We bid a fond farewell to John Collier as he heads into retirement after 25 years with Capital Document Solutions.
Originally from Canterbury in Kent, John first moved to Scotland in the early 1980s. He began his career as Purchasing Manager at Capital in 1988.
The role has undergone huge changes in that time. John explained: “The environmental side of the business has only come to prominence in the past 10 years or so. It’s been part of a wider cultural change with businesses having to adapt to increasing demand from customers for ‘greener’ products and services.
“As part of this shift, I was heavily involved in Capital gaining its ISO 14001 accreditation. We didn’t bring in any consultants to help us through the process. So it required me to learn about all the different environmental legislation as well as training staff on the new processes.”
Perhaps the biggest change has been the growth of the company since John first joined back in 1988.
“With around 40 members of staff, it was a much smaller operation than the national player the company is today.
Although I’ve been primarily responsible for the purchasing department, my role has seen me involved in various other aspects of the business.
For instance I was part of the project team which recently implemented the company’s new internal computer system which has been rolled out nationwide to all of our branches.
“This involved everything from deciding on the system we would use, drawing up plans and working instructions, training staff and developing the system to ensure it had no weaknesses before it went live.”
John Collier later returned to education, achieving a BSc in Geology and Environmental Studies from the Open University.
He also completed exams to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and, more recently, he became a member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).
John recently turned 60. He admits he’ll miss the banter around the office most of all. He said: “Even though I’ve lived in Scotland for more than half my life, I’m still on the receiving end of the odd joke for being English.
“Since a number of members of staff have been with the company for many years, there is a real close-knit feeling to the company; it’s almost like one big family.”
John Collier lives in Linlithgow with his wife Heather – who is also expected to retire soon. They have a daughter Melanie and a granddaughter, five-month old Olivia.
He added: “I’ll hopefully now have the time to do a fair bit of travelling – both at home and abroad. I have a bet on with my daughter as to who will visit Machu Picchu in Peru first.
“I’ve always been a keen hill walker and climber too. At the last count I had completed 96 of the Munros. So I’m hoping to surpass the 100 mark in the coming months.”