Business Irish

Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Whatever background you are from, once you take on a management role you have to adapt'

Marguerite O'Grady, Managing Director of KEMP Technology's EMEA operations

Published 09/08/2015 | 02:30

Marguerite O'Grady started in accountancy
Marguerite O'Grady started in accountancy

'In a start-up situation, you have to be willing to do a bit of everything. My background is in accountancy and I trained at one of the larger accountancies in Limerick.

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"After working in accountancy practices for five years, it was a very big change to move into industry with Dell and then later into a start-up office with Kemp.

"When I joined Kemp, I had responsibility for finance and operations, but as Kemp were only establishing their EMEA office in Ireland, it also meant having responsibility for everything - from buying office furniture, to purchasing laptops and getting the broadband in. It's a much broader experience than you would have in a bigger firm.

"I've really come to appreciate that customer satisfaction is king. When you work purely in an accountancy role, you don't have the opportunity to interact with clients fully - you're the person who sends out their invoices and chases them for payment.

"Moving into a senior managerial role required a change of mindset, as now it was about making sure the customer gets the right product and that they get it in a timely fashion - then following up with them to make sure that they are happy with their product.

"You are at the front line. Whatever background you're come from, when you take on a management role, you have to adapt to the fact that you are dealing with people from all areas of your business.

"When I'm involved in the recruitment process for engineer roles, it is important for me to give as much support to the hiring manager as possible, as my background is accountancy.

"Management requires a wider span of responsibility, and managing operations and logistics was a major change for me. I went from working as an accountant to handling shipping, interfacing with sales, marketing and IT operations of the business.

"It's important to understand where the business is growing, to understand the markets, to make sure that you have sufficient staffing numbers and the right staff to meet future growth opportunities.

"You have to keep your eyes and ears open. Every day is a learning experience - and you have to make sure that you are in tune with the business... and that the business is in tune with customers' needs."

Sunday Indo Business

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