What better way to find out what we’re really like than to hear from the people who make what we do possible – our employees.
Over the last few months, you may have noticed we’ve taken the time to speak to several team members to provide you with a closer look at who we are and what we’re all about.
This month, we thought we’d treat you to a behind-the-scenes glimpse at one of our customer-facing roles that’s integral to what we do. Here we find out what it’s like to be one of our canopy installers, courtesy of Andy O’ Toole, who is one of our eight installers.
Q: What time do you tend to start work?
A: I start early so that I’m prepped and ready to go first thing. Most days, I’m usually loading my van at 6am and arriving on site anywhere between 8am and 9am, depending on where I’m based in the country.
Q: What’s the first task you carry out each day?
A: I always make sure my van is organised for the day/weekly jobs ahead. If I don’t, then this means I could be short of components and this could delay the jobs I’m working on, which is a big no-no!
Q: How much time do you spend outdoors Vs indoors?
A: As I’m a canopy installer, I spend most of my time outdoors. I only tend to be indoors when I’m loading up in the warehouse.
Q: How much travelling’s involved with your role?
A: It varies from week-to-week. If I’m working away, I can be travelling up to four to five hours away, and sometimes, 300 miles away. If I’m closer to home and in and around Lancashire, then I can be travelling ten minutes to a couple of hours.
Q: Roughly how many canopies have you installed during your time at Canopies UK?
A: Well, I install one a day and I’ve been with the company for eight years, so that makes it around 2,000!
Q: Are all canopy installations the same? If not, why?
A: No, they aren’t the same. Canopy installations vary from day-to-day, even more so recently due to the fact we’re continuously adding to our extensive range with new designs and products. One day I can be installing a compact door canopy for a council, the next, I can be working on a large outdoor classroom for a school.
Q: What’s the one task that enables you to do your work well?
A: Organising my van. If I didn’t do this, then I wouldn’t have the right materials for my work. Double checking the canopy measurements with customers before I start work is also incredibly important, as it helps minimise the risk of errors taking place.
Q: Who else do you work with on the installations?
A: I work with our other canopy installers and also our installation manager, who oversees our work and makes sure everything’s being delivered exactly to the brief. All of the work carried out by our warehouse, admin and office staff also helps make sure jobs goes smoothly.
Q: What’s your fastest canopy installation so far?
A: 30 minutes – it was a Royale door canopy installation that was local to us in Blackburn for a domestic customer – everything just went to plan.
Q: What’s your longest canopy installation so far?
Three months – it was the Cantabria canopy at the rooftop bar, Savage Garden, which is at The DoubleTree Hilton in Central London. We installed the canopy, which features six retractable roofs, 12 storeys up. (To find out more about the sky-high project take a look at this case study).
Q: When you leave for the day, what’s the last thing you like to know you’ve done?
A: I like to make sure the customer is happy with their canopy and that the site has been left clean and tidy.
Q: Describe your job in one word.
A: Fantastic because I love being responsible for the quality of my work.
Want to find out more about the work carried out by our employees? This blog reveals what a typical day’s like for our warehouse manager, Sean Hammett. He heads up one of the teams that enables Andy to do his job.