Retail Services Team Manager
James Pringle is Manager of Waterscan’s Retail
Services Team in Chichester.
This growing team is responsible for conducting all market transactions on behalf of companies like Greene King, David Lloyd Leisure, Sainsbury’s and Kellogg’s that have chosen to Self-Supply their water and wastewater services in partnership with Waterscan.
James, tell us about your role.
My role has evolved considerably over the last five years, reflecting changes in the UK’s wider water market. I joined the business as an Account Executive but, with market deregulation (which enabled non-household customers to choose who they wanted to supply them in the same way as they can for gas and electricity), came the opportunity for businesses to Self-Supply. This is where Retail Services comes in.
We undertake the management of all retail functions in the water market on behalf of customers who Self-Supply; interacting with wholesalers, submitting meter reads into the market system, validating invoices and resolving any bilateral queries arising. We work closely with account managers and liaise with customer finance teams to ensure their water accounts run smoothly. We produce performance reports for the Board and for the quarterly Self-Supply Users Forums and naturally support any customer specific reporting requirements.
It’s good to know that our transactional data feeds into the bigger sustainability picture too; what we do helps some of Britain’s biggest companies achieve their goals on water efficiency.
We’re a team of just over ten now so, personally, I spend time supporting my colleagues, working on complex issues and coordinating individual customer projects.
What brought you to Waterscan?
Quite simply, the opportunity for growth and development. I wanted a career path and be somewhere I could use my data analysis skills to make a difference. Prior to joining Waterscan, I felt like I was just a tiny part of something bigger and that what I did didn’t matter too much. It’s different here. In a smaller company, you can have an impact; one of the first customers I worked with was Tesco, for example.
I know that my input has been valued throughout the five years that I’ve been here and I’m quite sure that’s how everyone feels. We’re much more than ‘cogs in a wheel’. We actually contribute to the way that our company is going. It’s an enjoyable experience too, as it’s a really friendly environment – everyone knows each other.
Waterscan is a great company to work for. The fact that I’ve been promoted three times in five years says a lot about the opportunities that exist here in an exciting new marketplace.
As a manager, what skills do you look for in candidates?
We talk a lot about data in our industry, but you don’t have to be a data scientist to work here. We’ve got a real mix of backgrounds and I welcome that. In my view, education and technical backgrounds are less important than strong, accurate analytical skills and enthusiasm to get involved.
It’s important to me that everyone in the team works on every customer account so that there’s a good overlap of skills and knowledge. Naturally, this brings with it a great deal of juggling, but it also means there’s a great deal of support for everyone in the team.
James Pringle’s career journey
- 2017Account Executive
- 2018Senior Retail Services Analyst
- 2020Retail Services Team Manager