A Working Day for Simon Eames

Operations Manager, USE* Publications

Simon left school at 16 and started work as a Reprographics Assistant in a small publishing company. After three years he joined a printing company, working in the graphics team supporting contracts for Ford motor company, British Gas and the Ministry of Defence.

In 1997, after working through to the position of Ford Customer Executive, Simon was approached by SPX Valley Forge to join the team to support their various contracts in automotive, particularly the delivery of workshop manual literature. During his time with SPX Valley Forge he helped set up the office facilities to support their Ford and Jaguar/ Land Rover contracts. He also led a team of software developers, designers, and artists to support Computer Based Training projects and Technical Information literature for the Jaguar Dealer Training Group.

After his position was made redundant in 2003, Simon joined a new team, still working with prestigious automotive brands, under contract to the Serco Group, working as a Service Times Specialist / Service Wiring Specialist. He joined the team at USE* (UK Service Evolution) in January 2009, and was promoted to his current role of one of two Operations Managers supporting the USE* Publications business in January 2010.

The day begins early with my driver (lift share) picking me up at 6:00am. Today we are travelling to work in the new one of our client OEMs cars. We are lucky enough to be part of the team that supports the vehicle emissions group that requires mileage accumulation on a number of our client’s products. This allows us to use and get close to products that we wouldn’t normally see. We eventually arrive at the client’s Product Development site after successfully negotiating the M25..!

With a team of ten or so client-based USE* engineers and authors to work with, there are many tasks that I support in parallel. As well as keeping the team working in order, I also have dedicated responsibilities for the client as well. These include, for example, to develop and maintain service labour times for our client’s dealer network, or to provide engineering liaison support between the Technical Service Operations authoring team and the Engineering Wiring harness suppliers.

My first task when I arrive in the office is to review and respond to e-mails that have been sent by the numerous wiring harness suppliers providing answers to questions we have raised regarding the integrity of data they have supplied.

Mid morning and the USE* MD, Jonathan Quaife, arrives at my desk for a branding review meeting. Jonathan runs through the branding ideas and shows a mock-up of the proposed website and its features. I'm excited about this as it takes me back to my roots of working in a graphics studio.

With lunch looming, it’s onto the next task. And what I thought would only take me a few minutes to complete, rapidly turns into a big can of worms… After spending nearly an hour picking my way through broken service labour time spreadsheet formulas, I find the problem and begin to rectify it. Before completing this task I'm led away from my desk to a discussion regarding the usage of procedure titles for the Climate Control section within our client’s publishing system. This turns into a lively debate involving the Global terminologist, Wiring Coordinator and the Wiring author team - all USE* personnel based on the client site. These discussions are always entertaining to be part of and I enjoy the challenge of accommodating different opinions. The team work their way through a number of scenarios and a solution is found…. eventually!

Back to my desk and I complete the earlier task of the Service Labour Times spreadsheet and address the issue that has been raised by the Dealer Service Menu team.

Before the day is complete there is still the small matter of reviewing a number of Owner Literature graphics created by colleagues working for our client in South Africa / India. Some persuasive guidance is generally required to nudge the creator to use and follow the specified standards for this work.

My driver (lift share) appears to take me home. Another day complete, just the M25 to negotiate with now!


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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