Internal News: Training qualification for our Product Specialist, Gemma.

Photo of Staff member Gemma Warner

Now she has achieved just that after being awarded her NCFE level 4 certificate in education and training, as well as her NCFE level 3 certificate in assessing. This allows Gemma to teach work-based subjects to students from high-school age upwards.

I have been a trainer for a few years now, but I wanted the qualifications to back up all that experience,” she said. “I started studying in November 2018 and part of the course involved an assessor observing me teach. One of the main things I learnt was how to plan a session, and then change my approach according to the feedback I received, so this is something I’ve definitely implemented.”

Gemma came from a sales background, and it is that experience that led her to become a trainer for PCS. She started out at the Midland News Association around 15 years ago, and her first step into sales-focused technology was traveling out to funeral directors to implement the online self-service system they used for death notices.

She then went on to training new starters and mentoring the reps while they were out in the field. “It was during that time that I saw how, if a rep had fast and efficient technology in place, it had a big impact on their sales,” she said.

Gemma was training staff at the Midland News Association when the company adopted Knowledge Prospect – an advertising booking, sales and CRM platform developed by the PCS team.

She was asked to test the system from a sales point of view, to find out what worked and what didn’t. When they were happy with the product she then trained sales staff, reception, marketing, and promotions teams on how to use the software. Then when it went live she was there to support the employees as they got used to the new system.

“A few months later PCS offered me a position as product specialist,” she said. “I now train new customers and existing ones on how to use Knowledge Prospect.

“One thing that can improve things for a sales team is that they have fast and reliable software. With Knowledge Prospect you can show customers their bookings and adverts while you are with them, you don’t have to go back to the office to process anything.

“Not only is this great for time management and efficiency, but it also keeps the customers happy. Often, we find that it ends up being the sales person’s job to deal with the invoices. Well, Knowledge Prospect makes sure there is just one invoice for the whole campaign, which both the customer and the salesperson like.

“Working closely with salespeople I get an insight into what they need to become better at their jobs – with this new qualification I have been able to develop the practical teaching skills to continue

Internal News: Ken Earl Joins PCS

Photo of staff member Ken Earl

Ken has joined the team at the leading publishing solutions provider as a database developer, working with technology that is so high-tech it seems out of this world. PCS uses advanced, next-generation versions of technologies that Ken has been working with for around 30 years. “I’ve been keen to work on the updated version of this technology for years.”

Internal News: PCS Announce New Managing Director

Photo of Managing Director Graeme Clifford

Graeme Clifford has been appointed as managing director of leading publishing software company Press Computer Systems. Mr Clifford takes on the new position at the Wolverhampton-based firm in addition to his current role as MD of the print division of Midland News Association, publisher of the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

Graeme joins PCS following Phil Walker’s decision to retire with immediate effect. Phil originally joined the MNA in 1995 before he was appointed as PCS MD in 2008.

Claverley CEO Phil Inman said: “I am pleased to announce Graeme’s appointment to his new extended role as MD for PCS.

“Over the past year or so PCS has worked with the MNA to provide extended services to customers. In addition to the excellent software services which PCS provide, the business now routinely offers ad creation, planning and finance services, all delivered by the MNA.

“This joined-up approach has helped to win new contracts from Iliffe and Scottish Provincial Press. Graeme will explore options for greater collaboration across the two businesses as we seek new customers and markets.”

Mr Inman offered thanks to the outgoing MD for his contribution. Mr Inman said: “During his tenure Phil oversaw the development of both the Knowledge Publish editorial system and more recently the Knowledge Prospect ad solution. Phil leaves with our best wishes.”

The two businesses will continue to operate independently, each maintaining separate management teams and operational boards.