Working as a Compliance Manager in Finance at Specsavers
A day in the life of a Compliance Manager with
What was your background before joining Specsavers?
I worked for NatWest for nearly 25 years which sounds like a long time but I did a wide variety of roles. I started out as a clerical grade in the branches and then became a Private Banking Manager, looking after a portfolio of the bank's more affluent customers, covering the Peak District. I then became a Branch Manager and then opened up a Private Banking Centre in Sheffield when the service became centralised. Then when that centre closed when RBS took over, the rest is history as they say...
In a nutshell, what do you do?
I manage two teams, the Compliance Support Team and the Healthcall Team. The Compliance Support team works to support stores where an issue has been identified that does not adhere to our best practice, so this could be things such as a variance in what has gone through the till and what has gone to the bank. It may be missing takings or irregular banking. It is important that we work with the store to adhere to best practice to protect their cash but also their reputation and that of the brand.
The Healthcall Team support another branch of the business – the Domiciliary Joint Venture Partners, often abbreviated to DJVPs. The DJVPs go out to see those customers that are unable to get into our stores for sight tests and glasses. Invariable this is the elderly, housebound or in care homes but it could also be prisons and military bases too. We work closely with them and the NHS to ensure that payment is sent to the NHS, received and reconciled on the client base system.
What does your typical day look like?
There's no typical day. At the moment there is a time critical deadline on a project that is supporting the DJVPs so that is taking up a lot of my time but today for example, I have interviewed a potential member of staff, worked with the Healthcall team to resolve a system issue, held a coaching session for other staff members on Acuitas (the system that the DJVPs use) and will spend this afternoon talking to our partners in the stores and our DJVPs. I also have a coaching session arranged with a new partner. In between all that, there's always time for a coffee!
What makes you most proud of your time at Specsavers so far?
There are several instances, one being when I was a manager in the Contact Centre managing a team of Scandinavians that supported our customers in Norway, Sweden and Finland. The team really developed and we forged great relationships with our Scandinavian stakeholders.
More recently, it's seeing how closely we are working with our partners and DJVPs and providing them with a point of contact to ensure they feel supported.
How have you developed?
Although working with NatWest gave me a wealth of experience, working with a company that responds to shareholders, does make you become indoctrinated. Here, it's different. It's still family run, which probably makes us the world's largest corner shop but you may well end up working alongside Doug and Mary Perkins. It's more of a feel that everybody is working together and working towards the same thing. The changing business environment means I'm constantly challenging myself and learning new skills.
What do you love about your job? What is a challenge?
I love the variety and this plays on my past experience and strengths of working in a financial environment and managing people, so the interaction I have with my teams, the store directors and the DJVPs is the part of the role I love. The challenge is that you can be doing something one minute, then have to stop because something urgent has cropped up or a project has stalled or someone needs immediate help. Having said that, there's no time to be bored.
Describe the Specsavers culture in three words
Entrepreneurial, friendly, family (you can't say family without thinking of EastEnders and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious, or is that just me???)
What advice would you give someone looking to join Specsavers?
Be open minded, we are entrepreneurial and things move so quickly. The business has grown and diversified so much in the 6 years that I have been here, but that means you'll never be bored and it means we are a growing, profitable business. Be prepared for the quirky – yes we do have a fairground in the car park once a year, when everyone dresses in fancy dress. Don't expect to be just a number – we want your opinions and contribution.