30 at 30 – Mark’s Story
Over 20 years ago Mark started his career journey as a surfacing technician and now oversees the production of prescription glasses from start to finish at our Retail Tech Centre. We spoke to him about the changes he’s seen and what he thinks it takes to be a good manager.
How have you seen Vision Express evolve over the years?
The technology and machinery has changed tremendously. It was very manual and now a lot is automated. Through investment in state of the art machinery the way we cut lenses to the materials we use has evolved and that’s what makes the optics industry so interesting.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I really enjoy the challenge of constantly keeping things moving. My customers are our stores so it’s essential that we deliver to a high standard, so they can focus on providing a great customer experience. It never gets boring because we’re constantly reviewing our processes and developing better ways of working.
What motivated you to progress within Vision Express?
The management team that I’ve worked with are so passionate about what they do, it’s quite infectious. Everyone has the same goal and that’s been inspiring for me. I was also given the opportunity to learn more about the industry along the way and completed a Spectacle Makers Course, a nationally recognised qualification. Being able to learn and challenge yourself is motivation for me.
What advice do you give to new starters?
With dedication and a good attitude, you can build a career from any role in this business. There’s always opportunities to develop and our training programmes are designed to give colleagues something to aim for.
In your opinion what makes a good manager?
Listening to your team is a key skill for any manager. Allowing them to explain their point of view allows you to see the whole picture and often, colleagues who are delivering the service have the best ideas. Having started my career as a technician and learning the whole process from start to finish, it’s given me an advantage as a manager because I know exactly what and how things are done. Its valuable to have had that hands-on experience and the whole management team here are always willing to get involved – I think that’s important for colleagues to see.