, supporting 100 staff. John remained in this role for 25 years, finishing in Chatham, Kent where he still happily resides with his family today. After leaving the Army, he took a year off before starting work for TIA Studios, then Serco and now USE*, all in the same role as World Market Diversity expert.
Old habits die hard: Reveille is 0530 and with ablutions completed, I’m ready to go for 0600. I pick up crew-man one from rendezvous at 0605 and head off into the dull-set wonders of the M25 for the 36 miles trip into work, now there’s an adventure that is never the same twice.  Hopefully we will arrive at the target zone for 0645-ish. Park, sneeze, security access and ready to go on today's world tour.

World Tour you say?  Well yes of course.  Being the World market Specialist, I support Technical Service Publications development /publishing and delivery to all of our prestigious automotive OEM client’s markets outside the areas of mainland Europe and North America, and which take a European based Model product and even some unique local versions of those models.

Supporting all 23 markets in our remit needs careful project planning and detailed daily time management. Covering as far a-field as Argentina/Brazil, crossing into mainland Europe and Asia for Turkey, India and Chinese needs. We finish up in the Asia Pacific region and the furthest time frame away; good old New Zealand.

I work to a yearly publications delivery support plan agreed with each market, to cover each model they take for that calendar year. Last year I covered 168 projects. These delivery timings are constitute my accountable metrics. Most of my work revolves around hitting those deliverables and targets and, more importantly, helping the customer in support of any those products needed locally.

Logged in now.

I launch our client’s Content Management System (no, I do not open Travel news and Sky News first thing) and run publication reports: this tells me workshop manual or wiring information compositions, labour times schedules, or owner handbooks that I need to ensure will be delivered to their relevant markets for today. I also check the status on all outstanding agency development projects and Translations thereof.

Next, I open the most useful tool: Outlook.

This is vital to us as we have to navigate market time frames from five hours behind the UK to 11 hours in front. There are only 133 mails this morning which is pretty average.  I ditch the junk and wow, down to 99 (the best ice cream). Then, I group those by sender and hence market. This way I can look to severity and respond to/act on those that fit the timeframe: New Zealand first, then backwards towards South America, depending on priority of course. And that’s my mail sorted for now.

Next I review my calendar for all those things that tend to be forgotten, move on and yes, I have a coffee and a smoke.

I then review completed reports and download compositions. I set up any meetings/audios or calls required for that day/week and review current projects for today/ tomorrow and arrange any admin for those.

Today I have to complete Turkish workshop manual and wiring information for delivery tomorrow.

This involves producing a PDF composition of 120 sections in Turkish, building it, reviewing the contents, correcting errors and finally filing.

It’s wiring diagrams next which follows the same process. I then extract from a database: labour times, servicing details and any new EU relevant training information. This is all included in the Turkish folder and loaded to the site. Now all that is left to do is advise the market; job done.

Next?  That will be a Chinese translation, the first manual we have developed for, and translated into Chinese from scratch in the client’s CMS. Files have to be sent individually, each forced to translation with six clicks. I have to do it this way to build up a new Chinese Translation Memory (TM). If I sent them all at once, there would be no TM built. Never mind, Allen in China (all these contacts have adopted a Western name) has translated 239 to date, and I only need to send another 389. I think I will get through another 50 today.

Then of course there is the matter of how do we deal with the fast balls...

Argentina just rang (blimey it's gone 1200 already):

'John we urgently need the new product publications to our reduced content specification. We have 100 vehicles arriving in November that we need to support at the dealers. These are trials for the launch in 2010 and will be given to our top customers for appraisal.'

'But,' I say,'we did not know, or discuss this on our quarterly audio back in July, where I could have planned it into my project planner! Why not Claudio?'

'Sorry John, it is urgent and I only found out yesterday. Can you help please?'

So there we have another one to add to the list, and another three days work. Luckily there is no unique content, only a cut down from the EU base material... in Spanish of course. (I could tell you the story from a few years ago with the previous Argentine contact, good old Carlos. We happened to get talking one day about life before Ford. It came about that he served in the Army and was in the Falklands conflict too. We remain good friends now, even though I was on the other side at the time: small world.)

Oh, did I mention that my latest new contact in Chile speaks no English? My only Spanish revolves around normal holiday speak, my German and French are OK, so that will help, but generally, we communicate by Babel fish!

Just took 10 minutes away from the helm to review what tomorrow is likely to bring. It’s Thursday so that involves the bi-weekly Asia Pacific audio. It’s a couple of hours well spent as that contact is as keen as me. He monitors all my projects for that whole region and helps me tremendously; between us we really get things done!

I’ve got to go now as I have to complete some of my favourite monthly tasks: raising invoices to the markets for support and publications already received to date. Such fun, as in every case there is debate on: we never agreed that price. Unlucky for them, I always keep the approval notices.

Good timing, only 5 minutes to go, I’ll hit the home run at 1545 today. Can‘t wait for tomorrow, I do enjoy dealing with the Service managers from around the world, their level then down to mine. I have been told I am far to enthused about this job but, apart from the routine of running the manuals, there are never two days the same and the contacts are great.

Meet Our Team

Graeme Burgess

Graeme Burgess

USE* Rich Portal Applications Developer
John Shaw

John Shaw

World Markets Specialist
Russell Davey

Russell Davey

SERP Engineer
Simon Eames

Simon Eames

Operations Manager, USE* Publications

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