Meet Paul France
Back in the middle of March, we were inspired by National Careers Week to give young people some insight into the type of roles we have here at BrightBridge as well as help our customers better understand how our team work as one to deliver their solutions. We’ve spoken to Senior ERP Consultant Keith, Solution Architect Dylan, Technical Consultant Sam, Project Manager Gary and Marketing Manager Fiona, and today it’s Support Analyst Paul’s turn, but it also marks a special celebration for BrightBridge.
Our fantastic support team – of which Paul is a member – have reached the milestone of providing solutions for 20,000 support cases. Having not long celebrated our seventh birthday, that’s an average of 1,428 a year or 27 (and a half!) a week. We thought this was the perfect opportunity to thank our support team for keeping customers and their solutions issue free.
Now it’s over to Paul to tell you about his career path and job…
What do you do day-to-day?
I take care of all our NetSuite and Sage customers who have a support contract. So, no matter how small or large an issue is, me and my team deal with the initial enquiry and troubleshoot, then offer the solution or escalate to the duty consultant. Cases can be raised via our Online Portal, a call or an email – which is the preferred method as they can easily add attachments and screenshots. There can be deeper glitches with the technology on occasions or an update causes a script to not fire, but the consultants and technical consultants pop the hood so to speak and either make the repair or we work with the teams at NetSuite or Sage.
Often though, tickets can be closed off very quickly – perhaps the user is new to the company and is simply pressing the wrong button or a colleague somewhere else in the wider process has not done something correctly. In fact, one query I had the other day was a stock allocation query. The system showed a physical quantity of 11, showed 15 items had been allocated, but there was no open works or sales orders to match this mysterious 15. A stock recalculation didn’t help, but when I dug deeper into the detail, I found that another person had closed a works order incorrectly resulting in the allocations being left on the stock file. This is why ongoing training is really important – staff turnover and lack of internal processes can easily lead to issues that cost a company time and money. We’re here to help, of course, but having an ongoing ERP training programme is definitely a good idea for companies.
Have you always done this type of support role?
Not really, I fell into it by accident! I wanted to be a maths teacher because I loved the logic of maths, but by the time I’d finished my exams I’d had enough of school. I was interested in electronics too and I was offered an apprenticeship as an electrician, but also one working for the Ministry of Defence as a machine fitter and turner. The MoD role seemed like the better option, and I got to move around many different departments, but electronics still stood out, so after a year I moved to a telecommunications technician apprenticeship and gained an HNC. I was there for nine years in total and then worked as a team leader for phone manufacturer NEC, which was a brand-new company at the time. I set up the phones on the testing side and this was where I started using an old ERP system called CS3.
Before too long, people started coming to me to ask me questions about how to use the software and I accidentally made myself the in-house expert! This led to me being offered a job within the IT department and undertaking a BTEC in computer studies as well as Sage system management courses. I had a lot of contact with the reseller company who provided the Sage system and got to know the team really well. When my employer was taken over by a Canadian company that didn’t use Sage, I was contacted by the reseller and that’s where my support career with a solution partner began.
What do you think makes you good at your job?
I don’t know half as much as the consultants who design the solutions, but I have a good working knowledge of the Sage products and have built up my understanding of NetSuite since joining BrightBridge in 2015. As I was on the other side, as a user, I can sympathise with the customer’s frustrations, and this stands me in good stead to troubleshoot. I have a logical thinking mind and enjoy working out the answer to problems, so I’m good at asking the right questions and going through things step by step. I suppose in some ways it’s not so far from being a maths teacher – the customer has a problem, and I help them go through the stages until we find the answer.
Check out our careers pages if you think you have the skills and passion to join our team and serve big brand customers across a range of sectors, such as Onfido, Frugi and Papa John’s.