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Jon Roberts - Previous Experience

We believe your IT Partner should be someone you can rely on and who is there with you for the long term. It's only right then that you know as much about them as possible to give you that security. So, for the very few of you who may be interested, here's the CV of Jon Roberts at the time Westcountry Business was formed. As for experience since, that's what the rest of the website is!

This CV is intended for reference only. Its does not include anything since the creation of Westcountry Business Ltd. In particular the technical section does not reflect the wide range of products and services that we can now offer.


Consultant (2002 - 2003) - Contracted by International Minerals company with a Belgium Head Office (annual turnover > 2bn EUROs) to advise on the creation and implementation of a Global IT strategy, including the implementation of standards (where needed) and the role out of common IT infrastructure. (Project length approx 18 months).

Merger (Feb - Dec 2001) - Part of the core team that co-ordinated the merger of two companies to create a single £200m company, including the relocation of corporate activities from Devon to Cheshire.

Restructure (June - Dec 2000) - Part of the core team of 4 who co-ordinated and managed the Change Process through the restructure of the business from Geographic Divisions to Global Teams for Marketing, Sales & Technology and local Production Operations.
'Wings' Knowledge Management Project. The promotion internally of the 'Learning Organisation', through leadership, change management and the development of the systems & tools.

SAP (Jan to Dec 1999) - Joint Project Leader for the implementation of SAP into our German operations, WBB Fuchs. Project required 22 weeks on site and was conducted entirely in German. SAP implementation was successfully delivered on time and to budget.

Knowledge Management - 'G-Mark' Global Marketplace. Lotus Notes based specialist, in-house developed, CRM package to enable the international sales forces for work together as a single global team

KEY SKILLS include:

Leadership Skills - Not only attending courses such as Outdoor leadership, International Leadership etc., but putting it into practice on a daily basis.
Strategy - From the facilitation and development of top-level Business Strategy through to the creation of aligned functional strategies and objectives, especially in IS.
Change Management - I have a proven record of leading, managing and/or coordinating significant organisational change, including business merger, restructure and relocation.
Process Improvement - Understanding and mapping an organisation's Business Processes and using this approach to identify areas for improvement and key business drivers.
Business Analysis - Understanding what a company / client really needs to ensure delivery of technical/business solutions that add value.
Project Management - Track record of delivery of technical and business projects, including packages (e.g SAP.), bespoke development and non-IT projects.


1986 - 2002 Watts Blake Bearne & Co. PLC. Roles included

Head of IS - The IS team consists of 9 people in the UK and 2 in Germany, plus co-ordinators (not dedicated 100% to IT) in Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, Singapore and Thailand. In this position I was a member of the Management Board.

Business Process Manager. - I lead a project to map the top level Business Processes of all of our operations through Europe, America and the Far East. The objective was to identify commonality in our operations and to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the Business. This formed the basis for Organisational Change as well as the IS Strategy.

Business Development, WBB Italia -This role involved the set up and early development of a Sales Office, warehouse and port storage facilities to handle all WBB sales into Italy.

Deputy General Director, Donbas Clays Ltd. - WBB's Ukrainian JV was formed in 1996, opening a 'green-field' site. I was appointed Deputy General Director to aid the development of the company and represent WBB's interests in the JV. Despite the difficult trading conditions in the Ukraine, in which most foreign companies struggle to make profit, Donbas Clays achieved sales of over $1m with profit of $230 in the first year. In year 2, we increased sales to $2.6m and profit to over $600,000. This was on an investment of less than $1m. When I left in June of 1998, Donbas Clays were on target for sales of $5m and profit of $900,000.

General Manager, WBB Interclay Ltd. - WBB Interclay was a logistics company created primarily to manage all exports from our Ukrainian company into Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In the first year, WBB Interclay achieved sales revenues of $1.5m and profits of $230,000, representing a ROCE in excess of 25%.
Business Development, WBB Eastern Europe - As part of a strategy of geographic expansion, my role extended beyond the Ukraine into supporting acquisitions throughout Eastern Europe. (i.e. Poland, Bulgaria & Czech Rep.)

Business Analyst - Working as an internal consultant, I was a member of a 3-man team reviewing the fundamental operating principles of the Business. During this time we achieved three major projects; Mineral Planning, Product Costing and Marketing Intelligence. Each of which resulted in significant business changes that are still core to the way we work today.

IT Manager, WBB Fuchs (June 1991 – June 1993) - As a result of 'local difficulties', I was offered this position in our German operations. I worked alone in IT to develop, from scratch, the core systems of Sales ledger (including Analysis & Invoicing), Nominal and Bought Ledger. These systems were written in Pascal on an HP3000 mini-computer (for compatibility with the UK) and remained in place until Jan 2000, when they were replaced by SAP. (See my earlier list of Recent Projects)

From Junior Programmer to Assistant Computer Services Manger (Apr 86 - May 1991.) - I joined WBB in April 1986 as a Junior Programmer. I worked through the usual career path of Programmer, Senior Programmer, Analyst Programmer, Systems Analyst and became Assistant Computer Services Manager (still the longest title I've held!) in 1990. However, as at that time the IT department was only 4-6 people, my next career move involved leaving the UK department (see above).

Previous Employment.

A.J. Blackler Ltd. Jan 1979 – March 1986
Having left school, perhaps a little unwisely, after only 1 term of the sixth form, I joint a local car dealership with 3 sites. Here I learned to program and developed my interest in IT. Recognising my limited career path, I return the college for two years in Sept 1982, while continuing to work part time. On leaving college, I spent two months on an American Summer Camp and then returned to work. I was made Office Manager at the age of 22, with 7 people reporting to me. I installed new accounting systems and procedures and managed the office. After a year I decided accountancy was not for me, hence WBB.

Other Experience includes:

BPM - In 1998, I conducted a Business Process Mapping of our worldwide operations, including USA and ASIA, to produce board level recommendations, which changed the organisational structure and IS strategy of the company.

Business Development - In particular, as Deputy General Director of our Ukrainian Joint Venture, overseeing its development from a green field start up to a healthy company with sales of $5m in 3 years, when most western companies were failing there.
Business Analysis - 1993/4, acting as an Internal Consultant, I identified and made fundamental changes in our Mineral Planning processes that still form the basis of current working practice today.

German Secondment (1991-1993), living in Germany I designed and developed, from scratch, the core sales, purchase and nominal ledger systems in Pascal on HP3000. These systems remained in place until 1999 (See SAP above).
Accounts Manager - From leaving school at 16, I returned to further education, while also working part time till, aged 23, I become Accounts Manager of a local company, with 7 staff under me and reporting to MD.

Windows 95/98/2000/NT, Office 97/2000, Lotus Notes (inc. admin and development), Basic, Pascal, Delphi, Visual Basic, Access, SQL Server, Image (database), Understanding of Network Topologies & router configuration (IP). Currently learning HTML, Javascript, JAVA & LotusScript.

I understand the development project life cycle, can manage technical staff and, most importantly, can 'bridge the gap' between technical understanding and business need. It's now much more important for me to deliver business solutions that work, than the technology itself.

German Fluent conversation, reasonable written ('A' level grade B – taken 1993)
Russian Basic conversation. (Institute of Linguists Intermediate Certificate - taken 1996)
Italian Survival only (i.e. Hotels, Restaurants, Directions etc.)
French Now very rusty, but could be 'brushed off'. ('O'-Level grade A – Taken 1979)

'A' levels - Economics (A), Accountancy (B), Computer Science (A), German (B)
'O' levels - French (A), Maths (A), German (A), Physics (B), Add. Maths (B), English (B), Latin (C).