Over the last few months, we’ve been going behind the scenes at Lobster Pictures so that you can get to know us a little better.
These blogs have been proving very popular, so here is another chance to meet the team.
Today it’s the turn of Dennis Hendy, our Operations Manager.
Dennis is one of Lobster Pictures’ most experienced team members, who’s really “been there and done that” when it comes to managing operations. Heading up the ops team, he’s responsible for ensuring that everything goes to plan for our clients, every day and on every job.
We chatted to Dennis about his varied career, why he loves working at Lobster, what a busy day looks like, and which locations are still on this globetrotter’s bucket list.
Tell us about your role at Lobster
I manage operations at Lobster Pictures and have six people reporting to me, including Mel and Marcus (who you may already know from their appearances on Meet the Team). I also work really closely with Kelly, our Assistant Ops Manager.
Once a job has been booked, it’s my responsibility to create the daily schedules and get everything in place and sorted from start to finish. When I’m in the office, I’ll also grab the phone if required, so you may have chatted to me already!
Of course, health and safety on construction sites is paramount. Therefore, as part of the ops team we manage safety on-site and assess each case to mitigate risk. In addition, we ensure that everyone is up to date with their health and safety training, qualifications and discuss relevant issues with the team in weekly meetings. I also assist with logistics for events, such as Digital Construction Week. (catch us on stand F56)
As the head of the operations team, I need to work closely with sales, and from experience in other roles, this can cause issues. However, at Lobster, we work in the same office, which really creates a seamless approach.
How long have you worked here?
I’ve been here for just over three years - in fact, I’ve recently celebrated my work anniversary on 8th September. Luckily I saw the position on Linkedin when I was in-between jobs, and after a few (gruelling!) interviews, I got the job.
What did you do before this role?
With over 20 years’ experience in operations (and even more in the trade), I have worked in various roles and across sectors, working on high profile projects, such as Disneyland Paris. After starting out as a qualified electrical technician, I then moved into management, working firstly as a Service Manager and then more senior roles for well-known companies, including ADT, Chubb and Stanley.
After concentrating on the security sector, time lapse was a new area for me, and it’s been exciting getting up to speed with the particular nuances of this industry. In terms of operations management, the fundamental principles are the same, whatever the sector.
With all my experience in the industry, I’ve seen and done almost everything already. No-one can pull the wool over my eyes!
What's the best part of the job?
Everything is different from one day to the next. Each project offers different technical solutions tailored to our clients’ specific needs.
But the main thing is that it’s like one big family here. This is so important as you are at work more than at home.
The MD is fantastic (I’m not just saying that!) and the team are a friendly bunch. Oh, and we have a beer at the end of the week too (although most Fridays I look after one of my four grandsons).
What's the toughest part? Are there any particular challenges?
Often, we are asked to install timelapse cameras for multi-million-pound projects. This means that there are lots of people involved, and it can be a challenge to make arrangements to get on-site - just because everyone is so busy. However, this is all part of the job and we always make it work. We’re here to ensure that everything is secure and meets the needs of the client.
Have you got a favourite project?
I wouldn’t be able to pick a favourite, but I especially like projects where I’ve been on-site at the beginning, like this local project of the Finzels Reach bridge installation.
What do you like doing outside of work?
DIY. I just can’t sit still and do everything in our house - all the electrics, plastering, decking... I’ve recently taken the kitchen out and reinstalled it. I also love playing with my grandkids, of course, and cycling.
Travel is another favourite activity. I love visiting exotic locations, scuba diving, and swimming with hammerhead sharks and turtles. New York and Mexico are two places that I would love to return to. Where next? Australia, South Africa and the Far East are all on the list.
What advice would you give to a school leaver looking to move into a similar role?
You need to combine good managerial and people skills with technical know-how. Interpersonal skills are vital as I interact with a wide variety of job roles every day. It’s also essential to get trained up on all the health and safety legislation.
Finally, I would advise getting a hands-on role and learn how to do everything. If you get this practical experience, you know that you’re not asking your team to do anything that you wouldn’t do. And I can certainly say that.
If you're interested in finding out how time lapse could work for your business, check out our video showreel.