Skip to main content

Meet John

Read John's interview to see what he thinks about working with us at Western Power Distribution.

I was initially attracted to WPD because of the Buyer job role advertised.  At the time I was working in an Operations Manager role for a small business, but working as a Buyer was ultimately where I wanted to be.  When I researched the company in more detail I found there to be many perks to being an employee here; and with my partner also working for the company she didn’t hold back from singing WPD’s praises.   

The Purchasing teams look after contracts for the whole business.  My role is to facilitate the different areas of the business to ensure that they have contracts in place with the correct suppliers, supplying the correct items at the agreed pricing.  In a typical week I could be liaising with colleagues in Transport relating to an upcoming tender for vehicles; working with Wayleaves to score some tender submissions; conducting a contract review meeting with a supplier alongside colleagues from the Training Centre; and visiting the Helicopter Unit to discuss some new technology purchased and its impact on the business.

My previous job role was within a small family business.  Whilst this was enjoyable and challenging, it didn’t have the same level of employee benefits as working for a big company like WPD.  I am now working in an environment where there is genuine opportunity for progression; where study and training is actively encouraged and funded; the salary structure and pension on offer is better than the market average; and because there are more people there’s more activities, like company football, touch rugby, squash and gym training.

At WPD it feels like we all genuinely enjoy working for the company.  Employees are empowered to make decisions and manage their own workload; there is a culture built on integrity and hard work; and communication within teams and company-wide is positive.  Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.

To be successful at WPD I’d suggest the following few points:

Work hard, be organized and manage your work load effectively

Learn more about the different teams and departments, and get to know people

Get involved with as many extra groups and activities facilitated by WPD

Through my role as a Buyer I have been working through Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) study and exams.  WPD have funded the cost of all learning materials and exams, and also provide study leave for focused revision in the run up to sitting the exams.  Alongside this there is a WPD Buyer training programme in place covering all aspects of the role - this training is delivered by the Senior Buyer over a 6-month period.  As a department we also receive other types of training – we have this year completed a course relating to EU Procurement Regulations, and also legal training delivered by the company solicitors.

During the 12 months that I have worked at WPD completing my first full tender is an achievement – this involved multiple stages, lots of analysis and supplier meetings, followed by contract award. 

I have successfully passed my first 3 CIPS exams in quick succession, and have booked 2 more for November.  Hopefully my first level of study will be completed by the end of the year.

Perhaps the biggest achievement though was captaining the WPD team in the Bath Corporate Touch Rugby competition, where the squad was successful in coming away with silverware!

Coming into WPD from a different industry was challenging.  Not only did I have to learn about all aspects of the company, but I also needed to get a sound knowledge of electricity distribution.  The company advised me to enroll on a course delivered at our training centre called ‘Understanding Electricity’, which taught me the basics and allowed me to see things first-hand.  Also I found it useful reading up on the topic, and also speaking to different people within WPD to draw on their knowledge.

WPD is a great company to work for so I’d definitely recommend applying for a role within the company.