Digital Plant Manager
Flannery Plant Hire

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My name’s Paul. I work for Flannery Plant Hire.

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They’re a UK-wide operation. I’m based out of Birmingham, in Curdworth.

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And today we’re coming from our head office in West London.

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Flannery rents out machines to the construction industry

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and you’ll see them as large diggers, excavators, bulldozers.

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We’ve got a whole fleet of machines throughout the UK.

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My role here, as digital plant manager, is to manage a UK

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team of engineers who go out and fix and install products

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on Flannery machines at customer sites.

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From the early 2000s there’s been an adoption of products that enhance machines

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and that consists of telematics, GPS systems,

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total stations and remote support.

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Telematics allows us to log into each machine

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at any point during the day and it’s a remote control system.

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School for me – I concentrated on what I was good at to be honest with you.

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Mathematics was not a strong area for me, but I was great at art.

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I felt that doing things that I enjoyed

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allowed me to be, I suppose, more confident in them areas.

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I then went to sixth form.

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I’d done well on my GCSEs and I done again subjects that

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I enjoyed for two years, which is art, history and media.

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And then after that I got an apprenticeship.

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I started as an apprentice technician

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and that was servicing equipment.

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I didn’t really know what it was at that time, to be honest with you,

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but I just knew that it was something that I wanted to do

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and it was an apprenticeship which no one really knew anything about.

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I liked it because they were putting me back through City and Guilds on a day break.

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So I got to learn as well.

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So while I had four days of work, the Wednesday of

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every week I was sent off to college to learn electronics.

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I finished my apprenticeship with Sekeya

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and then I joined a company which was called Survey Supplies.

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I joined a business that was called Quarec, joined as a service technician.

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I joined a company called VP PLC as a specialist engineer,

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and then I joined a company called Bolles, who are a Dutch company – family-run

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business again, similar to Flannery’s. I was there for six and a half years.

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Ended up as a director, starting off from a technical support engineer.

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So I didn’t realise it until I actually started work that I’d learned

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quite a lot in terms of at the time, in geography, in terms of mapping,

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understanding where places are, how to scale and understand

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how to do a grid – which are all applicable in my job today.

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When we’re looking to recruit, we’re looking for great attitude,

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I think, because you can train people

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with a great attitude, people that are willing to listen and learn.

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The advice I would give you is

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don’t let a piece of paper with results written on it

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judge you or define you

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and once you win that job, give it your all.


“Don’t let a piece of paper with results written on it judge you or define you.”

Paul became an apprentice technician after sixth form. He had roles with a number of companies, before working his way up to a director position. He now leads a team of engineers who fix and install digital products on machines such as diggers, excavators and bulldozers.

More information about Production managers and directors in construction

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

88%  male 
12%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Production managers and directors in construction direct and co-ordinate resources for the construction and maintenance of civil and structural engineering works including houses, flats, factories, roads and runways, bridges, tunnels and railway works, harbour, dock and marine works and water supply, drainage and sewage works.
There are no pre-set entry standards. Entry is possible with either a degree or equivalent qualification and/or relevant experience, via apprenticeships or S/NVQs in Management at levels 3 to 5. On-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available.
  • Liaises with other managers to plan overall production activity and construction activities, sets quality standards and estimates timescales and costs;
  • Receives invitations to tender, arranges for estimates and liaises with client, architect and engineers for the preparation of contracts;
  • Plans, directs and co-ordinates the construction and maintenance of civil and structural engineering works, including demolition, open-cast mining works and pipeline and piling;
  • Receives reports upon work in progress to ensure that materials and construction methods meet with specifications and statutory requirements and that there are no deviations from agreed plans.
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