Meet the experts- Nick Hudson
Meet the experts- Nick Hudson, today I have been talking to Nick our General Manager and Andrew’s right hand man.
Nick started working part time for Flowervision in June 2006 while still at University. He actually met Andrew Jones our MD through football when he played on loan to the team Andrew managed. Before coming to Flowervision Nick worked for a car sales business developing their website and Andrew asked him to join the team and work on a website for Flowervision.
Nicks actually studied Coach Education and Sports Performance inline with his passion for sport, especially football, having played for Team Bath and a number of other local teams he was keen to develop a career in and around sport so his subsequent passion for the flower industry came as a surprise!
After joining the company full time in 2007 Nick built the sundries web shop selling sundries online and sending out by courier. The sundries web shop was advertised in the Florist and Wholesale Buyer which helped to grow the business and grow the name, this led to the need for more space as the sundries department grew and the mezzanine floor went in in 2008.
Before the full flower and plant web shop was launched Nick would produce the good old fax list three times a week of stock available, which was sent out to customers to fill in their requirements and fax back. However when the staff arrived to start work we would often find the fax had jammed or paper would be scattered across the floor! In those days the list was three pages long with basic descriptions/colours but no specific varieties and it took two people to pick one order, one to pick and one to scan and pack, we have come a long way since then.
In 2008- 2009 Nick set up the Flower and Plant Web shop and on the day it went live he was playing football so he had to take emergency measures in case of queries.
Nick enlisted his girlfriend (now his lovely wife) Lou who sat on the sidelines with his phone and a list of customers and logins to answer any questions. To this day Nick likes to be contactable as all of you buy on the web shop after we close. On the back of the success of the web shop the plant room was built to give more space, we are again currently bursting at the seams and space is always an issue.
A chance to develop a management role came up in 2011 and Nick seized the opportunity, since then he has overseen the expansion of several delivery routes including Krijn (our Dutch MD) flower round coming under the Flowervision banner and the logistics of expanding our delivery radius to both North and South alternative days throughout the week. When the full web shop launched there were three vans to look after we now have 11 delivering daily!
Nicks role has grown and grown as the cash and carry and web shop have grown, we now have 44 staff as opposed to 12 when Nick took up his management role. Originally all staff worked the same hours, we are now staffed almost around the clock 6 days a week. We deliver to Bodmin, South Wales, Worcester, Oxford, Somerset, Gloucester, Wiltshire and we are able to offer live stock on route from Holland, picked, packed and delivered the following morning.
As General Manager Nicks role is integral, his responsibilities are all staff issues-HR, rotas, holidays etc. He manages all aspects of the logistics for the delivery and cash and carry operations as well as overseeing admin, banking and financial aspects. Nick is also our IT lead, having developed the current and previous web shop and the new one launching in October and been integral to developing and implementing the new voice system. He is our Florisoft expert who works closely with our partners in Holland on developing various aspects as we require.
Nick says that he never thought he would be doing this when he started out on his career path but he does see General Manager as an important role and we don’t know what we would do without him!