Rob Stephens, CEO and Founder
Rob founded SI (Systems Integration) in 1992. He had already gained a wealth of expertise in the food sector, after successive senior operational roles, and from this insight he knew the shortcomings of the mainstream ERP and MES solutions.
“I was frustrated by the number of systems I reviewed where claims were made that they had been fine tuned for food productivity and could address all operational issues. But the reality was, they couldn’t”.
“It was clear to me that unless software had been specifically designed for the sector by people who really understood the complexities of every operational stage, then it would never be an effective solution for sites I managed.”
With his tacit knowledge of the intricacies of the industry, processes and issues, Rob established SI and with a team of experts, developed a whole new solution that was fit for purpose. With his new product suite, Integreater, food productivity companies now have the comfort of a solution developed just for their market, delivered by experts who truly understand the customers’ challenges.
Mike Derrick, Chief Operating Officer
With 23 years’ service, Mike is one of the original members of the team at SI (Systems Integration).
“When I joined SI, it was very early days for the product. I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been able to help shape things from the foundations upwards; to implement, support and develop the product from the beginning.”
“Over the years I’ve worked at many customer sites throughout the UK, USA and Portugal. As a result, I’ve gained in depth knowledge of the food productivity industry; I’ve been able to apply my experience to help further develop our products and services.”
As the company grew Mike took on responsibility for the Support department. Due to his unique knowledge of how the company and product has evolved, Mike then progressed into a new role focused on company-wide process improvement, performance evaluation and inter-departmental co-operation. Now, in his new role as Chief Operating Officer, Mike has taken charge of continuous improvement across the company.
Outside of challenges of work, football is a regular feature in his life. “My two boys play football at a good level and my wife is a club secretary. But when I’m not on the sidelines, I’m just as happy watching the 4 o’clock Sunday kick off in the pub with friends.”
James Edwards, Operations Director
“I’m passionate about providing solutions that transform our customers’ business operations, speaking our customers’ language and understanding their business needs”.
“One of the things that I believe is really special about the company, is our people. The proof is in how we all work together, our friendships and how many of our employees have invested the majority of their careers with SI (Systems Integration).”
With more than 15 years’ service with the company, James is one of the many team members who have grown their careers with SI. He started in a support role but as the company became more successful and gained a broad customer base, James was chosen to put in place our specialist implementation team. “I’m passionate about providing solutions that transform our customers’ business operations. I pride myself on speaking our customers’ language and understanding their business needs foremost, before getting into the technical jargon, and I encourage all of my team to follow this same mantra”.
Outside of work, James’ passions are music – particularly gigs – and, more importantly, his family.
Richard Montgomery, Sales Director
“My no.1 priority is to understand the production issues that prospective customers are dealing with and how their business currently runs, rather than just presenting our software.”
Richard heads up the commercial side of our company and manages a team of expert food productivity consultants. “When I meet with a prospect, my no.1 priority is to understand the production issues that they are dealing with and how their business currently runs, rather than just presenting our software. All of my team takes the same level of care to listen and consult with companies that are seeking a new food productivity system. We take them through a process that ensures we define and deliver the right solution for their business.”
Richard’s passion for rugby, especially playing the sport, provides a natural outlet for his enthusiasm and competitiveness. Aside from rugby and sport, Richards enjoys music and spending time with his family.
John Graham, Business Development Manager
“I’m 20 years in, but this is an industry where you never stop learning,… Even now, I still get a buzz when visiting the factory floor at our customer sites.“
John’s been with SI for over 20 years and, as number 4 on the payroll, has a gained a wealth of expertise in the food manufacturing industry. His in-depth knowledge is underpinned by professional qualifications from Smithfield College and more than 15 years working within environmental health, the meat processing industry and supermarket supplier auditing.
“During my early years at SI I was responsible for introducing software and data capture within food processing quality control departments. The need to demonstrate supermarket compliance and product traceability was evolving quickly and our data capture capability was quickly gaining a reputation as a proven expert solution to address the issues.” Nowadays, John’s role is focused on the provision of after-sales services and customer account management. “I’m 20 years in, but this is an industry where you never stop learning, it’s such an innovative and dynamic sector. Even now, I still get a buzz when visiting the factory floor at our customer sites. “
Outside of SI life, he plays sport to varying degrees of success; “I’m still a keen golfer, but considering the number of years I have been playing I should be better than 14 handicap!”
Ian Mills, Support Director
“I believe it’s how we work together at SI that sets us apart from our competition. After 12 years, I am still genuinely excited to be working here.”
Ian has worked with us for over 12 years. His ambition, experience and drive has seen him progress from his initial job on the Helpdesk, to Support Manager and now to his current Support Director role. “I am lucky enough to love my job and that makes it very easy to put the level of passion and commitment into everything that I do. After 12 years, I am still genuinely excited to be working at SI (Systems Integration).”
Ian’s team is just as committed and share his determination to provide great customer support. “I believe it’s how we work together at SI that sets us apart from our competition. I’m proud of the team I’ve built up and each of their achievements; they are all determined, very capable and experienced. It’s the difference between people with true quality v qualifications.”
“I’m proud of my team; they are all determined, very capable and experienced. It’s the difference between people with true quality v qualifications.”
For Ian, his family is his natural priority, and getting the work/life balance right is all important. “I was born and raised in South Africa until I was 8 so naturally I developed a love of Rugby. The sport’s all about teamwork and commitment, and that’s a great analogy for how we are at Systems Integration. Summed up perfectly in one of my favourite quotes” – “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – Invictus.
Paul Dawson, Implementation Manager
“Every day I get to use my strengths in strategic planning, analysis and communication, and it’s very rewarding.”
Paul’s gained a wealth of knowledge of food production systems, both client side and from within SI. With a 15 year background in food retail management and a further 2 years in IT operations management, his skill set proved a great fit for SI when he joined as an implementations technician three years ago. He was soon promoted to Implementations Manager, and plays a crucial role in managing SI’s growing business and projects.
“I take great pride in building strong relationships with our customers and taking ownership of their project management and contract delivery.”
Paul’s passionate about bringing the best out of people through team development, training and coaching, and committed to getting things right first time. “Continuous improvement is something that I really advocate. I feel very privileged to be on such a great journey with SI. I love working with real people, to deliver for food people – talking their language and delivering solutions that fit their purpose. Every day I get to use my strengths in strategic planning, analysis and communication, and it’s very rewarding.”
Family life and work-life balance is important for Paul. “Aside from my wonderful family, outside of work my interests are an eclectic mix of music – especially Rock – science fiction books and movies, guitar playing, and football.”
Marc Cox, Senior Implementations Technician
“It’s very fulfilling to see a customer take on board everything that you can teach them and then watch their business grow with us.”
Marc joined SI in 1997, when the expectation of the Year 2K crisis was the topping the headlines in the computer press. From his initial experience with Unix, Informix and Cobol, he’s seen at a detailed level how our software has evolved to incorporate the levels of sophistication and complexity that our customers now require – whatever segment of the industry they operate within.
“It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at SI for 20 years now, but then again many of the team have had equally long careers with the company. I think it’s the combination of the interesting work and projects, our people, the culture and values of SI that has definitely created a great working environment.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to build my experience in a variety of roles, starting with programming and then moving into Customer Services and Support, which was a really interesting and rewarding role. For the past three years I’ve been part of the Implementations Team in a customer facing role. This is a role I relish; it’s when I get to apply all the knowledge that I have gained over the past 20 years, in real situations, to build systems that cover all of their requirements. It’s very fulfilling to see a customer take on board everything that you can teach them and then watch their business grow with us.”
“Outside of work I enjoy spending most of my time with my family, having an adventure somewhere new is something we all love to do!” Marc also exercises his competitive streak by playing golf, tennis, squash and badminton, and taking part in the Central Warwickshire over 35 football league.