Spotlight Interview: Meet Alex Collins, IT Manager at P C Henderson
by Kate Donkin
What is your role at P C Henderson?
My role is IT Manager for P C Henderson but I am also an IT Support and Infrastructure Specialist for our parent company, ASSA ABLOY, in the Entrance Systems division.
How did you come to work at P C Henderson and how long have you worked here?
After graduating with a degree in Computer Studies from the University of Sunderland, I started working for a national retail company in IT support. After working there 8 years the company took the decision to merge with its sister company in Croydon. Being a big fan of the North East, I turned down the opportunity to relocate to London and instead started working for P C Henderson, I have now been here for just over 11 years.
What does your role entail? What are your main duties and responsibilities?
Working for P C Henderson my main duties involve server management, IT security, management and maintenance of all IT equipment, ERP system management and general IT support. I am the primary IT contact for 3 sites and secondary contact for 6 sites.
What is a typical day like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day for me. Supporting the IT infrastructure for around 350 end users across 6 different company brands, 9 physical sites and 3 countries keeps me on my toes. It is very easy for each day to change direction several times.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
The IT world evolves much quicker than a lot of other professions. With the frequent development of new technologies and IT systems, there is always a lot to learn.
What are the main challenges associated with your role?
Although managing IT for such a large number of users is definitely a challenge, I like that every day in the office is different.
How has your role evolved over the years?
My role evolved significantly following the integration of P C Henderson with our parent company ASSA ABLOY. P C Henderson went from an independent IT network to a global enterprise which consisted of IT specialists from all over the world.
What do you like about working for P C Henderson?
Definitely the people. I’m lucky enough to have a job that requires spending time with people in all departments. I regard the people at P C Henderson as friends just as much as I regard them as colleagues.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? What are your hobbies?
I’m usually looking for my next big challenge. Over the years I have had some amazing experiences, from running a 70 mile ultra-marathon, cycling coast to coast, skydiving from 10000 feet, trekking to Everest base camp, and lots of volunteering projects – the list goes on.
What is an interesting fact about you that we might not know?
In 2010, I trekked through the Himalayas to reach Mount Everest base camp, which is 5363 meters above sea level. It is an experience I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy the rush of adrenaline.