Reaching our IT peak: A year of growth at Q2Q plus 2019 predictions

Organisational Development Director

Fav thing about the office

It’s an office full of creative geeks with great banter, what’s not to love!

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

An actress

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Trash reality TV

Favourite Holiday

Walking in Wales if I am feeling energetic, Crete if I need a rest!

If I had a superpower it would be...

Mind Reading

Describe yourself in three words or less

Fun, nurturing, efficient

An interesting fact about me

My first car was a Humber Sceptre, which started my obsession with cars

Likes

Thai food, long walks with my dog, creating ideas with post it notes!

Favourite Band

I’ll listen to pretty much anything I can sing along to

Karaoke Jam

Islands in the stream, Dolly Parton

What I do at Q2Q:

My role is essentially support Andrew (the MD) with defining the overall business strategy and financial budgeting, then to design and deliver cost effective process and organisational change strategies, managing positive change in support of Q2Q’s future growth plans.

I work with the team to ensure there is continuous organisational performance improvement that is always customer centric, ensuring they are working collaboratively and efficiently, coaching them individually and as a team to bring out their best performance in supporting our customers.

Background and Achievements

The majority of my career has been in the mad world of Fashion, on the planning and operational side. In my previous role as Operations Director for a Heritage Menswear brand, I was responsible for the end to end journey of the product, from range planning, through sourcing, production, quality control, logistics, warehousing and customer service. Some of my key achievements in this role were improving on all delivery and service KPI’s, improving quality performance from 10% rejects to 1%, and delivering a significant number of process improvements across the team, whilst also delivering a saving on costs of 10% on overheads.

• As this role spanned so many disciplines, it enabled me to focus on my true passion, which is process improvement and people development, so my proudest achievement was introducing a Continuous Improvement Project Team to the wider business, bringing a positive change culture based on a combination of ideas including Appreciative Inquiry and Solution Focus tools. The workshops we developed empowered people to solve problems cross functionally, and considerably improved communication, collaboration and efficiency, whilst making savings to the bottom line. These workshops have formed the basis of the tools I now incorporate into Q2Q, and offer as an additional consultancy service to Q2Q customers.

Hobbies and Interests

Walking with my dog, and eating out with family

2018 was a year of technical focus for the Q2Q family. The growth of the team and the hard work put in behind the screens means customers will continue to see subtle improvements throughout the next 12 months.

But, as technology advances at a rapid rate, so does the toolkit of the cyber underworld. And while we need to ensure systems are in place to combat online criminals, its important they don't come at the cost of usability.

Operations director of Q2Q, Lorna Stellakis explains why the latest addition to the team has had a significant impact on their customer experience, and why – in 2019 – solid IT infrastructure should be at the top of any SMEs shopping list.

2018 - Team growth leads to better user experience

2018 has been an incredibly busy year for Q2Q, but the appointment of technical manager Martin Bilton at the end of 2017 has been a massive catalyst for change at our Lancaster-based HQ. Over the past 12 months, he’s made a huge difference behind the scenes, and although many of our customers may not be aware of his presence, they will all be benefiting from his expertise.

Martin has spent a lot of time on the proactive preventative maintenance side of things, as well as trawling through the background of Windows to verify that everything is working as it should. On the rare occasion he’s found a technical gremlin, he’s been quick to investigate and resolve any issues. He’s also been busy with best-practice analysis and making sure we’re operating at the very top of our game in terms of security, software and protection.

2019 – the year of the cyber-criminal

The outlook may not be as bleak at the headline suggests, but it’s never been as important to have a handle on your IT security as it is now. While regular investigation can ensure that the relevant updates are being made to keep things secure, it’s important that you find a happy medium when it comes to security vs. usability.

A system that may have been set up as little as 12 months ago may have been safe at the time, but technology advances at a rapid pace – particularly with the likes of crypto lockers – so does the repertoire of the cyber criminals. Therefore, users need to remember that what worked before can change from week to week.

Often though, to improve usability, systems can be set up in a certain way to make it simpler for a customer. However, this isn’t always the most secure or robust way to approach your security. Constant investigation, testing and re-configuring means better protection, without costing you usability. If you're in any doubt, why not consider our free IT audit - to make sure you're running at maximum security and efficiency? 

What else is in store for the next 12 months?

Martin’s brain is continuously spinning in the background, quietly listening to any niggles that customers may have on a day-to-day basis. He’s always looking for opportunities to improve the user experience and will continue to simplify and improve the manageability of systems – bringing in automation wherever possible, to streamline the process.

Currently, he’s working on an in-house system that could automatically update outlook email signatures. This will enable any company-wide changes to be done centrally and picked up automatically by each user while still retaining their individual details. He’s also working on a bespoke phone system integration for one of our customers, which will enable people to move desks and automatically have their phone extension follow them.

While the world of IT continues to evolve, so does the expertise of our Q2Q family, and it’s safe to say that none of this would be possible if we didn’t have a talented, close-knit team within our own business.

Since our inception in 2004, we have changed the way IT support is offered to SMEs and it’s hopefully no surprise that our core value is customer service. Our ethos won’t change in 2019, but we know for certain that the IT landscape will – and we’re ready for it!

If we sound like the IT partner for you, email our friendly team, or give us a call on 01524 581 690 – your new IT journey starts today.

Reaching our IT peak: A year of growth at Q2Q plus 2019 predictions