Employee Spotlight: Meet Ross Whalen

Helping our customers overcome their energy and sustainability challenges is a team of people who are the driving force behind the services we deliver.

At TEAM we believe in the power of people working together to make change and in this series of interviews we will get to know some of the people who contribute to the success of our employee-owned business.

In this interview we meet Service Delivery Manager, Ross Whalen, from the Energy Bureau team.

How long have you been in your current job and what exactly is your role?

My title is Bureau Service Delivery Manager and I joined TEAM in October 2021. My job is to support Bureau customers as a key contact and account manager. I provide energy portfolio insights around consumption, costs, trends and potential savings and provide regular performance reporting and structured service delivery reviews.

Where were you working before joining TEAM?

I have always had roles like this; I’ve been in an energy-based role for about 8 or more years.

Before I came to TEAM, I was at Opus Energy, and before that Hudson Energy. Historically I have been on the supplier side of energy but primarily in customer service; from managing complaints through to Account Management.

Here at TEAM, I manage a broad range of customer portfolios.

Did you always want to work in the energy industry?

Originally, I studied to become a police officer. I went to university to do a degree in Applied Criminal Justice studies which was directly leading to a police role. But when I finished my degree, I didn’t feel ready to settle into career as a police officer.

I found myself falling into the energy industry. Opus energy was local to where I lived whilst at university, so I joined and found I really enjoyed it, I learned so much that from there the rest is history.

What do you enjoy the most in the role that you are doing now?

I spend 90% of my day in some sort of direct communication with customers, whether it’s Teams meetings, the occasional face to face meeting, phone calls and email conversations. It’s certainly these customer interactions, helping and supporting customers, that I enjoy the most. Bureau customers can always use us as energy experts, and I love being well informed and knowledgeable so that I can guide them whenever they need extra help.

My favourite part of the job is rapport building, collaborating with each customer and building trust. As a Service Delivery Manager, I’m as close as I can be to knowing all about a customer’s estate, they can regard me as an external member of their company.

Are there any specific projects or achievements at work that you are particularly proud of?

Many of our customers have long term strategies to enhance their energy efficiency. Our service can help customers to support their projects and a big part of the work we do in Bureau is to continually make sure everything is in their database accurate to measure the success of their business projects. This may be the installation of LED lighting or implementing a large-scale renewable project. We’re seeing more and more customers looking towards carbon reduction strategies. So, being a knowledge expert on hand and supporting different customers with their variety of sustainability ambitions is very rewarding.

No one month is the same when it comes to my job and working within a changing energy landscape makes it a very exciting place. I love being in the unique position where we’re collating data to help our customers see where they are and make decisions about where they can improve.

I am happy when the customer is happy, I love problem solving and getting to the bottom of things, maybe it’s a skill I learned with my police training, but when I can speak to suppliers on behalf of our customers and get a positive resolution for them, that is rewarding.

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

I really enjoy playing 5-a-side football with friends and ideally, I would play every week. I’m a dad to a toddler and we’ve just got a Cocker Spaniel puppy called Rolly, so keeping those two happy is a balancing act in itself and playing football has moved down the list a little bit.

I love family holidays. Last year I went to Morocco, which was fabulous and before that, I went to Budapest. I liked Budapest so much I went twice in a row. I’ve also been to Mexico.

My latest small goal is to make my way around the UK for long family weekends of hiking, the Peak District has been my favourite destination so far.

On the flip side, I enjoy a bit of gaming on the PlayStation whenever I have a bit of quiet time at home, and I can switch off.

Have you seen any good films or TV shows recently?

Something I have watched recently has made me dream about travelling the world. It’s a series called Race Across the World. It’s a sort of a reality series where travellers choose any route to a destination using any means of transportation other than air travel. It was a fascinating show and it really made me want to go travelling to places like Argentina, Singapore and Canada. Those sorts of trips aren’t practical with a puppy and a toddler; hence the goal of doing a mini-UK tour instead.

Do you have any hidden talents or interesting skills?

Even though I haven’t been for a few years, I can Kayak. I got to grade 3 in kayaking, white-water rafting standard, which I did in Wales. I no longer have a kayak, it took up too much space in the lounge when I was living in a flat, so I eventually sold it to contribute to buying my house, a bit of an upgrade. One day I would like to go again – maybe with the dog sitting on the deck.

Have you discovered any podcasts that you like listening to?

I got into podcasts during lockdown. The Peter Crouch podcast was probably my favourite, howling away at some of the bits they would come out with.

I also really enjoy “6 Degrees from Jamie and Spencer” which is a podcast all about proving that you’re only six degrees from someone famous. It’s a play on six degrees with Kevin Bacon and they try to speak to someone famous. There were a few interesting twists and turns, and they get some very famous people on.

Over the next few months, we’ll be meeting colleagues from our HR department, Business Solutions and Project Engineering.

If you would like to find out how our Bureau Service professionals, like Ross, can work as an extension of your energy team to enhance data quality for your portfolio, process and validate all your utility bills and identify, investigate and resolve anomalies in your estate and billing data, click here.

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