18

May

Meet the team: Andy Oliver

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Head of Finance, Andy Oliver.

Andy Oliver, Stevenson Heating Head of Finance

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s, Andy?

I joined the team seven years ago, in 2014, as Service Manager.

 

What did you do before that?

I worked for 30 years in the coffee industry as an engineer and service manager, repairing coffee machines in many of the big coffee chains. I used to head up the engineering section of Coffee Nation, which is now Costa Coffee.

Before that, I started out as a paper boy for John Menzies (remember them?!) and worked my way up to store manager.

 

What roles have you held at Stevenson’s?

I started as Service Manager, where I looked after the engineers and the service desk, ensuring everything ran smoothly. I was then MD for a while and took over the finance role in July 2020.

 

What do you want to achieve in your current role?

I’m working on streamlining our financial processes and systems, bringing in relevant technology to help. This will make it easier for the team and help us keep costs down – and remain cost-effective for our customers.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I am a trained barista! Something I learned during my career as an engineer in the coffee industry. You can’t fix the machines without knowing how to use them!

 

What do you enjoy doing when not working?

I, like some of the others in the team, am an avid cyclist. I’ve done the London to Brighton cycle ride five times and have twice completed a 100-mile Olympic cycling route.

My family recently had two boxer puppies, so they’re keeping me busy at the moment too. They’re only 13 weeks old, so still require a lot of looking after!

 

Do you have a favourite film?

Oh definitely Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Given my work history, it’s no surprise I’m a big coffee fan! I love a proper, freshly ground cup of coffee.

 

Did you enjoy reading about Andy Oliver? If you’d like to read more about our other staff, click here.

16

February

Meet the team: Paul Stevenson

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to IT Manager, Paul Stevenson.

Paul Stevenson

 

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s, Paul?

As it’s my family’s business, I started with Stevenson’s when I was a teenager during my school holidays. But I formally joined the payroll full-time in 1992, starting in the shop.

 

Have you worked anywhere else?

Yes, before I was fully employed here, I worked part time at Marks and Spencer while doing my A-Levels. I went to university but it wasn’t for me so I dropped out. I even once did a night shift in Tip-Top bakery in Orpington, but that wasn’t my proudest moment!

 

What roles have you held?

What roles haven’t I had?! I’ve done a bit of everything, from yard boy to MD, and still muck-in where needed. We all do – we’re a small family firm.

I’m currently the IT Manager and IT has formed a large part of what I’ve done during my nearly 30 years at Stevenson’s.

In my early days, I redesigned the stock management software, then I set up our first computer network and created the service department’s job management software. After a part-time AAC accountancy course, I took on the payroll management, updating us to the latest software accounting and payroll packages.

As technology improved, I installed our second computer network, linking all the computers, installing a Windows server and a much bigger telephone system.

Around that time, we had taken over Keston Boilers, so I spent some time getting hands-on gas experience with the engineers. I held various roles at Keston, latterly company secretary and office manager. I created a job management system and integrated it with the accounts and an engineer’s mobile reporting system.

In 2006, I transferred back to Stevenson Heating, spent a few years as Managing Director and then became IT Manager, which is really my first passion.

 

What do you want to achieve in your current role?

My priority is to streamline our IT systems again, as technology doesn’t stand still. It’s important we take advantage of technological changes – especially in these times of increased remote working – and continually improve our customer service.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

You can probably tell from my work history that I am a total nerd!

I’m also qualified as a Level 1 British Cycling Coach. My Saturday mornings are usually spent coaching at the Hayes children’s bike club, known as Bigfoot. We’ve done a version of the London to Brighton bike ride and a Hayes to Dunwich (Suffolk) three-day ride with them.

 

Do you have a favourite film or song?

My favourite film has to be Ronin. Music-wise, I mostly like 90’s Brit-pop and dance – I used to do mixing in the late 90’s.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

I am rather partial to a particular coffee from Costa: their vanilla latte!

31

December

Meet the team: Gary Chaney

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Sale Manager, Gary Chaney.

Gary Chaney Sales Manager

 

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s?

I’ve been working for Stevenson’s Sales for 34 years. I started in 1986 as a Sales Trade Counter Assistant and became Manager within a couple of years.

 

What does your role involve?

As the Sales Manager, I serve and advise customers in our shop, online, by email and over the phone. I also process and dispatch orders and I’m in charge of purchasing all the products we sell.

Over the years, my duties have varied, including the development of Keston Boilers when they became part of Stevenson’s. I was their Spares Advisor and Dispatch Manager to merchants throughout the UK.

 

What do you want to achieve in your role?

The move to West Wickham High Street in 2017 brought us many new customers wanting different products. I love helping them find new products and we continue to evolve to meet their changing demands.

As the industry changes, so do we. The shop will continue to add new stock lines. We’re an independent retailer and there aren’t many of us left in the heating and plumbing industry. We try to offer a different experience to the national companies and there’s definitely room for us to compete with them. I’d like to encourage people to shop local and support independent retailers as much as they can.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I’ve actually been working in this trade in some shape or form since I was 11 years old! And I’m still passionate about it.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I’m an avid Crystal Palace supporter, both home and away. OK, the team’s not made it to Europe yet but it’s still good to dream. For me, that would compare with England winning the World Cup!

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Definitely tea! As for sugar, I say “No thank you, Turkish, I’m sweet enough!” (which might also give you a clue to the type of films I like…!)

30

November

Meet the team: Neil Stevenson

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Director of Services, Neil Stevenson.

Neil Stevenson of Stevenson Heating Ltd

 

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s?

Although Stevenson’s is my family’s business, I didn’t join until 2013, following a 30-year career in the Met Police! At the time, my father Peter was still running the business with my brother Paul.

 

What does your role involve?

I am Director of Services, which means I’m responsible for bookings and the general day-to-day running of the office. I love dealing directly with our customers and helping them out.

 

What do you want to achieve in your role?

Stevenson Heating has been a well-known, reliable family firm in the local community for over 80 years. I want to continue its success and build on that for the next generation of customers.

 

What did you do before?

I joined the Met Police when I left school and spent a wonderful 30 years as a police officer. While in the Met, I did a law degree and legal practice course. I’m not a practising solicitor but the knowledge does come in handy for running a business too.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

Since I joined Stevenson’s, I’ve qualified as an electrician, which comes in useful when talking to customers – and at home! We have other full-time electricians on the staff but I sometimes get called on to help them out with an installation.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I’m a keen cyclist and I’m also a family man. My three daughters still live at home, although one will be moving out soon. No doubt I will be called on to do some electrical work for her!

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Tea, without a doubt. Milk, no sugar please!

31

October

Meet the team: George Tolley

By JR | Blog

Each month, we’re interviewing a different member of our team. This month we spoke to Director of Operations, George Tolley.

George Tolley Director of Operations

 

How long have you worked for Stevenson’s?

I joined 12 years ago and did my apprenticeship with them to train as a Gas Safe installations engineer. I then became a technical surveyor, before moving up to Installations Manager and now Director of Operations.

 

What does your role involve?

I look after the operational side of the business, ensuring everything runs smoothly and that the engineers are supported with their training and development. I’m still a qualified and Gas Safe registered engineer, so, I can still help out with installations when needed!

 

What did you do before?

I was a duty manager at a leisure centre and before that I delivered first aid training for the British Red Cross. I’ve always enjoyed a hands-on role.

 

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I am also known as Lieutenant Commander George Tolley (SCC), Royal Navy Reserve. I’m responsible for training new Commanding Officers of cadet units in London. It’s something I’ve been doing for around 15 years and I love it because I get to use my training, development and coaching skills here, as well as at work.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I love the outdoors and keeping fit. I play football, go running and to the gym.

 

And finally, tea or coffee?!

Oh tea, definitely!