Since leaving Morrisons as director of forecourts 18 months ago and joining Brulines plc to run its newly-created Fuel division, not one day has been the same. Last year the Edensure wet-stock business (acquired by Brulines in 2008 with its team of just five) was augmented to what is now a 70-strong Brulines Fuel Solutions (BFS) division. Three acquisitions in just four months last spring/summer meant many hours spent travelling and meeting with the previous owners, accountants, lawyers, and our advisers along with my boss, Brulines chief executive officer, Jim Dickson, and our financial director, Mark Foster.
Since then, integrating these four businesses into one team has proved a tough but totally rewarding challenge for myself and my senior team, most of whom joined us from the acquisition companies. At the same time, I represent Fuel Solutions on the Brulines board so a great deal of time is spent explaining the developing fuel strategy to the chairman and non-execs, as well as some of the large institutions that are Brulines shareholders.
With customers all across the country and offices in the North, Midlands, Stockton and Scotland, there is always plenty of reason to travel to attend meetings and for one or two nights away each week. Our Halifax office, which is where we base our Asset Management call centre, is just 20 minutes away, so I like to get in there at least once a week and I use it as a base for meetings.
If I’m working from home or the Halifax office, I wake up naturally not long after five. Work starts before I get out of bed. I recently got a Samsung tablet PC which has now taken over from my Blackberry in terms of being physically attached to my body. I love gadgets and technology. If I could have a USB port fitted in my brain I would!
I check the daily update emails from our system which, via the same web portal our customers use, gives me full real-time visibility of the state of our business down to every job, engineer and cost. I then have five minutes updating the ’Words with Friends’ games I have on the go. It’s like on-line Scrabble I regularly play a friend on the US West Coast, they make a move in the evening just in time for me when I wake up.
A couple of years ago we were fortunate enough to have an indoor pool installed at home, so it’s downstairs for a 30-minute swim followed by 10 minutes in the spa. I really need to get a waterproof smart phone so I can swim, talk and email! As I get a coffee and some toast, our only son, Emerson (no plans for a Lake and Palmer), who is 13, is up at 7am to get ready and on the school bus for 7.45. I met my wife Catherine at Morrisons. Cath worked for Gilbarco in the mid ’90s and joined Morrisons in ’97 to run their fuel logistics. After working for me for six years, she quit. I can’t say I blame her! Friends and colleagues said she didn’t need to work any more because she had a rich husband if you know who he is please tell me and I’ll call the bigamy police! She actually gave up work to spend time supporting my career and Emerson’s schooling and she has been brilliant at both.
What is great is that she understands the business so at least she is not completely bored when I witter on about work every night well, she nods in the right places.
My days, especially if I work from home are a blur of multi-tasking phone and Skype, emails, reports, keeping track of the sales and jobs on our web portal it never seems to end. I spend a lot of time talking on the phone to my senior team to make sure that each project and customer is on track.
I have a great team, so I see being a managing director as a lot about shouting from the touchline, guiding the team but trusting them to get on with it.
An early start means I try and wrap up by 6.30pm for a family dinner and Corrie on Sky+, the only soap I watch. Then, during the week, early nights are very much the order of the day.
Name: Phil Maud
Job title: Managing director
Company: Brulines Fuel Solutions part of Brulines Group plc
Career history: Retail management from 18 to 24; business admin degree then Asda forecourt ops manager for seven years. Morrisons’ forecourt director for eight years. Joined Brulines 18 months ago
Greatest achievement: Personally, adopting Emerson and marrying Catherine in the same week back in 2006.Professionally, bringing together great companies and people to create the Brulines Fuel Solutions end-to-end fuel management offer in such a short period has given me the most satisfaction of my career in this great industry so far.
Most likely to say: "It’s not rocket science"
Least likely to say: "I’ll just have a small glass"