Meet Lee Nattrass: Scotland and North Operations Manager
Today we’re talking to Lee Nattrass, our Scotland and North Operations Manager about what Contego means to him, his vision for the future, and what it’s like working for one of the fastest growing pest control companies in the UK.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your role
A: As Operations Manager, I’m responsible for a team of 19 pest technicians that covers an area going from the North East and across, up into the entirety of Scotland. My day to day role is primarily making sure those guys are out in the field, delivering the service that Contego has agreed on with our individual customers.
As well as managing the day to day intake of work, a big part of my role is making sure the guys on the team are happy, healthy, and safe.
It’s hard to describe my role in a nutshell because Operations Managers do a bit of everything. One minute we might be dealing with a complaint, the next we’re passing on a bit of praise that’s coming in. The rest of the time, we’re covering sickness and holidays, recruiting, and getting the technicians in the right geographical areas for work.
I also have an HR function; there’s absence issues, welfare issues, and training to deal with so it’s a real mixed bag. I always say my day to day plan works until I get my first phone call, then I end up planning my day around that!
Q: Tell us about your previous experience
A: I’ve been in the pest control industry for 15 years. I worked as a technician in a van for 3 years, then after that, I worked in some sales and training roles with another company. I then moved into service/operations management where I was responsible for a team of technicians. Following that, I stepped into a higher operations management role where I was in charge of the managers who managed the operations.
I accepted redundancy from my previous role last year and moved to Contego in September, where I took over managing the northern part of the business.
Q: What does Contego means to you?
A: The last business I worked for was managed in a way which made you feel like a cog in a machine. You had a voice, but they chose whether or not to listen. What I find refreshing about Contego is that no matter who you are; an operations manager, technician, or office staff, if you want to get a point across or you feel that something is relevant to the business, you get heard. If something is viable, it will be put into practice. As a company, Contego is really responsive to change and engages everyone on the ground.
For me, working at Contego is fast-paced. I came from another business where trying to get anything done was like wading through treacle. Things get done at Contego, especially when the customer is the one who is going to better off at the end of it.
Q: With the acquisition of Pest Guard last year, how has the tempo of your role changed?
A: There’s been a huge uptick in tempo. It’s been a quick turnaround and a lot of change. The number of Contego personnel in Scotland more than doubled overnight. We had the workflow to do it and it showed.
All of a sudden, we went from being a mid-sized regional player in Scotland to one of the largest providers in the country. I don’t think there are many national firms that have the head count that we do, north of the border.
Q: What is the benefit of using Contego as a pest control service?
A: From what I’ve seen in the short time I’ve been here, no other national provider is as consistent as Contego. We get there when we say we are going to get there. The technicians have the facilities available that enable them to complete a really high percentage of jobs first time. We aren’t restricted with waiting for stock delivery or waiting for guys to be available to do the work. We have the capacity so the technicians can go in, find the problem, and treat it on visit one.
Q: What do you think the future holds for Contego?
A: For me, it’s about being part of a fast growing team and helping to take the company to where it wants to be in the next 5-10 years.
Q: What’s one of the best things about working for Contego?
A: Everyone knows your name and you get recognised for a job well done. For example, I got a nice compliment email from a customer about one of my technicians and I just fired it off to Norman, the MD, and Michael, the CEO. Both of them contacted the technician to say thank you for a job well done. How often do you see that?
So, Lee stepped into a new role and he’s 100% focused on driving Contego’s already impressive growth in the months and years to come. What’s next for Lee, and for Contego? Watch this space!