5 minutes with Sam Butler-Thompson

Managing Director

Fav thing about the office

Good banter

As a child I wanted to be a ... when I grew up

Plumber/Electrician

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Strictly come dancing

Favourite Holiday

Crete

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Methodical, Energetic, Reliable

An interesting fact about me

Started “Work” life as an opera singer

Likes

Horse riding, fillet steak and a good curry

Favourite Band

…into Classical Music

Karaoke Jam

Desperado- The Eagles

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is to provide the overall direction and “eye on the compass” as to where we, as a team, are heading.

I’m still very much focused on the customer and will often get involved in customer solution discussions. As a techie at heart, I’m regularly seeking to understand industry developments and directional changes that may affect our customers, so we and our customers can remain on the front foot.

Background and Achievements

I started out in an I.T technical department of what was then British Rail, following which I joined a large construction company to re-organise their I.T infrastructure.

I then spent a couple of years as a business systems analyst at P&O Nedlloyd designing, developing and implementing systems within their Bulk and Tank Carrier companies.

In 1999 I was appointed as I.T Manager of SockShop and subsequently as of Head of I.T. at the Tulchan Group, comprising then of 300 stores. Due to a Year 2000 compliance issue, we were required to seek an alternative system, which we were able to more cost effectively write ourselves. This product subsequently became known as RAWHIDE and we later sold this product into a number of other businesses. At the time it was quite cutting edge as all the warehouse function was undertaken using handheld, wireless scanners, rather than the batch scanners that were dominant at the time.

In 2003 The Tulchan Group was acquired by Harris Watson. We were then asked to take responsibility for the I.T. of Viyella Ladies wear and in 2004 the demands of two MD’s and two FD’s (Tulchan Group + Viyella), resulted in the sensible decision to break out of the group and Q2Q was born. This then enabled us to also get involved with a number of other group companies (Harris Watson owned companies) as well as other non-group parties.  At one stage we were managing the I.T for almost 500 stores across a number of businesses.

Today Q2Q retains some of the group customers that we acquired along the way, as well as a substantial number of new and diverse customers in almost all industries including accounting, business development organisations, legal marketing, medical, retail and wholesale.

Hobbies and Interests

Horse riding, running (Jogging), motorbikes, reading any of the Detective Rebus stories.

Sam Butler-Thompson is Q2Q’s senior web developer and sums up his creations as ‘systems, simplified’. Find out more about Sam in this Q&A.

·         Describe your role at Q2Q in one paragraph
As part of the development team at Q2Q, I produce a range of solutions to relieve the headaches caused by inefficient or overly complicated business processes. Whether this involves building a public-facing e-commerce website or a business information system, I help make the headaches go away!

·         What's your favourite part of the job?
I enjoy entering each day with a new challenge to face – new problems require new solutions, so it never gets boring.

·         What does it take to be a great senior web developer?
Creativity is essential, particularly the ability to address a customer quandary with a simple, yet innovative solution.

·         If your colleagues could sum you up in one word, which word would they use?
Steadfast.

·         What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I grew up around IT and technology, so I am what I wanted to be – that boyhood dream becomes further realised with every challenge I face!

·         The phone rings and it's your dream enquiry - who would the client be?
It’s not the ‘who’ part that interests me, I’m more intrigued by the challenge – the stranger the better!

·         What's the biggest IT challenge facing SMEs in the current business climate?
SMEs are provided with so many different systems to fulfil a variety of purposes that it can get confusing – CRMs, WMS, eCommerce, marketing platforms, social media management platforms – the list goes on. Having such a surplus of data, without the means to make it work together, results in difficulties at the top-level of decision making processes.

·         If you could change one thing about the IT sector, what would it be?
There are lots of varying solutions available for an array of business problems, but very little seamless ways that these can communicate and work together effectively to benefit the user. I’d like to see the industry do more to integrate key business platforms and provide clarity to customers, so they can make smarter decisions to drive their organisation in the right direction.

·         What are your hopes for Q2Q over the next 12 months?
We have lots of ideas for innovative solutions to address many of the daily problems SMEs face, especially regarding data aggregation – I hope we can make these a reality in the coming months.

·         If you could pick any 3 words to describe Q2Q, what would they be?
Fun. Understanding. Innovative.

5 minutes with Sam Butler-Thompson