Kevin Bulmer

Kevin Bulmer

Chief Technology & Transformation Officer

Robert Walters Group CTO, Kevin Bulmer, discusses what he has learned over the pandemic and where the company is going next

Kevin Bulmer has been working from his garden shed since lockdown, with a vision to support his team and improve on ESG.

“I have been very lucky, but having that lack of social connection has been hard”, says Kevin Bulmer when asked about how the pandemic has treated him. “I am looking forward to getting back into the norm. But I have spent a lot more time with my children - we played cricket every lunchtime last summer!”

Bulmer is speaking from his air-conditioned garden shed, where he has been working since Spring of 2020. 

As the Chief Technology and Transformation Officer at Robert Walters Group, Bulmer has endured through the isolation of lockdown but is keen to get back into the office. Face to face interaction is an important aspect in keeping a business running efficiently, but it’s also easier to support struggling employees. Bulmer has made this a priority over the pandemic period. 

“During this process, the biggest stress for people was not knowing what was happening, what the impact would be. I made sure that people were aware of the mental health perspective and made sure that people had other people to talk to if they needed to.”

However, the benefits of working from home have been noted, and Bulmer feels hybrid working will be a new aspect of the new normal.

“There have been a lot of positive parts to working in the pandemic”, says Bulmer. “When we first went in, I saw an uptick in efficiency from the tech team!”

Thankfully for the tech team, cloud implementation at Robert Walters Group was already underway, making the sudden transition brought on by the pandemic much smoother. 

“We are a long way through our cloud migration”, says Bulmer. “Once you’re in the cloud, it’s so much easier as you have access to data, security, sustainability and agility within your business.”

What does sustainability, or the buzzword ESG, mean to Bulmer? Is it all a PR exercise?

“A lot of our decisions are based around ESG”, says Bulmer proudly. “If you look at sustainability, we are moving to the cloud; we are making ourselves more agile and reducing our carbon footprint”, says Bulmer. “From a social perspective, one of our long-term partnerships is with the Global Angels Foundation, a charity which helps disadvantaged communities around the world to grow sustainably.”

Hardware decisions based on sustainability at the Group, ERP implementation was one of the building blocks to overall transformation in the business. 

“It was a finance and HR replacement”, says Bulmer. “We tried to stick as close to the vanilla aspect as we could - which is when we try not to customise too much. I have rarely ever seen an ERP implementation like this in terms of the speed and success It was a huge piece of work. When we partnered with Columbus, we said, ‘We are going to make this happen’. We were very pragmatic.”

One drawback of working from home for many has certainly been self-motivation. But Bulmer is a fan of dance music, and there is one quote that pulls his mind into focus.

“‘You don’t need eyes to see, you need vision’, that’s by Maxi Jazz from Faithless - that’s a great quote! If you understand what you’re trying to achieve, the day-to-day stuff falls into place.”

 

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