Innovation and Collaboration: A Studied Approach to Customer Centricity
VP, Real Estate & Customer Experience Lead
Solihull, United Kingdom
Innovation in action: UK-based Stuart Davies seeks out new solutions, assesses processes and ramps up ways to provide the best experience for our customers across the globe.
Corporate Communications: Greetings, Stuart. Let’s start with your background.
Stuart: I’m originally from North West London but grew up close to Oxford. I secured my degree in real estate management at the London South Bank University and became a chartered surveyor. I am married to Emma and we have three boys under the age of 10, so is it any surprise I have no hair and a grey beard! I now live on the south coast of the UK.
Corporate Communications: How did your career path lead you to Prologis?
Stuart: Originally, I was a retail broker but soon realized I preferred working on the client side. I moved to a diverse retailer, where I secured my professional qualifications; this particular company owned shops, farms, car dealerships, travel offices, logistics sites and, even, funeral homes. My next step landed me at the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, where I was part of the central terminal leadership team and a member part of the operational team that responded to the fallout from 9/11. From Heathrow I moved to a focused industrial investment company called Brixton, which eventually was purchased by SEGRO. I had a brief stint at a major UK retail chain, looking after their distribution portfolio, followed by a position at a pan-European logistics investment management firm before being approached about a role with Prologis UK. The rest, as they say, is history!
Corporate Communications: How does your role at Prologis support the company’s strategic blueprint for success: the 3Cs?
Stuart: My role hits all of them: customer centricity; change through innovation and operational excellence; and culture and talent. Customer centricity is simply what we do. We build relationships with customers and work to solve any pain points they may be experiencing. Our Prologis Essentials platform uses our scale to give our customers unrivalled products and services.
When I joined Prologis, I was told that change is the only constant. We study new solutions and assess how we can improve processes and ramp up innovations to serve our customers across the globe.
As a leader in the UK business, as well as the EU Customer Experience team, my calling is to foster our culture and build our talent base. I certainly cannot do this alone and I’m delighted to be part of a great team in the UK and EU. We have a common purpose to deliver for our customer base. Our customers’ success is our success.
Corporate Communications: Tell us more about your approach to customer service.
Stuart: I view it all from the customers’ perspective and work closely with them to explore the best solutions. I learned early in my career that customer centricity is about empathy, a collaborative approach, developing a long-term relationship and doing the right thing. In this way, you align with the customer to give them options that are pragmatic, deliverable and tailored to their success.
Corporate Communications: What, in your opinion and experience, makes for a truly great team?
Stuart: A great team is one in which the leader actively listens more than they speak and the team is empowered to make decisions based on their own judgments. This builds a sense of ownership and accountability and creates an open environment where each voice is heard.
Corporate Communications: Outside of work – passions, hobbies?
Stuart: I have been a keen rugby player, representing my county, South West England and London Welsh. I now coach at my local club where one of my sons plays. Before having children, I was an enthusiastic (but not very good) sailor, but I have had to come ashore for now. However, I am tempted out on a SUP or kayak on occasion; my boys are also beginning to get a taste for this. As you can imagine, with young children, we are usually darting around various clubs and activities in the evenings and at the weekend. In between, I am involved in running our local Scout Group, am part of the editorial team for our village newsletter and, when I can, volunteer at a local homeless shelter in the city by staying in the shelter overnight to support the night crew. For the past 15 years, I have been a mentor for trainee surveyors as they work toward securing their professional qualifications in real estate. I am also partial to a glass (or two) of real ale (which is quite a British thing). We are fortunate to live close to a few very fine micro-breweries, which I have been known to frequent on occasion.
Corporate Communications: Best career/life advice you’ve gotten or given?
Stuart: These are my touchstones:
- Do as you would be done by.
- Listen. It is also okay to say you do not know the answer.
- Be aware of the shadows you cast as a leader.