Versarien is an advanced engineering materials business, focused on developing valuable new materials and innovative new engineering solutions. SME caught up with CEO Neill Ricketts to find out about the day-to-day running of the company…
Tell me about your role – what does a typical day look like for you?
My role is very hands-on and I’m heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the business. My job involves long hours – generally 7am to 11pm – and lots of travelling, but thankfully I can work remotely wherever I am. This has been really beneficial to us as a business as that time would be lost otherwise.
Who are your biggest competitors?
Our biggest competitors are large engineering materials companies, but we set ourselves apart through our ability to act quickly and make faster decisions. When we started out, we knew that in order to compete we needed our IT strategy to be closely aligned to our core business objectives. So, we made sure that all of our IT systems were suitable for working remotely and on the cloud using SAP’s Business One. Right now, for instance, I am sat in my car looking at real-time data from our factories, which is very beneficial for us as a business. We are not tied to our locations and factories which opens up a whole world of flexibility for our staff and our company. It really doesn’t matter if I am in Warsaw, San Francisco or the Forest of Dean - the quality of my work is the same. In fact we find most of our flexible workers work harder and longer hours. It also means that we don’t waste time travelling hours for meetings that we can do remotely, which greatly improves our efficiency.
Tell me about your clients – who purchases your products?
We have a wide range of clients and customers, from very large companies to very small. We are involved in everything from Formula One to the latest technology used in computers. The different sectors we work across present different challenges so we continually need to adapt in order to meet different needs.