Meet Calvin Randle, known to most as Cal, our most enduring member of the PCS family. Born in the same year as PCS, Cal has been a dependable part of the team since 1993, accumulating a remarkable three decades of dedicated service. His journey within PCS is nothing short of extraordinary, starting from his early days in sales and progressing to become a proficient systems technician within the site control department. Over the years, Calvin’s career has witnessed remarkable growth, leading him to the positions of production project manager and eventually, with his vast knowledge of PCS’ suite of solutions, client services manager.
But what truly sets Calvin apart is his unwavering commitment and significant contributions to the advertising solution Pulse. His expertise in the software earned him the title of production project manager, alongside also being the product specialist. His version of Pulse remained in use for over a decade, a true testament to his adaptability and skills.
In 2017, in recognition of his outstanding achievements, Cal was promoted to the role of client services manager, a position he continues to excel in. Despite the increasing demands on his time, Calvin thrives in the dynamic environment of his job, where no two days are quite alike. His success is attributed not only to his dedication but also to the exceptional team of product specialists he manages and collaborates with, alongside and the amazing rapport he builds with esteemed customers.
Join us for an exclusive interview as we dive deep into the career, experiences, and insights of Calvin Randle, a cornerstone of PCS's success story.
Danni: Hi Cal, thanks for taking the time to speak to me today. Let’s start at the very beginning, What made you apply for your first position at PCS?
Cal: No problem at all. So, It all began when I applied for a sales support position right after finishing 6th form. At that point in my life, I was eager to dive into the professional world and gain some practical experience.
A few months into my role at PCS, there was a pretty significant development. The division I was working for within PCS decided to break away from the company and set up their own venture, and I was faced with the decision of whether to move with this new company.
I decided to take the leap, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Unfortunately, I found myself in a situation where the initial plan fell through. So, PCS decided to offer me a similar role within their sales team. I suppose that’s a pivotal part of my journey that eventually led me to my current role as Client Services Manager.
Danni: I’ve got to say, we’re really lucky PCS gave you that opportunity, as thirty years later you’ve been such a big part of our success. From there, you moved on to a role as site controller within the company. How did that come about and what did it involve?
Cal: The shift from a sales role to the position of a site controller felt like a natural progression for me. My main responsibilities revolved around selling end-user services and providing maintenance.
This allowed me to directly engage with our customers within the publishing industry and cater to the needs of the general public. I was responsible for ensuring that our end-user services were not only efficient but also aligned with the specific requirements of our customers. This involved a blend of technical expertise and a customer-centric approach.
Within this role, I helped maintain our systems, ensuring they ran smoothly and addressing any technical issues that arose. This was crucial in providing a seamless experience to our customers, whether they were regional newspapers or the public. In essence, my job as a site controller was all about bridging the gap between our publishing software solutions and the end users.
Danni: After this, you branched off into Customer Services. What would you say your biggest achievement has been within this part of your career?
Cal: With my knowledge of what the customers needed, I was tasked with rewriting and continuing the development of a web version of Pulse, despite having no prior knowledge of software development. So around 2012, I learnt the old-fashioned way, by shadowing our devs and reading books. My practice was building an online supermarket. These newfound skills worked, as we introduced new features and improvements to Pulse, making it more efficient and user-friendly. The application’s continued use by multiple organisations for over a decade and helped mould the version we have today. I’d say that’s one of my most significant achievements within the business. I then became Production Project Manager and helped the users should they need any technical support.
Danni: It’s definitely one to be proud of, that’s for sure. You not only became the project manager, but the product specialist for Pulse. You are a man of many talents, which is why you gained the promotion to Client Services Manager in 2017. Can you think of a time when you went above and beyond your job role?
Cal: It’s a tough one, no one likes to highlight their own efforts, but when I took on the position as Client Services Manager, I wanted to ensure I remained hands on. So, there are occasions when I voluntarily extended my work hours, even staying up well past midnight, to assist with technical support. For me that is just part and parcel of being in the publishing industry. I’ve always made sure I assist the developers and support staff, but I suppose it’s an example of going above and beyond.
Danni: A recurring and prominent theme in your career path is your commitment to prioritising customer satisfaction. How have you used this experience to help you in your newest role?
Cal: In an industry of ever-changing technology, we are always continuously developing and maintaining to stay ahead of the curve. When Adobe announced they were discontinuing Adobe Flash Player in 2017, I was tasked again with a rewrite of Pulse. The original version was written over 20 years ago and created for the Apple Mac platform. Then a decade later, I utilised Adobe Flash Player to facilitate a transition to the Windows platform. We had already started preparing for how we could re-develop it ready for 2020, as it needed to be built from the ground up.
I’ve always had a strong working relationship with Steve Mills, the MNA Ad-creation manager, and his team. This collaboration was invaluable when we started work on the new software. While the old Pulse system was well-liked, it was becoming noticeably outdated from a user’s perspective. It involved too many unnecessary steps and screens, lacking efficiency in digital workflows. Through several in-depth sessions with MNA, it became clear that we needed to create an improved version to address these issues.
Everyone knows 2020 was an incredibly disruptive year, and not a lot more needs to be said, but whilst in lockdown, we continued to build Pulse remotely. This wasn’t easy, as normally we would have continued to have weekly project meetings in person, and all be in the office to collaborate daily, but everything was done on teams and slack. One of our furloughed staff at the time had taken his time off to learn how to code, he showed me some of his work and I knew we needed him back to help with the build.
In early 2021, we launched the new and improved version of Pulse within MNA ad-creation. We ensured that this version of Pulse would be visually appealing and user-friendly. It’s provided a streamlined digital workflow that has given a whole host of efficiencies for our customers. I think the communication between PCS and MNA was an integral part of this success, so I suppose my skills from the past have helped in the future.
Danni: Great stuff. Thanks again Cal for taking the time to answer our questions, and a massive congratulations on such a momentous milestone. Pulse wouldn’t be what it is today without your input! So much so, we have a quote from Steve Mills to back that claim:
So, there you have it, a reflective glimpse into the remarkable thirty-year journey of our esteemed staff member, Calvin Randle. Three decades of commitment, relentless pursuit of excellence, and the invaluable contributions you’ve made to our team and the broader publishing industry.
In celebrating this incredible milestone, it’s not just an opportunity to look back but also to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you. Your journey serves as a testament to the power of persistence and adaptability in an ever-evolving field. It’s a reminder that, in the face of change and challenges, the true measure of success lies in one’s ability to listen to the needs of the industry.
It’s imperative to also recognise that Calvin has helped immensely during our recent LinkedIn article series “Fifty Years of PCS.” His three decades of dedicated service have been indispensable. Our content marketing specialist is truly grateful for your contributions and fact checking!
Here’s to you, Cal – Cheers to thirty years!