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Mark Derbyshire

Parts Manager

Shouthdowns Accessory and Camping Shop Manager Mark Derbyshire
Hailing from South Africa, Mark took over responsibility for Southdowns accessories retail operation from former manager Stephen Mead, when he 'retired' in January 2012.

Mark was interviewed in April 2012

Q. What attracted you to work for Southdowns??
I have been living and working in the UK for ten years and have done a number of different retail and sales-related jobs, building on a successful retail career in South Africa. Since coming to England, I have worked for Comet and SportsSoccer in Southampton and most recently as a Key Account Manager for the Mitsubishi Uniball range of pens and stationery. I have a young family and was looking for a job that would involve less hours and no weekend work. A contact who knows Southdowns well, told me there was a vacancy that would suit me. He was very positive about the company, so I applied and got the job.

Q What are your key responsibilities?
As Accessories Retail Manager my key role is to keep the shop supplied and up-to-date with stock, as well as serving customers and dealing with phone and email enquiries. I am also responsible for ordering parts for the workshop team. I don't deal with online orders as Shaun Jakeway our online marketing assistant does that. However, I do get involved in fulfilling those orders when we don't have parts in stock

Q What is the best thing about working for the company?
have only been with Southdowns for a short time but I am settling in well and getting to know everyone. Im glad that former Retail Manager Stephen Mead will continue to work on weekends. Not only does that give me a safety net while getting to know the business, but I also have total confidence that all the systems will be maintained and customers will be getting an excellent service when Im not here. I also have Mike Hillary for part of the week as well, who has many years experience within the Leisure industry and a great asset. Im also really pleased that Southdowns are keen to let me introduce bar coding for all our product lines. That will make the whole operation more hi-tech, more efficient and help provide a better service for customers.

Q. Do you have a personal interest in motorhomes?
I am still on a steep learning curve in terms of product knowledge. I have a general awareness of motorhomes and the leisure market, simply from camping and caravanning with friends and once owning a boat.

Q. If you could go away in a motorhome where would you like to go?
I would love to take a motorhome to Devon and Cornwall and explore that part of the country. I haven't spent much time in the West Country and would like to see more. I would also like to tour Europe when I retire - but that's a way off yet!

Q. What is your personal philosophy?
I always try to treat people as I would like to be treated - and aim to work for a business as if the company were my own. In other words, take your job seriously and do the best you can.

Mark lives in Hill Head with his wife Amanda and his two children Nathan and Mia, who are three and six. When hes not working Mark enjoys spending time with his family. He is also a sports fanatic and a keen musician - any rock bands out there looking for a drummer?

Mark was interviewed in April 2012