Ian has worked at Domestic and General for nearly 3 years but has been in the heating sector for over 35. He shares his insights and what life is like for him at Domestic & General.

Hey Ian, tell us a little bit about you?

I’m the Supplier and Heating Service Director for Domestic & General, I joined to lead the operational delivery for ScottishPower, and together with my team we also manage the operational relationships of the heating original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), John Lewis, Amazon and our service network who carry out over 500,000 repairs a year across all sectors in the UK and Éire.

You've had an extensive career, could you tell us a bit about that? And what brought you to Domestic & General?

Originally, I wanted to be an archaeologist and gained a place at Durham University, but during that time I did a placement at British Gas and I guess the rest is history. At British Gas, I worked in a number of roles from central heating sales, to installation, service, and repair and latterly operational lead for Dyno-Rod. After British Gas, I went over to HomeServe and was there for two years establishing the new in-house gas business.

What's your proudest/happiest moment since working here? 

Until this year there was a clear winner, I joined the team on the 22nd of January 2018 with just 3 months to launch ScottishPower, and not only did we deliver this, we also returned a positive result across all our Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

I think to top that off, at the end of last year Domestic & General walked away with the ‘Delivery of Services’ award at the ScottishPower supplier awards. This was through the hard work of transitioning 100,000 customers, achieving stringent SLAs within 8 weeks and ensuring that these standards didn't slip.

Since March 2020, I've been incredibly proud of my team and our supply chain’s response to COVID-19.

Ian Palmer-Smith, Supplier and Heating Service Director at Domestic & General

What advice would you give to others developing their career?

A favourite quote of mine by Oscar Wilde is "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." and that would be my advice to others; if you trust, believe, and be true to yourself you'll develop an inner strength to get you through the highs and lows of life. A false persona will always be found out in the end.

If you could do anything else (regardless of skill or qualification), what would it be?

Well despite wanting to be an archaeologist when I was younger, I think I'd like to be a teacher of History.

You're an advocate for prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning — can you tell us a bit more about that?

Carbon Monoxide gas is a silent killer. "Every year in the UK 200 people are hospitalised by Carbon Monoxide and 50 people die", yet so many people have never even heard of it. I'm committed to continually keep spreading the message to make people aware of the dangers and the importance of regular maintenance to avoid CO positioning.

Earlier this year I became a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG). This is the leading forum for Parliamentarians, charities and business leads to discover, discuss, and promote ways of tackling carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK.

Lastly… you can invite 3 people to a dinner party (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

  • Alexander the Great — a historical hero, I think it'd be interesting to know what made him tick.
  • Tony Benn — a British politician, and a member of parliament for 47 years, I didn't agree with him a lot of the time, but I admired his steadfast to resolve in what he believed in.
  • William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke — he's dubbed ‘England’s greatest knight’. He served five English kings from Henry II, through to his grandson Henry III. Loyal, honourable, and a true Arthurian knight. I'd love to hear his stories!

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