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Profile of Ed Smith, Principal OPA Consultant

Why he is so perfect for the role, and why dentistry’s loss is Cognito iQ’s gain.

One of our newest recruits, Ed Smith, was made for the role of Principal OPA Consultant. His experience and expertise is so relevant, it’s almost as if all of his previous career moves were designed to bring him to us. Apart from the year he spent studying to be a dentist.


Ed says “It was a good course at a good university, but I soon realised it wasn’t for me. I like to find a system or process that isn't working and improve it. That's what I get a kick out of doing - making people's lives easier. And I like talking to people, but I also like listening - I'm far more interested in what they've got say than what I've got to say - and you can't do that as a dentist.”

Ed left his course and, using his previous work experience at BA and his coding skills, landed a job at SITA, an airline telecoms company. His work there included putting in a barcode system to reconcile baggage, and taking the company successfully through the upgrades and plans required in advance of Y2K. He spent a (mercifully) uneventful night at work on 31st December, 1999, memorable only for the amount of overtime he earnt.

There followed roles as an IT manager at EAF Supply Chain (now part of Procurri), and as a consultant at Phocas, a data analytics company, working with SMEs to help them get more value out of their data. In both roles he worked with Cognito iQ customers such as Computacenter and Saint-Gobain, giving him a great understanding of the issues faced by companies with field service and logistics operations.

Ed chose to join Cognito iQ because of the potential he sees in the OPA solution and the opportunity to work with a more diverse range of companies. The role of Principal OPA Consultant speaks to his love of understanding systems, processes and people, as it involves working with existing customers and prospects, to ensure that they're getting the most value from OPA, and from their data.

Ed says. “My role is to work with customers to find the root cause of issues, to surface opportunities to improve, and to demonstrate how to use OPA to continuously fine tune their service organisations. I start by sitting with them to understand their organisation, and to find out what is and isn’t working, not just with the software but with their own internal processes and people.”

Once Ed has helped to diagnose the issues he can then work with the customer to overlay a series of tools and fixes that will help them address those issues, whether they are with compliance, utilisation, productivity, scheduling, training, customer satisfaction, travel, employee engagement or any other element that can have an impact on delivering service. He will be working closely with our other Principal Consultants for Field Service and Logistics, completing the team who help our customers get the best from all of our products and services.

Another key part of his role is to advocate for our customers internally. He sees himself as the bridge between customers and developers, translating customer requirements and ensuring that product development reflects those requirements and meets customers’ needs.

As our latest version of OPA with Insight Hub rolls out, Ed says that this is the part of the role he is most excited about: “The Insight Hub is so powerful – I’m looking forward to shaping the direction of the product and helping our customers see just how valuable it will be and how much it will help them.”

We’re just as excited to have Ed join us as he is to be here. Cognito iQ OPA is a unique product, so we are lucky to have found someone who is so well suited to the role of OPA consultant. If you are looking to improve your service organisation, Ed can help you to diagnose your issues, and put fixes in place. Just don’t expect him to look at your teeth.

Download the Cognito iQ OPA Datasheet

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