The start of my working day varies depending on where I wake up! On Mondays I generally drive from my home in the south to the office in Doncaster, a journey of some three hours. The alarm wakes me at around 4.45am but I don’t leave the house until an hour later, after I have read the news and sports headlines, and answered any overnight emails. The journey north is against the traffic for the most part and gives me plenty of time to plan the day and week ahead.
I arrive in the office at around 8.30am and quickly respond to any urgent emails. I am fortunate to be able to manage my own diary to a large extent, so I can usually have meetings with clients or visit sites and still be in the office two-to-three days a week. I tend to go through the week’s priorities with a small group of colleagues on a Monday morning, and then begin to prepare for meetings, presentations or look over estimates and tenders. An enjoyable aspect of my role is that it is so varied. I could be with customers, at exhibitions or in the office, depending on commitments.
When I am in the Doncaster office, mornings start with the gym for an hour from 6am, before arriving in the office, just before 8am. Occasionally I go to the company’s office in the South but this is limited to once a fortnight or so. It is a quiet place which can be ideal if there is a presentation or meeting to prepare for, or a Forecourt Trader article to write!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is attending forecourt industry events, where I can meet customers and other specialists and suppliers. I am currently attending and presenting at the PRA (Petrol Retailers Association) Live & Local events around the UK. This is a great opportunity to speak about Global-MSI’s innovative designs for c-store buildings and canopies, and how these have contributed to increased footfall and sales; as well as the need for planned maintenance of forecourt structures to avoid costly bills in the future.
During nearly 20 years at Global-MSI, I have been very fortunate to have had involvement and direct responsibility for the construction of petrol station structures not just in the UK but also in all of the following countries too: Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Kazakhstan.
It has been an absolute privilege to visit these countries, some of them a dozen times or more, although it has to be said some experiences were more memorable than others! I couldn’t possibly cover these on a single page, but they range from minus 30C degrees in the Polish winter to plus 40C degrees in Kazakhstan, from the beautiful lakes and mountains of the Alps to the Norwegian fjords. And they include the countless occasions when the baggage didn’t make the flight, one emergency landing, food poisoning, the Hotel Sputnik and watching Ryan Giggs score a hat-trick on a bitterly cold January night in Vienna. Then, of course, there are the hundreds of structures built in every corner of Europe, as well as some great people that I got to know along the way there’s no doubt that the experiences, good and not so good, will last a lifetime.
There cannot be too many people who have had four children, let alone them all being teenagers at the same time so, at the end of the working day, I check in at home to find out how things have been at school and in the case of our eldest, at work. And, of course, to check how my wife Claire has managed all of that and her own work. The day ends much as it started, depending where I am. An hour in the gym, finishing off some emails, getting out in the fresh air if it’s fine or watching the Hammers (lose!), there’s never a dull moment!
Name: Martin Steggles
Company: Global-MSIJob title: Managing directorCareer history: Spent five years studying construction management, dove-tailed with a five-year sponsorship and training programme with Bovis Construction. Then ’retired’ at the age of 23 to take up backpacking for a year. Followed this with five years working in construction in Germany before joining Global-MSI as contracts manager in 1996, later operations manager, joining the board in 2006.Greatest achievements: Surviving a year backpacking through the Americas, Asia and Africa, supporting West Ham for 40-plus years and still managing to smile and, of course, being MD of Global-MSI.Tips for business success: Always put the customer first.Most likely to say: We’ll almost certainly have the drawings for your canopy in our archive!Least likely to say: Sorry, we don’t have the drawings!Other interests: My family, football, both watching and participating for my son’s U17 team as linesman, music, keeping fit either by cycling or going to the gym, my wife’s cooking!