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CV - Richard Grace

My CV

 

Engineer -  formally trained in business administration - 18 years corporate management experience + 24 years in "self-owned / SME" business.

    Overview / Achievements:

    • Educated at Herbert Strutt Grammar School, Belper, Derbyshire / studied computer engineering and management at Branksome Hilders Management School Haslemere Surrey
    • Recruited by Olivetti to work as field engineer on the worlds first desktop computer the P101 age 17
    • East Midlands UK customer service manager with Olivetti : age 21
    • Appointed Regional manager Olivetti North East UK : age 26
    • UK National Business Planning manager Olivetti (head office London) : age 31
    • Served 5 years as UK director of the Association of Computer Field Service Managers (part time unpaid role - Olivetti supported)
    • Service business development manager Rank Xerox UK age 37 (for 2 years) / (Organised strategy and management buyout of photocopier refurbishment business St Helens Merseyside) note: Left Xerox to pursue own businesses as sales director and significant shareholder of the buyout company.
    • Established the first photocopier company based in Russia at the fall of communism. (interesting note): "photocopiers were not available for legal public use under communism" : age 38
    • Other Achivements

    • Developed and managed full service building company - (specialist in Garden Annexes)
    • Created multiple IT/web projects including order processing systems, activity reporting systems and on-line sales ventures.
    • Written/published "multiple" articles, business plans, websites and blogs

    Positions held / Chronology:

     

    Current activity - Consultant / (specialist areas):

     

    2002 – 2017

     

    Project Director / Owner: Garden Structures. Following a consultancy project (importing log cabins from Eastern Europe in 2001) Richard established a business designing and building Garden Offices. This business became a major player in it’s own sector with hundreds of satisfied clients. The marketing was almost exclusively via Internet with multiple PPC and SEO strategies. This building business was a full-service operation and was closed / transferred at the end of 2017 (operates now under new ownership).

    Richard continues an involvement recommending building contractors nationwide for garden building site-work all trades. The specialisation is advising clients (on a paid basis) regarding "Granny Annexes and UK Planning Permission" in the client / supplier planning phase.

    2001-2002

     

    Principal Business Consultant - Having sold the highly successful printer consumables mail order businesses in December 2000 (to a larger competitor) Aarco became the vehicle for a new business consulting company. Projects included business advice services, business-planning and capital raising advice for young entrepreneurs. The specialist area was on-line ventures.

    1994-2000

     

    Managing Director of Aarco 120 Ltd: Richard developed a mail order business selling computer consumables (inkjet and toner cartridges) nationwide with emphasis on home user / small Business markets. This business grew significantly over the years and was sold to a larger company in a similar market. Sales were made by telephone and multiple e-commerce websites. Aarco took its first on-line order in 1994 and subsequently developed 3 active e-commerce websites accounting for 65% of business turnover.

    1989-1994

    Managing Director of Vastflex Ltd: Vastflex started life as a group holding company attracting grant and venture capital funding. The Group employed 150 people with business interests in the UK and Russia. Richard developed 5 trading companies in the reprographic market spanning manufacturing, distribution and customer service. All the group companies were sold or closed before October 1994. Three of these companies still trade actively.

    1987-1989

     

    Service Development Manager Rank Xerox UK Ltd: Richard was recruited to help transition of the company from its reliance on photocopiers to a broader market position in IT. Richard developed the 3 -year business plan covering adaptation to technology driven change 1989-1992. In 1992 Richard led the management buyout of the Xerox UK photocopier refurbishment facility to form 4pm Limited (the original company in the Vastflex Ltd Group).

    1983-1987

     

    Business Planning Manager British Olivetti Ltd. In 1983 Richard became responsible for strategic development of the Service Division, which was facing technology driven change. During this period the company developed Multi-Vendor service offerings within the IT environment. Richard led the sales operation and an acquisition team buying many companies to speed up knowledge development. In his final year the company won a £multi-million maintenance contract for service of all Barclays Bank IT equipment in UK. Richard developed a computer based product knowledge system to support the field engineering operation in handling service on more than 1000 new high tech products. (Note: Richard selected as one of 6 consultants advising Racal on the development of the first UK cellular network to be installed in and around London during this period)

    1978-1993

     

    Regional Manager British Olivetti Ltd (North East). Responsible for operational and business performance issues. Richard became the youngest ever Regional Manager at 26 years of age. With budget and profit responsibility Richard led a team of 70 people from 5 branch offices in the small business computer sales and service business.

    1973-1978

     

    Customer Service Manager British Olivetti (East Midlands). Leading a team of 12 engineers servicing specialist business computers in the East Midlands. Richard was heavily involved in developing a new computer based field engineering statistical reporting system. This system was later, implemented by Olivetti on an international basis.

    Education:

     

    Education - Richard was educated at Herbert Strutt Grammar School, Belper, Derbyshire and Branksome Hilders Management School Haslemere Surrey

    Accreditation:

     

    Accreditation including specialisation in e-commerce and ICT was achieved with the British Accreditation Bureau in September 2001. (Certificate No SAC2072)

    Memberships

     

    Richards company - Aarco 120 Ltd Est. 1994 was a member of Chester and Wirral Chamber of Commerce for a period of 10 years.

    Professional Association Achievements

     

    In 1986-89 Richard Served as UK Director of the Association of IT Field Service Managers International and a full member of the worldwide board.  This role involved speaking at conferences on both sides of the Atlantic on IT Customer Service as a business.

    Other

     

    Richard is a qualified electrician, plumber - (Part P certified domestic installer) and has significant knowledge and experience in domestic building (all trades).

    Home Life

     

    Richard is married (40+ years) to Noella, "business-woman, dancer, singer and choreographer". Noella and Richard have two children and four grandchildren.

    Contact

    email -  richardgrace1@gmail.com

    websites and blogs (links at)  -  www.aarco.co.uk

    Address: Richard Grace, Bracken House, Woodlands Road, Chester, CH4 8LB or

    telephone 07376 746265

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