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15 years as Head of eCommerce – what Neil’s learned

As part of our “sharing the wisdom” series of articles, we are catching up with a range of very experienced sector professionals.

We ask them what ‘key things’ they’ve learned and could pass on to those within their sector. Some advice in here for those working in the same profession as well as the next gen of talent.

Next up, Neil Fitzpatrick, Head of eCommerce and Direct Sales at PDOL / Independent Vet Care. Neil is an award-winning eCommerce professional with over 15 years’ experience in managing the production and promotion of eCommerce websites across Mail Order, Retail and Wholesale businesses. Neil returned to the UK after a number of years working to develop Arnotts online, Ireland’s largest Department Store in Dublin.

Now, Neil, in an attempt to capture some of the wisdom you’ve gained as a professional so far, what are “5 stand-out things” you’ve learned within the past 15 years, while working within eCommerce?

Neil Fitzpatrick

  1. Your greatest assets are your staff. From the entry level to the most experienced, your team members are critical to you and to each other. Mentor them, have their backs, encourage them to challenge things and to always keep raising their standards. Every single one of them should understand completely their part to play to the wider team. Otherwise they are just a group and a group is not a team.
  2. It’s all about the customer. It can only ever be about your customers. Every decision you make should be led by how you will exceed their expectations. With all our really clever digital innovations over the past few years, the customer will still want the same things in 20 years’ time…great value and great service. Make it easy for them and you will make it so much easier for yourself. If you don’t love your customer, pick a different industry.
  3. Recognise your bottlenecks. When your resource is equal to or less than the demand placed upon it, it slows down performance so it’s critical to tackle bottlenecks as soon as you see them, and work out a strategy to tackle them in priority order. By turning bottlenecks into short-term, realistic goals and then incorporating those goals into their long-term strategy you can handle the bottleneck and the business continues to grow.
  4. Time is what makes everything tick. Time is our most precious asset, but it’s also our greatest enemy. Value your time more than anything. Reclaiming as little as one hour each day by eliminating an unproductive or ineffective process can make a significant difference over time. One hour saved means you can invest one quality hour in something more important.
  5. Know where you’re going. A clear vision and strategy of your business’s future is essential to encourage and motivate your team. It gives you all goals and standards to reach. To have a clear strategy you must be well informed to ensure you can make crucial business decisions to keep the business moving forward.

Thank you Neil for sharing!