A Week in My Life: Simon Landi, Managing Director at Access
Simon Landi set up Access 20 years ago and, along with co-director Mark Hope, continues to be a driving force behind the agency’s continued success and growth.
The Old Trafford-based integrated agency's client list includes WaterAid, National Grid, Coop Insurance, Northumbrian Water (WAVE), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Autovista, Edrington, Stagecoach Bus and Greater Manchester Moving.
Access is the agency that Prolific North is partnering with for this week's Manufacturers' roundtable discussion at Hotel Football. Find out more about that here.
Here, Simon shares what his working week is really like...
I’m an early morning person and so I’m normally in the office by 7.30am - in the hope of getting my Bruce Springsteen playlist on the Sonos music system before anyone else gets to it. I also like this time to plan my week ahead, as much as anyone can these days!
Monday morning is usually taken up with WIP meetings, including our weekly Ops Board stand up where my senior management lay out their plans and objectives for the week. Our aim is to plan the week out effectively, maximise capacity and discuss any issues that may arise. This week, we discussed how we were going to get a massive written tender out for a University website by Friday lunchtime with everything else going on.
Today our new Marketing Manager Bethan starts, so it’s a morning of induction meetings - introducing her to the team and walking her through our systems and way of working. I find inductions very enjoyable because it reminds me how far we have come and how different inductions are now to when we first started out, when we gave people a computer and a phone and said ‘if you have any questions you know where I sit!’.
By lunchtime I’m ready for YOGA, which is kindly put on for us by Bruntwood (our landlord), and this eases me into the afternoon… which is good because Mark Hope and I are about to spend four hours in a car travelling down to Cardiff for a client meeting on Tuesday morning with the Welsh Government.
This is a great opportunity for us both to chat about the progress we’re making with our new five-year plan and share ideas on any changes we’re looking to make along the way.
We go to a lovely little Italian for dinner and I get an early night.
I wake up at 6am and go for a swim. Swimming is my new passion but anyone who knows me well will also know that this new hobby might only last until Christmas, at best!
Mark and I meet for breakfast and discuss our approach for the Welsh Government meeting. The idea we’re going in with is a series of ‘lunch and learns’ focusing on the digital space, specifically looking at the technology other public sector organisations are using throughout the world to simplify their connection with citizens.
We meet with them later that morning and by lunchtime we’re back on the road up North. The meeting has gone very well and we spend some of the journey home planning our next steps, as well as discussing the merits of remote working, which we introduced last year and is having a positive impact on the business.
It’s a quiet evening catching up on emails from the day to hit the ground running in the morning.
This morning, I have my weekly meetings with two of my direct reports, Sue and Adam. Sue is responsible for our finances and HR administration while Adam is our lead creative. Sue and I plan out a meeting we’re doing next week regarding our online HR tool BambooHR, which is fab by the way! And Adam shows me pictures of his new baby (of four weeks) who is also fab. We do also manage to talk about our creative schedule for the coming week.
It’s then on to an update meeting with Bethan where our discussion centres on Access’ values and proposition, something we’ve been evolving in the past 12 months and that Bethan will help to move on further now she’s on board. With just enough time to check in to see any urgent emails, I head into a client meeting with our research partner to look at the benchmark for one of our creative campaigns, which went live at the beginning of September. It’s all massively positive, so I’m feeling pretty upbeat.
Next, it’s to the monthly development team retro, which I don’t normally get to but they are always very enlightening and helpful as part of our continuous improvement. The new automated testing discussion was particularly inspiring.
At 4pm I presented our quarterly Staff Update, sharing with the team our performance for the past 90 days and our plans for the next 90 days as part of our five year plan - which I think went down well! The table of treats did certainly.
To round off my day I catch up on how we’re getting along with the ‘big tender for Friday’ is going. Again, I’m upbeat and can see that we’re well on track to manage it.
An exciting day as we’ve got a new business meeting this afternoon, with a very exciting prospect, which still after all my years in the industry is something that gets my adrenaline going. Most of the morning is spent on final prep for this.
I make time for a weekly call with Prolific North and Acquia regarding our next joint roundtable event, which is exploring the merits of eCommerce in the manufacturing sector. We’ve had a good response from a number of manufacturing businesses that will be attending so it’s set to be a great event.
It’s then showtime and the new business meeting goes very well - and we’re very excited about the next steps which hopefully we can share very soon…
We’re in the midst of a new process with clients which sees us create Account Plans for all clients and this week we’re working on a plan with Mark for one of his top digital clients. The process enables us all to contribute ideas and thoughts as to how to create even greater value for clients - we’ve done this with six of our clients now and four more are planned before the end of the year.
The day finishes on another high as we send the account handling and creative team off to the MPA Awards to find out we’ve won anything for our UCLan campaign. At 6pm, news arrives that we’ve also been shortlisted for two Agency Of The Year awards which is very exciting indeed!
There are a few sore heads and red eyes this morning - but at least that means we get bacon butties, which is a great start to the day.
Sue and I carry on preparing the BambooHR presentation as well as the financials for a board meeting next week, and I begin to look forward to the afternoon.
At 3pm, we down tools and open the bar! This week happens to be a great week as we’re continuing our 20-year birthday celebrations.
At 3.30pm a series of taxis arrive to pick us all up to go to the Four Sisters Distillery. We spend the next four hours learning all about and making our own unique craft gin! It’s partly a big thank you to the team for their hard work over the past 12 months, partly a celebration of 20 years of Access and also just a chance to relax and have fun together because this is an important element of what makes our team what it is... (although there’s definitely an edge to the proceedings as everyone wants the highest % ABV!).
At around 8pm I leave all the kids to it. I’m too old to party until 4am (which is the likely outcome) and I slope off to meet my mates for a pint of MPA in my local before crashing home.
Bring on next week!