IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 30 Jan 2012

A Day in the Life of Systems Analyst Gareth Thorley

Ellie: Whilst I recently conducted a ‘week in the life of’ interview with one of our clients, it’s been a while since I caught up with one of the Retail Assist team on the blog. To remedy this, I’m here today with Systems Analyst Gareth Thorley. For any readers who haven’t met you before Gareth, how long have you been at Retail Assist now?

Gareth: I’ve worked at Retail Assist since November 2006, so a little over five years now. I spent approximately one and a half years on the Help Desk before moving to the Store Systems team.

Ellie: So since moving over the Store Systems team, what has been a typical day at work for you?

Gareth: I’m sure you have heard this many times before, but we don’t really do “typical”. I normally arrive at the office for 08:30 and complete some pro-active checks, so we can attempt to resolve any potential issues before they become problematic to the client. The rest of the day can consist of many different tasks. This might include reactive client support, where calls have been raised to the Help Desk for first line analysis, before being passed over for second line analysis by the Store Systems team. We regularly complete analysis of previous calls, to identify if there are any trends. If trends are identified, we’ll investigate these to see if some pro-active work can be completed in order to stop repeated calls being made to the Help Desk with the same issue. We also create ISO20000 procedures for use by Store Systems, or the Help Desk. Sometimes I may be required to assist the Project Services Team with ongoing projects by providing hands on support and technical advice. The Sales Team also ask for background information from time to time when working on new bids or tenders. Not all of my work is office based as I can be called upon to complete on-site installs, de-installs, demonstrations or training. I also build till systems for New Store Openings.

Ellie: There seems to be a lot of things to choose from, but what do you enjoy most about your job?

Gareth: I guess that would either be successfully solving problems and issues or seeing a till system I have been involved in configuring and creating being rolled out to a real working environment. This recently happened in Jane Norman and Mint Velvet stores. Also I don’t want to be a creep but obviously working with great people is a bonus! Overall I like the fact that every day is different.

Ellie: In contrast, what aspects of your role do you find most challenging?

Gareth: Sounds like you are trying to make the word “challenging” sound bad! I guess what is most frustrating would be admitting that something cannot be achieved or fixed, as that would mean admitting defeat!

Ellie: So finally, what previous experiences helped to prepare you for working at Retail Assist, both on the Help Desk and in your current role?

Gareth: Well I’ve always had an interest in IT even from an early age and used to tinker with a Spectrum 48k. For the retail side of the job, I worked for WH Smith as a Saturday kid and then as a store supervisor. Obviously completing my GCSEs and A-Levels at school and college also helped.

Ellie: That’s great thanks Gareth. If anybody reading this would like to follow in Gareth’s footsteps and pursue a career in Retail IT, you can get in touch with our HR department:

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