New Spitalfields Market is filled with bustling stalls full of fruit and vegetables from all over the world, and Dawsongroup material handling is in the unique position of having its own workshop on site. With two decades of experience in the industry, David Florence, Field Service Team Leader South, is the perfect person to run both the workshop and the growing South and Midlands service team.
Growing with the Flo
Even before David Florence, more often known as Flo, started officially working for Dawsongroup in 2016, he worked on the material handling rental fleet when he was employed by a subcontractor. Through his engineering apprenticeship with this subcontractor, during which he became an Associate Member of the Institute of the Motor Industry, he gained an understanding of how Dawsongroup works and liked what he saw. When the then MD of Dawsongroup material handling, Paul Shires, contacted Flo about a maintenance job he was completing, he suggested he should work for Dawsongroup instead – and the rest, as they say – is history.
From Field Service Engineer to Technical Support, and then onto his current role as Team Leader, Flo progressed rapidly due to his knowledge of Dawsongroup’s philosophy and methodology, and he counts this as his biggest accomplishment to date. In his current role, he has grown his team from two to eight engineers covering servicing and maintenance across London and the Midlands.
“Adapting from being an engineer to what I do now is a completely different task, and I’m always learning,” said Flo. “Having a background in engineering really helps, as I understand any problem and I can support my team when they’re out in the field.”
Customers Come First
Customer service is a priority for Flo, and he goes above and beyond to accommodate the unusual working hours of his clients. Often starting work at 9 or 10pm and finishing by 7am, customers were finding it difficult to report issues during office opening hours. Flo set up a WhatsApp group where customers can send the information and photos about the forklift truck that needs to be fixed at any time. Flo can then assign an engineer and they can go straight to the customer first thing, instead of having to wait for the office to open at 8am to begin processing the report.
This innovative way of communicating with customers and ensuring that their needs are dealt with promptly has made Flo well known in the Spitalfields community.
“Everyone finds it easier to speak to someone they know and trust,” said Flo. “After years of relationship building, I get on with customers on both a personal and professional level. Customers are the priority, and whatever their problem is we’ll bend over backwards to get it fixed as quickly as possible.”
Another reason our market customers are so happy with the service they receive from us is that we are able to offer bespoke service packages in addition to what they get from us as standard. One of Flo’s customers finds this service invaluable as a frequent issue they have is banding – where plastic wrap that has been removed from crates of fruit and vegetables gets wrapped around the axles of the forklift trucks as they drive over it, potentially damaging the brakes or seals. Usually, removing the banding is a chargeable service; however, as it is included in their bespoke service package (which they pay a little extra for), the customer never has to worry about any unexpected costs arising from these types of repairs. It also reduces their truck downtime as the de-banding is managed regularly.
Flowing into the Future
Outside of work, Flo spends as much time as possible with his teenage daughter, often taking her to festivals and concerts due to their shared love of music. They are already looking forward to seeing the Foo Fighters next year!
Looking to the future, Flo wants to continue his progression with Dawsongroup into the management side of servicing. Robotics and automation have recently joined the Dawsongroup material handling portfolio, and Flo is keen is to be involved with this newly developing part of the business. He also enjoys Dawsongroup’s in-house leadership training and plans to continue learning new skills and developing his management skills.
“Managing people is hard work,” said Flo. “Sometimes it means having to be tough, so I’m learning how to do that as well. I’ve had a couple of good role models who I’ve shadowed and listened to, and I try to put myself in their shoes and make judgements based on what they’d do and my training. I always have a clear conscience as people know I’m making decisions for the right reasons.”
If you are interested in joining the Dawsongroup material handling team either with David Florence or with any of our other teams across the country, or any other part of Dawsongroup, check out our careers here.