Narvar Employee Spotlight: Sean Sherwin-Smith

Welcome to another of our regular employee spotlight blogs, which provide you with a chance to get to know the Narvar team. Today, we’re catching up with Sean Sherwin-Smith, Logistics Development Director in Narvar’s EMEA HQ, in London. Sean joined us earlier this year from InPost UK, where he helped redefine the company’s operations and service offering. Sean brings with him 17 years’ experience in technology and logistics and is playing a crucial role as we look to drive growth in EMEA.

Q: What do you do here at Narvar?

As logistics director, it’s my job to build relationships with carriers. It’s something of a two-way street: on the one hand I’m trying to make sure we can offer our customers the full range of carrier options, and on the other I’m looking at how we can help carriers develop their capabilities through the Narvar platform. So, in part I’m looking at the short-term – how we can best integrate carriers onto our platform, for example – but I’m also keeping an eye on how we can develop long-term relationships, so that when carriers bring out new services or technology we can quickly roll these initiatives into our platform.

I’ve found that often we’re essentially helping to create new value ecosystems for our partners. For example, some of our carrier partners lack certain functionality – live track & trace, for example – and we’re able to bring third-parties on-board to co-create a solution to this, linking through our platform. I find this kind of work hugely rewarding, and it’s certainly appreciated by our partners.

Q: What excites you about Narvar?

That’s easy: the people. I can honestly say that I’ve never worked in a company where the people are as energised, passionate and customer-focused as they are at Narvar. I think the difference is that every single person in the company really believes in our platform and the new post-purchase category that we’re doing so much to define.

Q: What’s your favourite thing about working here?

I hate to sound like a scratched record, but this one also comes down to people. Narvar’s working environment is unique in that there are none of the silos you usually find at companies – everyone is genuinely committed to helping everyone else succeed and are open to exchanging ideas and collaborating freely. I think this was nowhere more apparent than at our Summit, last February. In other companies, this sort of event can all too often feel like a talking shop, but at the Narvar Summit there was a true exchange of ideas that has fed directly into our work. It’s great being in a team like this, where you know you can have true collaboration, whenever you need it.

Q: What are you passionate about?

I think I speak for most of the team here when I say that I am truly passionate about making sure we deliver exactly what our customers need, and that we can help them realise the benefits of complete customer experiences for their businesses. Customer experience enablement has quickly emerged as one of the most exciting areas of business to work in today and having a unique proposition to take to retailers and brands is truly exciting.

Q: What’s your go-to book or movie recommendation?

I’m a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s books and often find myself chuckling along to one of his novels. However, I think Blade Runner has to be my main recommendation. When it came out I was a big fan of Star Wars, but Blade Runner was something completely different. It went well beyond mere sci-fi to ask deep questions about humanity, and what the role of technology should be in our society. In fact, the film inspired me so much it’s the reason I got into the technology industry in the first place. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Environmental Science
An old musical format, pictured left. A young Sean Sherwin-Smith, pictured far right.

Q: What’s something that would surprise people about you?

Working in the area I do, I think most people would be surprised to hear I had a pretty crazy youth as a member of a band called Environmental Science (still available in all good record shops). We were signed to Skint records (Fat Boy Slim’s old label) and worked with bands like The Prodigy and The Shamen – we even did some music for a Dunlop ad. And all this was on top of a full-time job!

Q: What brand are you most loyal to and why?

I tend to lean towards Samsung for most of my personal tech. The design of their products is great – for example, they made a smart watch that looks like a traditional watch, which I really like – and they’ve managed to be stylish without being super expensive or elitist.