Tom, Carparison’s brilliant Pricing Manager, has been with the company since 2020, but has a long and varied history in the automotive industry.
After joining the company as a Pricing Analyst, he became the Pricing Manager a year later, and has taken the team from strength to strength ever since.
Now a four-strong team, Tom and the guys do a fantastic job of finding the best lease deals on the market and making sure we’re always ahead of the curve.
We sat down with Tom to find out more about his journey so far, how he’s managed to work his way up from being a valet, and the bright future of our Pricing cohort.
What did you do before working at Carparison?
My first job in the motor trade was cleaning cars as a valet at a local garage in Exeter. I then moved to a car and van rental company in 2015.
I was in Purchasing and Procurement, so we would order in all the new cars for the rental fleets. It was very different to what we do here – they have a fleet of vehicles that change over every six months with the plate change, so every March and September we were ordering vehicles in their hundreds and even thousands directly with the manufacturers.
It was this that gave me all my new vehicle knowledge, and made me realise that the automotive world was where I wanted to be.
After a couple years in purchasing, I moved to the remarketing team on the other end of the spectrum, and helped with the disposal of the vehicles when they were six months old, and I also spent some time on the fleet supply team.
Working on the fleet team gave me good experience in fleet logistics, and selling the vehicles to different dealer groups got me a lot of the contacts I still talk to now. The motor trade – even though it’s a massive industry – is also very small.
Everyone knows everyone!
When I left there, I had a complete change of scenery and went into the construction trade doing project management. This gave me my first management experience, though it wasn’t managing people. I was responsible for a project and seeing through everything on it.
It was a very high-stress job, and the construction trade is so different which is why I probably didn’t stay very long.
How did you get the job at Carparison?
In January 2020, I came to Carparison for a chat. A couple of people I’d already worked with had joined the company in its infancy, and when they were talking about expanding my name was thrown into the mix.
The pricing team was very different then – all data and systems – but Matt showed me the vision of how he saw pricing and procurement going forward, and the future potential looked good. Pricing wasn’t something I’d done before, but I was savvy with the data from my previous job and I could see the potential of the company.
Matt is a great leader – I knew I could follow him and trust his decisions, and I have every faith in what he does, which is quite hard to find.
So, after an official interview, I joined the company in March 2020.
When did you become Pricing Manager?
I spent the first year getting my feet under the table and getting comfortable with the job.
Fast forward to June 2021, that’s when I became Pricing Manager, and my role evolved as the company changed. I was taking what I was doing to the next level and Matt recognised this.
It’s the first time I’ve had to manage people, but Carparison have given me the training I need for that. I don’t think I would have had the success that I’ve had if it wasn’t for the people that are in Carparison having my back and pushing me in the direction to do it.
What do you enjoy about working at Carparison?
I think it’s given me a lot of self-confidence.
I believe in what I can do now, and I didn’t really have that before. It’s been an incredible journey so far – we’re sort of where we wanted to be after five years, and we’ve not even hit four years yet.
It’s a very exciting fast-paced journey.
I was the eighth or ninth person to join, and now we’re at 50. Only a couple of people have left in that time, most people stay here when they come here, which speaks volumes. Some companies look after their staff, but Carparison look after their staff tenfold.
And I’ve been given free reign really to make the Pricing team what I want to make it. It’s very self-rewarding seeing how the team was when I came in to how it is now. Headcount-wise, we’re the smallest team in the business, but we have a massive impact.