James Lomas, head of sales industrial at Arrow Solutions, has been named The Manufacturer’s Employee of the Month March 2017.
What is your role and what are your main responsibilities?
Arrow Solutions is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of cleaning and maintenance products, with our markets spread between commercial hygiene and industrial. My role is to lead the industrial sales team, predominantly covering the aerospace, energy, marine, rail and engineering sectors.
I create and implement sales strategies that achieve new business growth and client retention, and play a pivotal role in the launch of new products. I also manage the business plan for a portfolio of key distributor partners across the UK, Europe and Scandinavia.
What are the key technical skills you use?
I spend a lot of time understanding the requirements of our clients. This allows me to identify the relevant approvals, processes and specifications required to introduce the right solution.
By ensuring our sales managers have the same level of knowledge we can provide the best support to our end users and distributor partners. Communication between my team and our technical and compliance department is critical so that we understand the application of our technology and how it fits in with industry and regulatory requirements.
What personal characteristics help you in your role?
Sales is a very demanding profession that suits people who thrive in a high-performing environment and enjoy daily challenges and targets, which is an ideal fit for me. I consider myself to be a people person and this helps me engage constructively with the customer when addressing the challenges they face.
What’s your biggest personal success at the company so far?
My biggest success to date has been the implementation of a new strategic approach for the sales management team. Arrow Solutions’ route to market is through our network of distributor partners, but historically we have been reactive in the way we structure the sale, often leaving it to them to secure growth. Now, the team proactively targets and approaches organisations we believe share our commitment to world-class cleaning and maintenance, and develop bespoke strategies that help them get our products to market.
An example of this in practice is the relationship we have developed with an international oil and gas service company. Due to the pressures in that industry, it was looking for ways to reduce costs. We reviewed its processes and application methods and offered Lotoxane as an alternative chemical solution for cleaning drill caps. The product is both odourless and non-flammable, so it immediately appealed to the HSE team. Better still, it was more effective than the incumbent product and allowed the customer to reduce cleaning time from days to hours, resulting in very significant savings.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I always find it interesting to visit some of the larger manufacturers, learn about cutting-edge technology and the new challenges it poses. New developments in composite materials are a good example of where innovative cleaning solutions are required.
Do you have a career ambition?
Although Arrow Solutions has a number of overseas operations, we do not currently have a large presence in the US and I’d relish the challenge of growing the awareness of the Arrow Solutions brand over there.