Home Articles & Features People of the North: David Baskett,Technical Strategy Manager at Manchester’s SolutionsPT

People of the North: David Baskett,Technical Strategy Manager at Manchester’s SolutionsPT

77
David Baskett,Technical Strategy Manager at Manchester's SolutionsPT

SolutionsPT provides industrial IT solutions for manufacturing companies and across the infrastructure landscape. Based in Greater Manchester, the company has more than 80 employees and 30+ years’ experience of operating in the sector.

Before working for SolutionsPT, David worked in a retail warehouse, working with stock control systems while at University. This was David’s first experience of working with production lines and to rigid KPIs; and is what drove him to pursue a career transforming companies and helping them improve.

How long have you been at SolutionsPT and what does SolutionsPT do?

I have been working at SolutionsPT since 2011. I joined shortly after attaining a 1st Class BSc degree in Information Systems from Edge Hill University.My first role was as a Support Engineer and that role saw me quickly develop a passion for digital technologies and the manufacturing industry.

Since then, I’ve had a varied career path, moving between positions in post sales support, leadership/management, pre-sales management and now technical strategy. My current role allows me to provide the company with an overall technical direction, bridging the gap between business and technology and helping shape what we do and for whom.All my roles at SolutionsPT have combined technology with leadership and have allowed me to attain Chartered Management status.

SolutionsPT has over 30 years experience within industrial operations, helping deliver long-term value to customers through digital technology solutions – think improving cyber security and increasing productivity by helping machinery operate more efficiently and securely!

Who or what inspired you to get into this particular industry?

The management team at SolutionsPT. When I came for an interview, I already had a few job offers secured, but after speaking with the management team here and being introduced to the industry, I knew this was the place to be! And I haven’t looked back since -the industry and the technology we work with spans both my work and personal interests, which is a massive bonus. I’m not just saying this in case the management team reads this, I promise!

I’ve been with the business for some time now and my job still inspires me everyday – I enjoy collaborating with other companies in the industry, attending supplier events, discovering new innovations… I could go on…

And, like I said, I’m interested in the industry even when I’m not at work. At the moment, I’m reading everything I can about artificial intelligence (AI), whether it’s near term machine learning or artificial general intelligence (AGI). It’s a fantastic topic, trust me!

Is there one piece of advice you wish you’d been given before you started your career?

To be confident in my own ability – people want to trust you and confidence builds trust. Of course, confidence comes with time so there is a balance to strike but trusting in yourself is vital.

I never used to be much of a reader so I also wish I’d discovered audio books and podcasts earlier – they’re a brilliant way to help you understand and gain new insights into new or difficult topics. In my case, this allows me to have deeper conversations with customers about things like new and developing technologies

What is the single most important thing you’ve learned while at SolutionsPT?

Passion and commitment are a must. I don’t think I’d be where I am if I didn’t have a genuine interest in my work, technology and the manufacturing industry.It’s also great when you find people that are as passionate as you are because they help drive you forward and out of your comfort zone.

That being said, I’ve also learned the importance of listening to and engaging with people who don’t share my opinions in order to develop a more objective worldview.

What do you see as your future business challenges?

Ensuring more manufacturers embrace digital technologies. In the long term, they will help businesses work more efficiently – and will add value to their operations – and will be vital for future success but the time to invest in them is now.

On a technological front, I see the adoption of combined technological advancements as being key to improving the ways manufacturers operate in future. Combining new technological breakthroughs, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), will help improve productivity and throughput, while also reducing waste and energy usage.Our challenge is to make manufacturers aware of this.

What would you like to leave as your business legacy?

I would love myself and SolutionsPT to play a part in delivering long-term success for the UK and Ireland’s manufacturing industries. I hope we can continue to help companies adopt to new technologies as they emerge, become even more efficient and, ultimately, make us even more competitive and successful on a global scale.

Personally, I’d like to be remembered as being a driving force within the manufacturing industry – someone who helped the industry modernise, adapt and embrace technology. And whose enthusiasm rubbed off on people!

Your biggest business achievement or success so far?

A big success was my involvement in the Manufacturing Technology Centre’s (MTC) Smart Manufacturing Accelerator (SMA) project. The SMA provides a framework to help manufacturers adopt the technologies and techniques necessary to help them become more efficient and expand into global markets.

The project was a huge success, thanks in part to SolutionsPT’s Operational Management Interface, a piece of technology which pulls data from different systems into one place so that operators can see exactly how their operations are working and make business decisions quickly and more accurately – for example, a manufacturer could see that a production line was running slowly and get it back up to speed quickly, ensuring productivity doesn’t suffer.

As SolutionsPT’s representative on the project, I was really proud because our product helped the project push the boundaries of what industrial innovation in the UK is capable of. Several other vendors, organisations and academic institutions were also involved in the project, so it was great toplay a part in it.

When you are not working, how do you relax?

I’m one of those “always on, always connected” types but, when I’m not working, I love spending time with my wife, Rebecca, and my son, Liam.

I also enjoy a session on the CrossFit – it’s a good way to switch off, refocus and get out of your comfort zone.

What is your biggest achievement outside of business?

I recently attained Chartered Manager status from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). I was delighted to be recognised for my commitment to management and leadership.

What would you be doing if you weren’t working for SolutionsPT/in this industry?

I think I’d still be doing something that combines technology, people and strategising but perhaps for a mainstream enterprise IT organisation.

 

Find out more about SolutionsPT here.

Or follow SolutionsPT on Twitter

You can follow David on LinkedIn or Twitter