TM Group is pleased to welcome Stuart McWhinnie as CTO (Chief Technology Officer) to help oversee the planned growth of the company as it continues to develop new and innovative online solutions for the property industry.
Having previously held high profile roles at Sky and OneSearch Direct, Stuart brings a wealth of experience in delivering change across people, process & systems to drive efficiency in complex environments. Stuart was kind enough to sit down with us for 5 minutes to answer a few questions.
Hello Stuart, welcome to TM – what are your first impressions of the company?
Thank you. My first impressions are that we are an extremely forward-looking and exciting company that’s experiencing impressive growth. My focus is to ensure that we’re in a position cope with that growth and to put processes in place to support it.
You’re no stranger to this industry having worked with OneSearch Direct previously as Technology and Business Development Director – do you feel at home in the property market?
Yes, I suppose that it’s going back to my roots really, and it’s fitting as I do have an active interest in the property industry. Although having said that my skillset is omni-industry and I do come with a background in operations and technology which lends itself well to various markets.
What three words would former colleagues use to describe you?
Driven, tenacious and inclusive.
TM is in the process of expanding and, as such, there are lots of new faces – have you had the chance to get to know your team yet?
To a greater or lesser extent yes; I’ve had the chance to get acquainted with most of the team but there’s still a few I’ve yet to get to and so will look to do so in the coming days. I’m pleased to report that everyone has been extremely open and welcoming.
Apart from managing a 400 mile commute from Glasgow, what are the major challenges that you’re most looking to sink your teeth into?
Project delivery, communication and innovation.
We’re famously ‘technology driven’ – what technology drives you?
I’m the ultimate gadget person – I have to have any and every new gadget that comes on the market. Specifically, I have an active interest in home automation – not only do we have 3 dogs but I’ve also got a robot dog called Aibo! He’s got a couple of unique party tricks too: he talks and takes photos!
We believe that tech for tech’s sake with no focus on usability makes for a less-than-ideal user experience – how are we developing our systems with the customer in mind?
Interestingly, we’re taking great pains to make our technology ever more accessible to our customers and I’ve been working with directors Ben Harris (Sales & Marketing) and Nick Dyoss (New Business Development) to get a better handle on TM users. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend customer meetings recently and I’ve got another booked for tomorrow – I find this really helps us get an accurate picture of our customers’ needs which is absolutely paramount.
Outside of work, what makes you tick?
I’m a keen follower of sports, mainly golf but my son plays rugby so I follow and support him too. You will also find me doing a spot of DIY on weekends but my passion is fast cars, in fact my dream is to completely re-build a Jaguar E-type one day.
Finally, you’ve had a few weeks to get settled in now so what, in your experience, sets us apart from other search providers?
It’s the ambition we’re showing in creating and developing new products. What sets us apart is that we’re willing to accept and drive change in a market not always known for its innovation.
Many thanks for your time.