Tom’s not been with Lidl for long, but already he’s enjoying the change of pace in his first client-side role. He brings a wealth of experience that we can learn from, but we’re helping show him a thing or two as well. It works well for everyone.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl?
I graduated in 2004 from the University of Portsmouth with a degree in civil engineering. Since then, I've worked for contractors both in the U.K and overseas, working on a lot of civil engineering projects and ground works. I worked in the railway sector and prior to that I was in Australia for about eight years working on big civil projects as a contractor.
What attracted you to Lidl?
I decided to make a change and go client-side. When I saw the Lidl role, I thought it would give me a chance to focus on a particular type of construction. I could see from the media that the company was going from strength to strength and it struck me as quite a hard and fast organisation. That was a big appeal to me. I’ve been here six months now.
What does the role entail?
I still get to go out to site and work with contractors. And I get involved across the entire process – from inception, to tendering and appointment, to construction and handover to the sales team The build process feels relatively quick. A store can take six months once you’re on site, from start to completion. These new builds, together with smaller programmes for extensions and modernisations, makes it a a fast-paced environment to work in. Going out to different sites from week to week, you see the change enormously. And when you’re involved in the entire process from start to finish, it gives you quite a sense of achievement.
What’s been your biggest challenge?
It’s probably been learning the way that things are done at Lidl, it's been quite different to what I've been used to in the past. In a very good way! At Lidl, I’ve realised actually how efficient everything can be. I work a lot smarter.
What’s the team like?
Everyone's driven and that's a good thing as everyone's on the same page. They understand the urgency of what needs to be done and everyone seems hard-working and is focused to deliver. It makes for a nice working environment.
How do you see your future with Lidl?
I want to be a key part of the Lidl plan. Long-term I'd like to find a more senior position within Lidl and I think there’s the opportunity to do that.
What’s the training and development been like?
The training programme is very thorough. It's only really just finished so it's a long programme, but very well thought out. It gets you involved in different disciplines within the business to appreciate how other things happen.
What have you felt proud of?
A lot of the stores and extensions that I'm involved in are in my home city, so I feel quite proud to be out and about and show people what I’m working on. To physically see buildings constructed that you are involved in gives you a real sense of achievement.
Could you think of perhaps four words to describe Lidl?