Ten minutes with Simon Edwards, our Sales Executive

A familiar face amongst our prospects and customers in the South of England, Simon is excelling in his role after joining TWO as a Sales Executive around 18 months ago.

We spoke to Simon to learn more about his background, and what attracted him into our business.

Tell us a bit about your journey to date, Simon.

I spent the first 25 years of my career in the print and publishing sector, which was certainly very interesting. I started back in the early 1980s, before CDs were even a thing! After a period of redundancies in the 2000s, I ended up cleaning public toilets close to my home in Hastings before deciding to progress into kitchen deep cleans, and then I transitioned into the roles of Supervisor and Regional Manager with one of TWO’s competitors.

Much of my work was in cleaning grease extract systems. The directors at the company I was working for wrote the TR19 regulations, which aim to standardise extract and ductwork cleaning processes – so I can say I was closely linked with the evolution of these guidelines.

After Covid and lockdown, at the age of 57, I decided it was time for a change. I bumped into a couple of TWO’s salespeople by chance – Kay and Margarita – and they were such lovely people that I made some enquiries with Oliver, our National Sales Director, straightaway. I eventually joined TWO in October 2022.

What made you apply for a job as Sales Executive with us?

My first impression was: these are some good people. Everybody was so nice and so welcoming, so it seemed like a no brainer to join the TWO family. I was also impressed by the knowledge within the business, too. I had the pleasure of working closely with the late, great Tony Minns, who took me under his wing until he sadly passed away at the start of the year.

What does your daily routine look like?

Most of the time, I’m driving around meeting clients and carrying out surveys. I cover the whole of the South of England, so I can be in Kent one day, Cornwall the next, and Wales next week.

Much of my time is spent tracing extract systems through buildings and finding the most efficient and cost-effective way to access the equipment so it can be appropriately cleaned. People don’t realise how much work goes into this process behind the scenes – especially if the system’s design hasn’t been well-considered, meaning access could be a real issue.  The good thing is, if we can’t offer a solution – which rarely happens – we’ll know someone who can help.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

I came into the industry at the very bottom, so I have first-hand experience of difficult cleans. But as horrific as some of these cleans were, the work was actually quite fun, because of the people I got to spend time with. What I’ve learned is, everybody in this sector has their own story, and everyone has something to teach you.

I love the variety of my work, too. After more than two decades of seeing the same people and visiting the same factories, I now relish the opportunity to speak to different people. For example, the other day I was inspecting pigeon droppings in a cinema’s fire escape, and yesterday I was taking a look at the kitchens at a well-known scientific research site. From offices to army bases, hospitals to care homes, my job takes me to all sorts of fascinating places every single day.

 What does the future look like – for yourself and TWO?

I honestly believe the future of TWO is strong. As long as we can keep up with the times and embrace the latest technology – which we do! – we’ll continue to go from strength to strength. Our industry is very heavily impacted by the state of the economy, but we have an excellent team and are in a unique position.

As for me, I’m loving what I do. I can’t see myself leaving TWO. I’m enjoying getting to grips with the maintenance side of the business – I spent around 12 years getting to know the cleaning aspect, so it’s been refreshing to learn something new. I also have a great deal of respect for the directors. They are so efficient, they are always open to new ideas, and they have been very supportive of me when I’ve recently faced a bereavement in the family.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I often clock up more than 1,000 miles a week in the car, so I like to relax as much as I can during evenings and weekends.

When I was younger, I was into my golf, football, and motorcycles, and even jet skied in the Thames, down by Canary Wharf. These days, you’ll mostly find me in the garden, or watching my beloved Tottenham Hotspur. (With so many West Ham fans in the business, there’s a lot of friendly banter in our head office!)

I have two grown up children, and I’m very proud of them. I do of course love spending time with my partner and going on nice holidays when I can. So, living life to the full, I’d say!

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