60 seconds with...Andrew Smith
Manager: Product Specialists, Liquidlogic
What led you to Liquidlogic?
I was made redundant and Liquidlogic was just getting started with their Single Assessment Process system.
Did you start out in the role you’re doing now?
No, when I started 15 years ago I was a Project Manager and was involved with Government sponsored children’s services projects. I was aware of the Integrated Children’s System (ICS) that the Government was making Local Authorities move to and I thought the software tools that Liquidlogic was using for these projects could make a good ICS offering.
I used to present what Liquidlogic was doing for the Government to Local Authorities and ended up presenting the new systems that we were introducing, like ICS, to prospective customers.
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Local Authorities with social care responsibilities?
Undoubtedly funding cuts. Not just the obvious ones affecting social care for adults and vulnerable children, but also the ones that impact on an Authority’s capability to keep IT solutions well managed and up to date. It is understandable that if faced with a choice between front line and back office staff, an Authority will tend to cut the latter. That can have a longer-term detrimental effect though, as it makes it more difficult for an Authority to implement efficiency improving ideas like mobile and portal technologies which could help offset cuts elsewhere.
Family - lovely wife and three great children (have to say that as one works with me!).
Apart from that, convincing the founders of Liquidlogic to back that Integrated Children’s System idea.
Worst job you’ve ever had?
Probably the most character forming was as a dishwasher at a large Harrogate hotel and having to deal with the combined culinary remnants from 1000+ head, multi-course banquets, all cleared by waiting staff and dumped on you over a 2-hour period that could take until 6 am the next morning to clear up.
Top holiday destination
Love cities for short breaks. For relaxation; warm but not stifling heat, a beach and a town within easy distance for variety of places to eat and drink and nice local people. Bali has been the best so far.
Desert Island essential
Everlasting keg of Black Sheep ale?
I ought to say that very fine recent work by Jim Sullivan - The Amnesia Desk - a modern classic and nothing to do with him being my boss.
Alternatively, I like the self-deprecating humour of Bill Bryson or just the Viz Annual (sadly I have the magazines as well, so buy them twice).
Interests outside work
The mighty Leeds United. Theatre, Comedy gigs, Pubs, Walking (Leeds United covers all those as well). Find reading about new technologies and companies working in those fields really interesting. There is a technology explosion coming across so many areas in the next 10 – 20 years that is both scary and exciting.
Used to think that listening to musician’s lyrics could answer life’s mysteries, now I think they’re probably at least as daft and confused as anyone else. Depends on mood, but as I get grumpier I’d rather argue with someone on the radio whilst driving, although you can’t beat a bit of ‘ol’ blue eyes’ Frank Sinatra to sing along to.
Roadside litter. Driving so many miles per year it always amazes me the huge amount of rubbish accumulated by the roadside. If collected and burnt, it could probably power the country.
Top TV programme
Has to be Breaking Bad as the best TV drama for me, but also like old surreal comedy like Big Train, Brass Eye and The Day Today. Unfortunately, I think being safe is killing TV comedy, but Fleabag was a good, more recent example.
Favourite, (as in amuses me but annoys everyone else). I offer a wide range of off the peg Dad jokes for any occasion.
At the chip shop:
Is your fish sustainably sourced?
No, we’ve just got ketchup or tartare.
I’m lactose intolerant, if you haven’t got five toes on each foot, I can’t tolerate you
And many more…