With a background in digital technologies, Paul works with new technologies to improve operations and customer experience. We chatted to him to find out how he’s hoping to use his skills and experience to help the North Tyneside Business Forum Management Team in the months to come.
What’s your role in the NTBF management team?
I joined the NTBF Management Team just before Christmas, when SMD was approached by existing member, Andrew Esson. The Forum was looking for new management team members to balance the membership between different sizes of business and bring the perspective of a larger business to the group. I was happy to volunteer to take the spot as I recognise the important link between business and community. Having previously worked with Andrew on the Subsea NorthEast Skills Group, I was keen to participate and support the Forum Management Team.
I’m going to be representing larger companies within the management team and in the Business Forum as a whole. I’m really looking forward to working with the team because I think the forum provides an important bridge between businesses of all sizes in the region.
Tell us a little more about your background
I’m Digital Transformation Director at Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), where I help the company find ways to use new technology and ‘Industry 4.0’ in sync to help us work more effectively and collaboratively. I use my experience in the industry to provide our customers with a more engaging service, while also seeking out new business models for the future.
Outside of the business, I have been involved with networks through the Subsea Northeast hub, CBI Northeast and MakeUK (formerly the EEF). I also sit on the Durham University Engineering Industrial Partnership Committee and participate in a programme called Captured with Newcastle University Business School, which partners start-up businesses with a mentor from an established larger business in the region.
Does your role on the team create connections for you in business and indeed in your life outside the Forum?
I am interested in businesses that are working in the Digital space and particularly those who may be using new technologies to improve their existing operations and customer experience. I hope that my role on the management team will open up opportunities for collaborations that might ordinarily be harder to find.
I think we can work collaboratively to help other businesses as well as supporting the business community in North Tyneside on a higher level.
How do you see the Forum developing in the future?
I’d like to see the Business Forum model extended over neighbouring councils to benefit more businesses throughout the North East and not just in North Tyneside.
During one of the first events I attended with the Forum, we were approached by a number of interested businesses who just didn’t fall into the geographical catchment of the Forum. Unfortunately, there wasn’t another similar organisation we could signpost them to.
Rolling out the model across the council boundaries would enable us to link neighbouring Forums to form an even wider business community hub.