One of the most rewarding parts of being a long-running business is watching new staff…
Following on from our recent celebration of Carl Harrison’s 20-year anniversary with the company, we congratulate our Contracts Manager, Steve Jarman, who celebrates 25 years with David Bailey this month. We asked Steve to tell us about his career with the company:
“It all started back in 1994 when I was 14 years old. I spent a week on work experience, which was my first taste of working life and of David Bailey. Although I was restricted on what I was able to do, it was a great insight to the company.
In 1996 after finishing school I joined David Bailey as an apprentice. My early days involved spending time in the different departments and learning as much as I could about cabinet making. During that time I attended Folkestone College once a week on a wood machining level 2 NVQ course, which I enjoyed a lot and which gave me great confidence. Over those two years I started to get to grips with the different machinery used at David Bailey and was able to work in different departments which was a great benefit for not just myself but also for the company.
After completing my NVQ level 2 course I felt it would benefit myself and the company if I progressed further in my learning. It was agreed to send me on an advanced NVQ level 3 in Bexley Heath. This was a one year course which was more intense but a good experience.
After qualifying from college I began working full time at David Bailey and spent the next ten years working in all departments of the factory and in particular learning how to use the CNC beam saw and routers.
Move from factory to office
In 2006 I was offered an opportunity to change my career path and join the team in the office. This was not a decision I took lightly but felt this would be a good long term decision. I started working in the office as a trainee estimator. This was very different to my factory life but I soon adapted and did not regret my decision. I spent the next 2-3 years as an estimator but both I and the company felt my skills would be more suited to processing the orders and producing the furniture schedules the factory would use to manufacture the furniture. I would also be the link between the office and production and working closely with my dad (Production Manager) would ensure the factory has all the information required to manufacture. I enjoyed this role immensely and felt this way was the right path for me. This progressed to overseeing the subcontract orders and visiting sites for meetings, as well as site surveying, which I enjoyed because of the diversity of the role.
First large contract
The first large contract I got to oversee was North Middlesex Hospital for Kier Construction. A project of over £400,000 and one that tested my skills but gave me confidence. I felt this was something I wanted to do more of as larger projects give you a chance to get to grips with the job, gain a rapport with the site managers and give you a sense of achievement.
Over the next two years I continued with my progression and was involved in projects like Wexham Park Hospital, again for Kier Construction, as well as other projects like Benenden Hospital and St Marys Hospital for Wilmott Dixons.
UCLH large FF&E project
After receiving an order for the University College London Hospital project for Bouygues, our Managing Director, Trevor Gillman, felt this was the right time for me to run a large FF&E project which would test me on a completely different level. Although at first I would admit I felt a little out of my depth, I soon realised I could do this and I am now proud to say we not only completed the project on time but also completed this successfully with great praise from the Bouygues team.
Promotion to Contracts Manager
David Bailey have now promoted me to Contracts Manager. I’m proud to be part of the management team and look forward to exciting times ahead. Over the past 25 years I’ve seen people come and go and have seen many changes to the company but it is a credit that David Bailey are going from strength to strength and I feel it is an exciting time to be involved.”
About David Bailey Furniture Systems
David Bailey Furniture Systems manufactures fitted furniture for the healthcare, hospital, education and veterinary sectors. We employ 37 staff at our location in Kent, and we are currently expanding.
If you’re interested in working with an organisation who values longevity and strong working relationships, get in contact with us today. We handle all recruitment in-house to ensure that we can foster our working relationships from the first contact.