24 hours with… Ben Goodger, head of commercial finance

It’s 8am and Ben Goodger, the recently appointed head of commercial finance at The Dental Directory is driving into work on a bright and sunny Monday listening to Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast show on Radio 1. He’s used to a commute having spent three years travelling in and out of London’s hustle and bustle for a number of finance roles. Today his journey into work at the dental firm’s headquarters in Witham takes just 30 minutes – a luxury Ben is still getting to grips with after years commuting to London.

“Especially in this day and age, it’s rare to find a job that you love right on your doorstep. But that’s exactly what happened when I found out about the role at The Dental Directory.”

Ben’s commute is perfect preparation for his first task of the day – a catch up with the team to review the department’s priorities.

“I look after a team of four – one commercial finance manager and three analysts. We’re a busy team and heavily involved in all aspects of the business so it’s important to keep on top of all the latest developments.

“For me the secret to building a successful finance team, no matter which industry you’re working in, is to have keen people with a willingness to learn and develop and let them get hands on with the challenges that a fast paced and customer centric business such as ours often presents.”

After catching up on emails Ben, a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualified business professional, starts reviewing numbers prepared by the team ready for the management meeting where the latest key performance indicator (KPI) report is presented.

“Tracking and reporting on KPIs is an essential part of the finance team’s function as it enables everyone in the business to have an oversight as to how the business is performing and ensuring the service levels which we and our customers expect are being achieved across all our operations.”

It’s noon and after a quick slurp of coffee Ben, is on his way from his desk in the finance department to meet with marketing to discuss next year’s budgets. 

“Today I’m meeting with the head of marketing to review the spend plans we’ve been working on together. I know marketing has big plans for the year ahead, so I want to make sure they have everything they need from me to achieve their targets.”

It’s just gone 2pm and between meetings Ben decides to pop out of the office to grab a bite to eat and some fresh air.

“I’m not really a breakfast person, so lunch is often my first meal of the day and I’m usually starving by the time it comes around.”

After a quick lunchbreak, Ben, who trained as an accountant at Ford, plans to spend some of his afternoon reviewing the FieldOne Sky project – a new system The Dental Directory is introducing to the business.
“FieldOne is a field service management solution. Regardless of how much the business grows one thing it’s committed to indefinitely is always giving exceptional customer service and this system is one of a number of investments the company has made to continually improve service delivery.”

FieldOne enables all of The Dental Directory’s agents to receive work orders by text, email or call. By using the mobile app, the agent can then accept the work order and confirm they are on their way.

“One of my jobs is to ensure we are investing in the right areas and service improvement projects are always at the top of the list.  Part of a raft of system improvements, FieldOne will be a real step change in our ability to deliver great service across engineering, calibration and training services. Although it has been a lengthy and challenging process to get the system delivered in a tight deadline the outcome will be worth it.”

At the end of the working day Ben reviews his notes and actions from the day and clears his email inbox.

“I do try and keep up to date with my emails throughout the day, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult when you are non-stop. There are lots of exciting projects underway and although sometimes it can be difficult to keep on top of everything I wouldn’t have it any other way – and some people think finance is boring!”

Ben walks through the door of his home at 7.30pm – but you would be wrong to think his work is over. Instead, he’s swapping his suit for overalls and picking up a paintbrush to pick up where he left off at weekend redecorating the new home he shares with his girlfriend, Hannah.

“I like to go home feeling I’ve achieved something and each step in The Dental Directory journey is a rewarding one. I’m not one of those people who can sit with my feet up – I like to get stuck in. It’s a good job really as work keeps me just as busy as Hannah does with the DIY at home!”