An Office In A Bank | The Morson Story - Part Two

Morson 2
James Kenealey

by James Kenealey on

Morson Group has been celebrating 50 years in business in 2019. As part of our celebrations, we’ve created a book about the business; its foundations, its growth and its people. 

Over the next six weeks, we’re going to be releasing excerpts from the book, charting the Morson story from its earliest days to the present day.

Bank Chambers

In 1970, the time had arrived for the fledgling Morson to move to a new office, and fortunately there was a perfect, if a little primitive, space located very nearby.

Bank Chambers was a set of small offices above a bank in Eccles’ town centre and one of Gerry’s first tasks on moving in was to hire someone to help with the company’s growing payroll. Unbeknown to him, the advert he placed in the local paper would lead to one of the longest employee relationships in the history of Morson.

In 1970, Pauline Hassall decided she needed to find a part-time job to help support her young family. “I saw one advertised with hours that were nine o’clock to twelve noon” she remembers, “skills required were book-keeping, typing, payroll, with shorthand a bonus. It was the perfect job for me, so along I went.” Pauline was nervous at the interview, but confident she had the right qualifications. And although Gerry’s belief in the future of his business was strong, he was careful not to oversell the situation. “I remember Gerry saying he couldn’t offer long-term security as he wasn’t sure if the business would succeed or not,” says Pauline, “of course, we all know the answer to that now.”


Fortunately, Pauline was offered the job there and then, helping Gerry firmly establish J. Morson & Co in their new offices.

 “The staff was made up of Gerry the boss, Eric Anderson, who helped Gerry recruit contractors and find clients, and Gerry’s wife Margaret who came in every Wednesday to help me pay the wages. Mr Mason, Gerry’s dad, also came in to look after the office, as well as a lady who came in at 1pm to do the typing; although I never met her, because I always left at twelve noon.”

“To say it was basic is an understatement... everything was second-hand. I’m sure it was just plain floorboards with no carpets or any type of covering. In other words, we didn’t do fancy.” Pauline Hassall

Pauline soon became established as payroll manager and by 1972 the business had moved downstairs in Bank Chambers into larger space. “We were expanding and needed more staff,” says Pauline. That’s when I met Avril Robinson who is still one my dearest friends. Avril joined as a typist, the only problem being we didn’t have a typewriter, so Gerry borrowed one from the big engineering firm AEI, which if I remember rightly was one of our clients.”


Early Challenges

With dark clouds looming in 1970s industrial Britain, growth wouldn’t be plain sailing. The first challenge appeared in January of 1971 when postal workers demanding higher wages voted for the country’s first ever national postal strike. 

In a world before BACS and electronic bank transfer facilities, a failure of the postal service was catastrophic for public and business communications alike. For J. Morson & Co, who sent out all contractors’ wages by post, the threat was particularly acute, especially just after Christmas. Gerry Mason, who always put his contractors’ needs ahead of everything else, saw no alternative, venturing out into the harsh January weather to drive to each contractor’s home, handing over their wages personally. This routine lasted throughout the seven- week strike period. It was exhausting for those involved, but crucially it demonstrated both the credibility of the company and the value J. Morson & Co placed on its contract design engineers; virtues the Morson Group still upholds today.

The early 70’s saw much industrial unrest and in 1974, as a result of a national miners’ strike, most businesses using electricity were only allowed to consume power for three days each week. “This lasted from January to early March, but we needn’t have worried,” says Pauline, “because Gerry decided to ignore it and try and carry on as normal. I can even remember a policeman coming in one day and telling us to shut the office!”

Even when faced with challenges like this, everyone in the tiny team worked hard to get the job done and the happy family atmosphere that would characterise the company’s future growth was already well established.  

Cx Jobs

P-WAY Track Gang - London/Colchester/Kent

Vital are recruiting for a P-WAY Track Gang due to securing long term work across various locations; London/Colchester/Kent. Job Title: P-WAY Track GangLocation: London/Colchester/KentStart Date: 20th FebruaryDuration: Ongoing Experienced ready-made gang consisting of:1x Coss, 1x TCM 4xTM2 must be drivers- over 21 and held licence 2 yearsPTS AC/DCCRSmall ToolsManual Handling If you think you may be suitable for this role, please email your CV to Danny . Layzell @vital .uk .comor contact Jen Hall 02039635080Danny Layzell 07816234941

Senior Buyer - Construction/Plant & Equipment

Senior Buyer - Indirect Procurement required to manage the end to end procurement process of Construction and Plant & Equipment projects for our client BAE Systems in Samlesbury, Lancashire however it is likely that for the immediate future this will involve remote working. These projects typically include; key infrastructure upgrades, utilities installation & removal, building refurbishments, office accommodation upgrades, introduction of manufacturing plant & equipment and site rationalisation work.Typically this will involve working with multiple stakeholders including; engineers, budget holders, SMEs, external suppliers, contractors and consultancies in order to devise and execute a suitable procurement strategy & implement contract documents.Roles & responsibilities will include but not be limited to the following:Liaise with key stakeholders to determine product and service needsLead the process for undertaking market surveys of potential suppliersLead the process to prepare and issue pre-qualification documentsAssess the commercial status of potential suppliers including use of external financial advisers where appropriatePrepare & issue reports outlining recommendations for the use of potential suppliersLead the process for supplier de-briefsWhere required undertake visits to assess potential suppliersCorroborate the commercial and procurement aspects of business cases for proposed investmentsHelp devise procurement strategies and contracting routesPrepare & maintain procurement plansAttend & support project reviewsAssist suppliers to register & use e-RFX systemsProvide commercial advice on scopes of work & schedules of service prepared by othersPrepare & collate RFP packs (in conjunction with our professional advisers where necessary)Develop assessment criteria to be utilised to select the successful bidIssue tenders using e-RFX systemsEnsure tenders are run in accordance with the appropriate governance guidelinesRespond to tender queries as received from biddersManage tender returns in accordance with appropriate governance guidelinesUndertake commercial assessment (in conjunction with our professional advisers where necessary - on larger projects a QS may lead the commercial tender assessment)Prepare commercial recommendations for the award of contracts (in conjunction with our professional advisors where necessary)In conjunction with the wider team, debrief unsuccessful tenderersPrepare contract documents contracts (in conjunction with our professional advisors where necessary)Lead / assist in contract & price negotiationsEnsure contract documents are stored correctly in accordance with governance procedures Obtain quotations for low value purchases where necessaryProduce and issue purchase orders in line with construction programmingAssist in the resolution of invoice queriesAttend site meetings &/or provide commercial advice during the course of a contract as required.Monitor that variations to contract are managed correctly (in conjunction with our professional advisors where necessary)Agree the final account & negotiate with the contractor (in conjunction with our professional advisors, if necessary)Undertake audits of suppliers & contractorsEnsure that forms of contract and special conditions are maintained up to date & incorporate any periodically published changes (In conjunction with our Legal advisors)Support the resolution of any disputes or claims that may arise during or after a contract, including the engagement of legal support as requiredProvide management reports as required for specific projects & overall workloadActively identify and deliver savings in support of the Indirect Procurement Services Value PropositionThe Successful Applicant:You will be a buyer/senior buyer with a track record of both developing and implementing procurement strategies ideally relating to Construction and/or Plant & Equipment projects alongside the following:Excellent stakeholder engagement, negotiation and communication skillsAbility to manage contracts including contract negotiationSupplier ManagementExperience working in a similar position or a related degreeExperience within construction and/or plant & equipment categoriesGood understanding of construction & engineering processesAbility to work under pressure, whilst ensuring deadlines are metExperience with Word and Excel softwareComfortable in a fast paced commercial environmentAbility to read, understand and abstract technical information from drawings and specifications to procure materials, equipment and servicesKnowledge/ experience of JCT/ NEC contracts, COM (Construction Design Management) Regulations and RIBA plan of worksExperience of appointing and working with consultants, including Quantity Surveyors, Architects, Mechanical & Electrical Designers and COM / Principle DesignersAdditional attributes also include:Understanding of Supply Chain Management ProceduresStrategic Planning Abilities,Accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).Due to the volume of CVs received if you have not had a response within 48 hours please take it that your application will not be progressed.Candidates without indirect procurement experience of construction and Plant & Equipment projects will not be considered.

Warehouse/Stores Person

Morson are currently looking to recruit a Warehouse/Stores Person to work for one of our engineering clients based in Walsall. This is a Temporary to Permanent position.Applicants will be required to have worked within a Stores/Warehouse/Picking environment, ideally engineering although not essential.

Supply Chain Manager

SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGER - Must be fluent in German and English Morson Talent are recruiting on behalf of a global provider of risk management products and services. Our client has recently won a major new customer in the telecommunications industry, which has led to the creation of this exciting opportunity. We are looking for a Supply Chain Manager to be based in Bonn, Germany, to essentially build this function from the ground up. Therefore you must be strategic but at the same time happy to roll-up your sleeves and be hands-on, as well as have strong experience across electronics repair operations (particularly mobile handsets). JOB PURPOSE - Point of contact for all Supply Chain activities in Germany. - Direct liaison with Customer Supply Chain Organisation to influence & formulate go forward Supply Chain Strategy, including developing & driving new/additional Business Opportunities. - Delivery of all KPI's associated with Supply Chain Business in Country. - Implementation of Supply Chain Operations Process(es) from ground up to support new business opportunity - Selection, Installation, Operationalising, Performance Management/KPI Delivery. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES - Day to Day Management of Relationships within Repair Network. - Understanding of Supply Chain P&L in Country. - Negotiation across a number of areas, including Business Process Improvement, KPI management, New Business Opportunities and Cost Saving Initiatives. - Understand the Regional Market & drive the business to support trends/opportunities. - Integrate fully with the broader Supply Chain & Sales/Business Development Organisations. - Develop & Deliver a Growth Plan & Organisation Plan to grow my clients Supply Chain presence within the German Customer Base - Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Delivery to meet/exceed Supply Chain Goals & Objectives. QUALIFICATIONS / EXPERIENCE - Strong knowledge of Supply Chain and key functions within Supply Chain - Proven experience of successful performance management within Electronics Repair Operations environment - Demonstrable experience of successfully implementing process improvements within Operations - Demonstrable Hands On Experience of Selection & Set Up of 3rd Party Reverse Logistics Partner/Repair Operations - Positive can do attitude capable of working in fine detail to set up processes & procedures to deliver on KPI set to support overall Supply Chain Goals & Objectives - Must be fluent in German and English. For further information feel free to contact Matthew Owen at Morson Talent.

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