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Meet Ian Palmer-Smith, our Supplier and Heating Service Director

  • 10 min read

Written by Domestic & General

Ian has worked at Domestic and General for nearly 3 years but has been within the heating sector for over 35. He shares his insights and what life is like for him at D&G.

Ian, tell us a little bit about you?

I’m the Supplier and Heating Service Director for Domestic and General, I joined to lead D&Gs operational delivery for ScottishPower and together with my team we also manage the, operational relationships of the heating original equipment manufacturer's (OEMs), John Lewis, Amazon and our service network who carry out over 500,000 repairs a year across all sectors in the UK and Eire.

You have had an extensive career, could you tell us a bit about that? What brought you to D&G?

Originally, I wanted to be an archaeologist, gained a place at Durham University, but during that time I did a placement at British Gas and I guess the rest is history. At British Gas I worked in a number of roles from central heating sales, installation, service and repair and latterly operational lead for Dyno Rod. After British Gas, I went over to HomeServe and was there for two years establishing the new in-house gas business. 

What has been your proudest/happiest moment since working here? 

Until this year there was a clear winner, I joined the team on the 22nd of January 2018 with just 3 months to launch ScottishPower, not only did we deliver this, we returned a positive result across all our Service Level Agreements (SLA) I think to top that off, at the end of last year Domestic and General walked away with the ‘Delivery of Services’ award at the ScottishPower supplier awards. This was through hard work of transitioning 100,000 customers, achieving stringent SLA’s within 8 weeks and ensuring that these standards did not slip. 

Since March I have been incredibly proud of my team and our supply chain’s response to COVID-19.

Working closely with our partners and against the backdrop of increasing demand and the strict H&S governance we have delivered a safe, effective, and extremely important service to our customers.  

What advice would you give to others developing their career?

A favourite quote of mine by Oscar Wilde is ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken’ and that would be my advice to others; if you trust, believe and be true to yourself you will develop an inner strength to get you through the highs and lows of life. A false persona will always be found out in the end.

If you could do anything else (regardless of skill or qualification), what would it be?

Well despite wanting to be an archaeologist when I was younger, I think I would like to be a teacher in history. 

We understand that you advocate a lot for prevention of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Of course, Carbon Monoxide gas is a silent killer, "Every year in the UK 200 people are hospitalised by Carbon Monoxide and 50 people die", yet so many people have never heard of it. I am committed to continually keep spreading the message to make people aware of the dangers and the importance of regular maintenance to avoid CO positioning.

Earlier this year I became a member of The All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG). This is the leading forum for Parliamentarians, charities and business leads to discover, discuss, and promote ways of tackling carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK

Lastly…

You can invite 3 people to a dinner party (dead or alive) who would they be and why?

  • Alexander the Great – a historical hero, I think it would be interesting to know what made him tick
  • Tony Benn - A British politician, a member of parliament for 47 years, I did not agree with him a lot of the time, but I did admire his steadfast resolve in what he believed in.
  • William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke – he is dubbed ‘England’s greatest knight’ He served five English kings from Henry II through to his grandson Henry III. Loyal, honourable and a true Arthurian knight. I would love to hear his stories.