Matthew Swallow

"The opportunity to work in such a large industry with unlimited potential was appealing."

Job Title: Commercial Director

Employer: Story Homes Limited

Job: Commercial Director

About my job

What does your department do?

The commercial team are responsible for the procurement, cost management and reporting of all Story Homes’ developments. We have involvement from the very start (creating the purchase viability) – through the procurement stages (issuing tenders and appointing contractors), managing payments (subcontract and labour only), supporting Project and Site teams, providing cost vs value reporting (CVR) and handling final account settlements.

Another major role for the department is to promote commercial awareness through the business to drive the cost efficiency of all processes.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

No two days are the same. There are re-occurring tasks that must be achieved by set deadlines; such as processing monthly subcontract and fortnightly labour only payments; however the day to day tasks are driven by the changing demands of your allocated developments and business requirements.

We currently operate on a quarterly reporting period, meaning that we must allocate specific time every third month to evaluate the progress and costs on each development and produce CVR reports which help to inform the business.

What do you like about what you do?

I enjoy being involved at every stage of a development and having to interact with all departments. The Commercial function has the broadest scope across the business due to our input from the very start to finish and day to day liaison with all office and Site teams.

Why did you choose this career?

In all honesty I rather fell into the career path – having originally studied sports science for my degree – however I have always had an interest in Construction and a head for numbers so this job suits me well. The opportunity to work in such a large industry with unlimited potential was also appealing.

What qualifications did you need to get this job?

Ideally you should be degree level qualified however in my case the degree was not specific to this job. When I started out as a trainee, I undertook a day release HNC course on Building studies to firm up my construction knowledge.

Is there any particular advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?

Anyone looking to work in a Commercial role should be comfortable with numbers, be analytical by nature and be comfortable working as both an individual and as part of a team. It also helps if you have an interest in the practical side of the construction industry due to broad scope of involvement that we have in the whole process.

Questions & Answers

What hobbies or interests do you have?

I am big into sport – cycling and athletics in particular.

What’s your favourite type of music?

No specific preferences – festivals like Glastonbury are ideal for me due to the wide range of artists and genres.

What’s your favourite film / film genre?

No favourite film but I admit to being a bit of a sci-fi geek!

Where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

I would struggle to choose between the French Alps and Guernsey.