Tom Ellard: joining Countfire as a product specialist

Inside Countfire
Tom Ellard: joining Countfire as a product specialist

Tom joined the Countfire team eight months ago as one of our product specialists after spending several years in the hospitality industry and some time working as a junior estimator. In this blog, Tom gives us an insight into his first few months at Countfire. 

Read more to find out what it’s been like to make the career switch into the tech industry and what life is like as a product specialist. 

Making the move

“My background is in customer service and hospitality where I worked for a number of years before deciding to look for a more office-based role. I got my first sales manager job at a sound-proofing company which was my first insight into the construction industry. 

I later moved to a M&E company as a junior estimator and this is where I learnt manual takeoff and estimating. It was in this job where I first came across Countfire. I found it to be so beneficial in my day-to-day role, and I wondered why some estimators still weren’t using automated takeoff.

After 18 months in this role, I noticed Countfire were looking to hire a product specialist to join their team; it seemed like a great place to work and I became aware of the company culture through my interactions with them as a customer, so thought I'd give it a go and apply. 

Getting up to speed

The first few months were really different from other jobs I’ve had. Countfire decided to move to remote-working after the first lockdown, so that was a new challenge for me as I’ve never worked remotely before. However, the company has a robust infrastructure in place to ensure everyone is connected and able to work effectively. I still felt very connected to the team and could always jump on a Zoom call with a colleague to talk through anything I was unsure of. The team is always happy to help, and I was able to sit in on their demos to see how it was done. 

The onboarding process is well-structured too and I met everyone from the company in my first couple of weeks via Zoom. We also have team days which enable us to collaborate face-to-face with everyone in the company, and it’s something that we always look forward to.

I was also given plenty of training to support my role. I went on a SaaS (software as a service) sales course, as well as a customer success course. Countfire are willing to invest in their people and they ensure that you are well equipped to do your job. It’s clear they care about their staff and nothing is too much to ask. 

Experience with estimating is key

In my role, it's crucial to have knowledge of the estimating industry. Having been there and done it yourself, you understand how tedious manual takeoff can be and the various pains of the job. This makes it much easier to talk to our customers and advise them on the product. It’s also reassuring for the customer to know they are talking to someone who has been in their position and knows the job well. 

My advice to anyone thinking of making a change into this industry - try it out! If you’re interested in technology and looking for something that is a bit more social and outgoing, but still want to use your skills that you’ve learned on the job, this role would be perfect.”

We are currently looking for a product specialist to join our team at Countfire, check out our careers page to find out more.