Pro Installer December 2021 - Issue 105 - Page 8

Director of the Month
8 | DECEMBER 2021

Director of the Month

Read online at www . proinstaller . co . uk

IN THE ZONE

Simon Monks , MD of VBH talks time zones and field zones , emerging trends and family role models , flourishing teams at work and ‘ play ’, and how to relax at home and away .
When did you join the company ?
I joined VBH in 2007 as an Area Sales Manager and , via a string of promotions , became Managing Director in 2018 .
Describe your working day ...
I enjoy the fact that no two days are the same , but one constant is that I get up early to help get my two sons ready for school and check messages that might have come in overnight . As VBH GB is part of a multi-national group , and we have suppliers and customers in various time zones .
Work can either be in the VBH office in Gillingham , at home , or out on the road . Video and phone calls have been great in helping us all conduct business during the pandemic , but you can ’ t beat a face to face meeting to really get the job done .
The home office option does run the risk of the occasional interruption on a VC call by my sons , checking out who their Dad is talking to .
Much of my day is spent talking to customers , suppliers and colleagues . I enjoy spending time with the New Product Development team discussing the latest
proposed additions to our expanding greenteQ range . We ’ ve launched many new products in the last year including our Securitas and Invicta window locks , Q-Smart electronic door handle , Orion 3 star cylinder , Clearlift lift / slide and Clearslide inline patio gear , and new additions to our Clearspan bi-fold range .
We are very successful in identifying emerging trends and developing products to suit . Examples of this are ‘ lifestyle ’ big ticket items such as patio doors and smart tech . We ’ re always keen to develop products for those areas . Product development costs money , but I ’ m happy to say that we push the ‘ go button ’ on a project more often than not .
What is your workspace like ?
I have a tidy desk and office . It helps to focus the mind . Most of what I do is paperless anyway so that helps keep me in check .
First thing you do when you get to your desk ?
I ’ ll sort through and deal with any emails that didn ’ t need immediate action earlier , then I ’ ll check in on the teams before tackling whatever the day brings .
What websites help you ?
I ’ m a keen social networker and spend a lot of time interacting with others from the industry on LinkedIn and Twitter . It ’ s a good way to gauge the mood of the industry at large and appreciate the issues that people are facing .
Most useful business tool ?
My smart phone pretty much organises all aspects of my work and social life these days . It ’ s invaluable .
Best business decision in your current role ?
The VBH team that I inherited when I became MD was second to none , and developing our culture and staff within VBH rather than hiring from outside was easily my best decision . This strategy has allowed us to promote people into more responsible roles . Giving them the opportunity to flourish benefits everyone , not least our customers . I am a firm believer in helping people to develop and over my tenure so far as Managing Director this gives me the greatest satisfaction .
Favourite role models and why ?
I admire business leaders such as Jeff Bezos and sports stars like Michael Jordan for their work ethic . However , my greatest role model is my Dad ; one of the hardest-working people I have ever come across . Despite his successful career that took us to live in places such as Chicago and Sydney in my youth , he always put his family first . He claims that he ’ s “ just a working class Yorkshireman that done alright ”, but he did a lot more than he takes credit for .
How do you unwind ?
I love work but I am also a devoted family man . They really help me to unwind . Outside of that I love watching sport , particularly football , basketball and American football . I attend the NFL London games every year and will often travel to see my teams . Also , immersing myself in a film , documentary or a good Stephen King book is something I enjoy .
www . vbhgb . com