This month we’re putting Andrew Cairns in the spotlight, as he was recently promoted to Operations Director. We’d like to congratulate Andrew on his promotion and are taking the opportunity to find out a bit more about our newest director.
You started with Inixion after having worked for Sage. What convinced you to move from a large corporate to a small company like Inixion?
My passion is working with people to understand requirements, define solutions and make these a reality. From working at Sage, I was very keen to build my knowledge of Sage X3. The opportunity to work for Inixion was something I jumped at as it would enable me to work on multiple projects, with a variety of customers and a team of Sage X3 experts to deliver the best solution so, in the end, an easy decision.
You started as a Project Manager, were promoted to Operations Manager in 2013 and have recently been promoted to Operations Director. How did these moves come about?
I’ve been working on the delivery of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects since starting my career with Procter and Gamble implementing SAP across Europe. During this time, I did a variety of roles from business analyst to Programme Manager and managed the delivery of multiple projects, all of which enabled me to jump straight into managing projects for Inixion and to develop my expertise on Sage X3 through hands-on delivery.
Throughout my time with Inixion, I’ve been working with the team to improve our processes and procedures so we can focus on what matters most. Consequently, I was asked by Ian Bromley, Inixion’s Managing Director, if I’d like to manage the operations team and I jumped at the chance. The Operations Director role is a natural progression as the business continues to grow and to help ensure we continue to keep our primary focus, which is making our customers’ business our business so we can deliver the best solutions.
Tell us a bit more about your vision of the future for Inixion.
Since joining Inixion, the business has continued to grow in terms of customers, employees and revenue. I plan to continue to support this by firstly helping to develop and build our team of Sage X3 experts, so as a team, we can continue to deliver the best solutions for our customers. Whether that’s by helping our existing customers to get the most out of their Sage X3 solution or helping new customers to successfully implement Sage X3.
How did you ‘get into’ Sage X3?
At Sage, I worked on their internal Sage X3 implementation project, and I got to see first-hand the depth of functionality that’s available in such a configurable product. From there I actively sought a role that would enable me to get more hands with Sage X3, which is one of the key reasons I joined Inixion.
How has the operations team at Inixion changed since you started?
The key difference is that we’ve doubled our customer base and the size of the operations team, so we can continue to support our customers in delivering improvement projects and/or new implementations. Our customers have also become more global. The life-changing events of 2020 have led to more and more of our work being remote, which provides efficiencies for both customers and our team, but also challenges in terms of ensuring we get the information needed to best deliver solutions. The great thing is that we’ve got a very positive can-do culture within Inixion, and we’ve been able to allow members of our support team to develop into consultancy roles, bringing all the experience they have from working with our customers and all the different areas of Sage X3.
What do you think are the hardest and best parts of your job?
The best bit is working with customers on finding solutions and the hardest bit is working with customers on finding solutions! It can be challenging getting to the requirements and then understanding the various possible ways these can generally be delivered with Sage X3, so you can then agree on the best solution. These are the things that each member of the team enjoys getting into.
What do you like best about working at Inixion?
The team culture and how everyone is always super keen to help each other out, which happens top down and bottom up. For example, when you hit a tricky issue on a project or a customer has a particularly challenging question, you can send one message to the team and then the discussions start, and you start to realise everything is technically possible.
What does a typical day at Inixion look like for you?
I’m not sure there is such a thing, as we work on such a variety of projects with multiple customers, so it varies depending on what phase a project’s in. A day can involve a discussion with a customer and/or team member on how best to approach a project they’re looking to undertake or doing the discovery on a specific project, doing regular project updates to ensure projects are staying on track, etc.
At Inixion we talk about ‘Making your business our business’, How do you experience that?
To deliver the best solution for our customers, it’s essential that we really understand what a customer is looking to achieve and why, so we can then look at what the best solution is for them and how best to deliver this in Sage X3. We work very closely with our customers and develop a lot of expertise in how they work, which comes from working together on projects. We also have experience working on similar processes with other customers, so can also provide advice on what best practice looks like to help a customer to confirm what’s required.
What do you think makes Inixion stand out from its competitors?
I think the 3 things that help us stand out are;
- Our depth of expertise that’s been developed over many years of delivering ERP projects.
- Our natural curiosity to understand what a customer’s trying to achieve and passion for finding solutions.
- Our ability to work across disciplines and engage other members of the team as needed to ensure we have the right expertise to find the best solution.