Domestic & General launch Van for good

December 5, 2022 | 2 minutes
Domestic & General launch Van for good

At Domestic & General, we are continuing to work and grow towards becoming more sustainable; however, we are on a journey, but excited for what is to come. One of the best things we can do for the planet is to repair or recycle. The less waste, the less CO2 emissions, waste output and water usage required to build and buy new.

Repairing is one thing. But what about older appliances that you’ve either outgrown or need to leave behind as you begin a new chapter, or move to a new home? We may not realise that these items are still in good condition, and that they can be recycled and used again in a new forever home.

As we continue to believe in the powerful act of repairing and reusing appliances, how can we get more people on board? In 2021, supported by CVC and through their Eco Grant Initiative, our vision of promoting and encouraging sustainability through repairing and recycling your appliances, became a reality.

With all that in mind, we are very proud to share with you our very own Van for Good.

So, what is Van for Good?

Our Van for Good is a fully electric vehicle that we will be using to promote community recycling and repair schemes across 2022 and beyond. This will include things like a community recycling and repair scheme, Commonwealth Games activation programme, and longer-term community re-use support to name just a few.

Together with both a tech for good charity (more to come on this soon…) and with The Reuse Network, we can give consumers and our customer’s regular opportunities to donate their pre-loved household goods.

It is not just any old electric van that you will see out and about on the road. We have worked in collaboration with our lead in-house designer to make sure our van stands out from the crowd (of vehicles) and leaves a lasting impact.

Our chosen full van wrap design encompasses the core elements of our overall objectives of sustainability and community, with a flair. A big thank you to the team at Wrap Graphics in North London, for bringing our vision to life.

What’s next?

Birmingham 2022 aims to be the first carbon-neutral Games in history, amplifying the importance of sustainability to a global audience. Sponsoring the Games gets our message out there to more people. More people who can take small actions to make a big difference. Click to read more about our sponsorship and the games.

If you are visiting the Commonwealth Games this year, please keep an eye out for us. And if you see our Van for Good out and about on the road or at events, do tweet, message us or even TikTok our Van and hashtag it with #vanforgood, we would love to see it.

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When did you join D&G?

I was one of the first D&G hires in the US, starting my career in March 2021, 6 ½ months ahead of our first Service Plan sale.  

What does your journey to US Ops Director look like?

I began my career working as an agent in the outsourced call centre space.  Over time, I was promoted into leadership positions within Operations, later taking on Senior roles with responsibility for managing global call centre operations.  I left the outsourced space in 2015 to begin working for a competitor in the warranty/insurance vertical.  My love for managing call centres and experience working in the warranty space is what attracted me most to my current role with D&G.

What does your team do at D&G?

My team is responsible for supporting the call centre sales channel in addition to supporting our customers in times of need with any service-related support.  We manage our BPO call centre relationship and performance delivery, the new hire training curriculum and trainer certification, agent staffing and scheduling and service delivery.  

What is exciting about your world at the moment?

There is so much growth opportunity ahead of us.  Preparing for client number two, new product offerings and new business opportunities is so rewarding.   I look forward to looking back five years from now to see how much we will have accomplished.

What does D&G’s journey into the US market look like?

A great team of individuals worked closely together to deliver a platform that could enable sales and service within the US, doing so on time and within budget.  We have proven that we can exceed our original business case targets for both sales and service.  We have established a great relationship with our first OEM partner and have demonstrated to them and the business that customers find value in the D&G proposition.   

What does it mean to you to be part of a global business?

Being part of a global business means that you get the opportunity to work with a very diverse group of individuals from many different cultures.  You get the opportunity to learn from people that are from many different cultures and get to share best practices across countries.  At times it means making sacrifices to respect the challenges of working in very different time zones.  

What do you love most about your job?

I love being able to work for a diverse organisation that provides a product of great value to our customers.   I enjoy being part of a terrific team that are passionate about what they do and want to support you in any way they can.  

What would you say to someone thinking about joining D&G? 

If you enjoy being part of a fast moving, entrepreneurial environment and working with a fantastic, diverse group of individuals who are driven to succeed, free of politics, then D&G is a place you want to be.  You must be prepared to hit the ground running and not be afraid to challenge status quo.  

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November 24, 2022 | 2 minutes
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As a part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games sponsor family, we had the opportunity this week to take part in the Severn Trent Commonwealth Forest planting event.

Ten of our colleagues travelled to Quinton, Birmingham to help plant 6,400 tree saplings, across 10 acres of land in the Midlands. We joined Severn Trent, also a sponsor of the Games, on their mission to leave a carbon-neutral legacy for the Midlands by creating 2,022 acres of forest.

This effort will help to offset the residual carbon emissions of the Games, as well as provide more green spaces across the region.

We caught up with a few people involved, to find out what they thought of the day:

‘It was great to represent Domestic & General and be involved in the tree planting with my colleagues for such an important cause. It was great to work together to protect the environment and help bring together the community whilst celebrating the camaraderie of the Commonwealth Games!’ Louise Brown, Operations Manager

“The day was very rewarding. It was hard work, but well worth it. The chance to network with people from Domestic & General and other businesses was fantastic. Plus, we had a chance to do something great for the environment. We planted around 3200 trees over 5 acres which was such an achievement.” Simon Browning, Operations Lead

If you would like to find out about our involvement in the Games, you can do so here.

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We are pleased to announce our new partnership with onHand, the award-winning tech for good platform that lets us act and have an impact on social and sustainability across our local communities and beyond.

At Domestic & General, we are on a journey to do more where it matters most, driving sustainability goals and helping our customers to reduce, reuse and repair the appliances* in their homes.  We know there is lots of work to do and that is why partnering with onHand is a great step forward in reducing the impact on the planet and helping those that need it.

Over the past year we have also teamed up with The Reuse Network which are the UK’s only membership body dedicated to charitable and voluntary reuse organisations.

Find out more about donating in your local area.

We are excited about the next step on our journey, welcome onboard onHand.

Check out our marketing team volunteering below, doing their first team onHand mission at Food for All.

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Domestic & General Service Team & Spear Community Volunteer Day

November 24, 2022 | 5 minutes
Domestic & General Service Team & Spear Community Volunteer Day

On Thursday 29th September, Domestic & General’s Service Team joined Spear London, in what we hope is the first of many community volunteer days. 

Spear London is a charity who have been providing help and support for people experiencing homelessness in Southwest London since 1989, striving to build communities in which everyone has a chance to call a place home. 

How it started

The team at Spear London arrived first bright and early, followed by our Service Team in Van for Good, ready to get stuck in, DIY SOS style to provide a newly refurbished communal and reading area bringing space for comfort, socialising and relaxing amongst one of Spear London’s residential housing associations. 

Check out the before: 

before

How it’s going 

Each of the teams were hard at work, getting their hands dirty sanding and repainting benches and outside doors, piecing together tables, chairs, and garden furniture, fixing up a brand-new Barbecue, log fire (chiminea) and even a pizza oven.  

MicrosoftTeams image 29

We wanted the clients to have a space they could use during the day and the evening, so we even sprinkled in some solar fairy lights, and in the words of Ian Palmer Smith our Supply Heating and Service Director, ‘keeping the place lit.’ 

The finishing touches

Now it was time to lay out the garden furniture, pop logs in the chimineaadding final paint touch ups to the benches and sprinkling in some flower baskets, adding a touch of colour even on gloomier days. 

Service team picture

Right before the big clean up, the teams put down their brushes and tools to sneak in a group picture. 

We are extremely proud of our Service Team for their hard work and DIY skills and cannot thank them and the team at Spear London enough for allowing us to work together to provide a welcoming space we hope will help make a positive impact on the wellbeing of their clients. 

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At first, it might not seem like the obvious choice for the leading specialist warranty provider to champion world-class athletic achievements. But for us, it was a no brainer. We don’t do things for the sake of it, we act with purpose and with passion. We’re selective about the company we keep and the promises we make. We ensure that the partnerships we forge are ones that will make a difference; not just to us but to everyone.

From washing machines, ovens and boilers to TVs, tablets and mobiles; if you rely on it, we’re here to make sure it’s reliable for longer. We’re committed to bringing sustainability to the core of who we are as a service. That’s why we’re a proud sponsor of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which aims to be the first to create a carbon-neutral legacy.

As well as celebrating world-class athletic achievements, Birmingham 2022 has other goals, including bringing people together and being a catalyst for change. A mission we actively share.

Working with our partners, we’re helping to keep appliances in use for longer, making our planet greener and doing our bit to save the world, one repair at a time. We believe there’s strength and power in numbers. When we all play our part working towards a goal, connecting, supporting, and championing as a community, anything is possible.

We’re embracing this once in a lifetime opportunity, to ensure the positive impact is one that will last for generations to come. Throughout the Games we’re going to be sharing updates and how you can get involved.

To find out more, please click here.

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Introducing Head of Digital Marketing, Adam Evans, and the world of Digital Marketing at D&G

November 24, 2022
Introducing Head of Digital Marketing, Adam Evans, and the world of Digital Marketing at D&G

When did you join D&G?

I joined D&G in the summer of 2019 after three years at Which?. 

What does your journey to the Head of Digital Marketing at D&G look like?

I started out as Senior Marketing Manager which was a new role for the team. I spent a lot of time in the first year laying the foundations for what we do now and getting to know people across the business. That allowed us to run some successful “proof of concepts” to demonstrate the value of Digital Marketing. I was then promoted to Head of Digital Marketing after around 18 months in the role and have since broadened my team’s remit to include email/SMS marketing and SEO. 

What does your team do at D&G?

My team’s responsible for Digital Marketing channels which include email, PPC, paid social and SEO. Some of this we manage in-house, and we work with specialist agencies too. Our job is to increase sales within a certain CPA (cost per acquisition), and to test and learn. This can take the form of creative testing on Meta ads or rolling out a new channel, such as Referral marketing, which we’ve just launched. 

What did you do today?

I am embracing flexible working today and working from a cottage in Wales, before I log off tonight for a few days annual leave! I’ve had a weekly performance call with our media agency and I’m working on our strategy planning for next year. 

How would you describe the culture in Marketing at D&G?

It’s a friendly and informal atmosphere, and I would say it is less corporate than you’d expect for an established business in Financial Services. There’s freedom to innovate which is very important and it allows us to be creative while also keeping a close eye on our commercial performance! 

How does the digital marketing team add value to the company?

We plan and execute marketing campaigns that drive sales for the business. We also provide insight to help shape business strategy – an example is our expansion in the US market, where we’ve been using Google data to show how US consumers search for our products.

What is something exciting in your world at the moment?

We’re developing our MarTech stack, which means we’ll be a lot smarter and more targeted with our campaigns. We’re also looking at testing new channels in other markets outside of the UK, which is exciting!  

What do you love most about your job?

Digital Marketing is always changing and it’s exciting to work in a fast-paced industry where there are always new opportunities to innovate. I also love that D&G is a friendly place to work with a good balance between office and home working – which is all the more important now I have a young son and a very energetic Labrador! 

What would you say to someone thinking about joining the digital marketing team at D&G? 

Do it! You will learn loads in a supportive environment and will have the opportunity to work across a wide range of different products and with some of the UK’s biggest brands. You’ll also get to work with some innovative, market leading agencies.

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Interview with Peter Bevan, our Chief Platform Engineer - The world of DevSecOps at D&G

November 24, 2022
Interview with Peter Bevan, our Chief Platform Engineer - The world of DevSecOps at D&G

When did you join D&G?

*Checks Notes*…. April 2022 apparently… it’s been a very, very fast six months!

What does your journey to Chief Platform Engineer at D&G look like?

  • Left school at 17
  • Got a job as IT Technician Grade 3 at Liverpool University ~1997
  • Got bored and learned to write Perl so I could make a web forum for my mates
  • Got really bored and left to write Perl for a living
  • Spent most of my early 20s building services for .com boom start-ups and ISPs
  • Built some SMS-based conversational interfaces a good decade too soon
  • Helped build a sports video network that delivered video content to mobile phones
    in a “world before Youtube and iPhones” (if you can imagine such a thing)
  • CTO for an Event Ticketing comparison service
  • CTO for a sports-based social media network
  • Web App architect for Centrica Hive (met Seb – now D&G’s CTO)
  • Principle Engineer @ Goco
  • Principle Engineer / DevSecOps @ VM
  • …. and finally D&G

What does your team do at D&G?

We (the Cloud Centre of Enablement) are responsible for providing the cloud platform upon which all our services and application are built.
We work with our InfoSec team to secure our cloud environments and SaaS tools, and to supply development practices and automations to our development teams.

Our product development squads are given standardised pipelines, useful infrastructural patterns, helpful guidance and whatever else we can do so ensure they are free to focus on solving their own domain goals. Oh, and we also work closely with vendors across the industry to onboard new tools and SaaS products.

What is an example of DevSecOps?

One example would be: Having all your code deployed into a cloud environment automatically from a repository via a pre-built pipeline which tests and security scans code before deploying it. Another one could be: Engaging with your security and QA colleagues at the design phase rather than just after the first deployment.

What tools are used in DevSecOps?

Communication, Openness, Collaboration, Diversity & Trust (But also: AWS, GCP, Azure, Git Hub, GitLab, CodePipeline, Checkov, SonarQube, OWASP, Snyk,
Veracode, Checkmarx, Rapid7, Shell Scripts, Typescript, Python, etc…)

How do I start a career in DevSecOps?

Learn a discipline (software engineering, ops, or security) to some extent and work in that domain in a production environment for a while. Maybe do a bootcamp, a Code Academy course or a bunch of AWS certifications. Use that experience to discover how much you don’t know about the rest of the stack and see if that lights up your interest.

When I started out if you knew how to plug-in a printer people thought you were a borderline-genius, and the only qualification you needed for a job in tech was to know more acronyms than the person interviewing you. In 2022, there’s a lot more to know, a lot more to deploy and a lot more security threats to consider.

So, what do I know…? … maybe it starts when you send Domestic & General your CV!

Is coding required?

Yes! The ‘Dev’ part of DevSecOps implies the automation of operational process via the medium of code – it’s the best part of what we do: Freeing up the human intelligence of our fellow workers by automating away as much as we possibly can.

What do you love most about your job?

Bringing my fellow workers joy!

What would you say to a techie thinking about joining Domestic & General?

If you’re a technologist with a strong interest in building and owing products, a person with care and respect for the people and processes you engage with every day and a desire to build a truly world- class tech platform – come talk to us, cause that's exactly what we’re doing.

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Introducing the world of Product at D&G with Product Director, Anna Bradley

November 11, 2022
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When did you join D&G?

I’ve worked here for two years now. 

What does your journey to the product team at D&G look like?

I’ve worked in Digital, Product and Trading roles in B2C businesses my whole career. I started as Digital Director at D&G and was responsible for growing the Digital Sales business. After about a year, the organisation pivoted and brought in a CPO with the aim of changing the nature of our business to being more product led and customer focussed. 

What does your team do at D&G?

My team build products and services that make it possible (and easy) for our clients to sell our propositions to their customers – whatever the channel.

What is the typical background of your team members/ how do you get into product?

Early in my career Product Managers didn’t really exist in the way they do today. Although I did work with technology to solve customer problems and deliver experiences, it was generally called something like Account Manager. But the role and its importance evolved over time, and the route to product is now simpler. Digital organisations have product functions and will take graduates or anyone who’s worked in delivery functions before. Scrum Master and Business Analysts also make good Product Owners, for example. 

How does the product team add value to the company?

We answer the questions and solve the problems that our customers (and our client’s customers) face. We make the experience of buying and servicing simple and effortless, attracting more loyal customers. 

What’s coming out of your world that’s exciting at the moment? 

We’re building the capability to allow clients like John Lewis and Argos to sell our subscription products next to their own on their websites. So customers will be able to protect their appliances through their chosen trusted retailer, and we’ll be able to access many more customer opportunities than before.

What do you love most about your job?

I love delivering experiences that I know will genuinely make our clients and our customers happy. To see something that you have designed and built live with real customers is so rewarding. I also love the autonomy and trust here. I have an outcome that I need to achieve, and I am responsible for doing that with the help of the extremely talented people in my team.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining the product team at D&G? 

This is an amazing opportunity to deliver real change on a global scale.

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Introducing D&G’s Chief Risk Officer, Tom Hughes, and job area of risk at D&G

October 24, 2022
Introducing D&G’s Chief Risk Officer, Tom Hughes, and job area of risk at D&G

When did you join D&G? 

I joined in May 2018. 

What does your journey to the Chief Risk Officer at D&G look like? 

I completed my Chartered Accountancy training at Deloitte after university and worked in finance for a few years afterwards at HSBC, RSA Insurance Group and AXA. Then one day my manager at AXA explained that their Risk and Compliance Director was moving on and would I be interested in the role as I had transferrable skills. I went for it and found the role more varied, interesting and fulfilling than I ever imagined. Then D&G reached out to me in late 2017 and I found the opportunity totally compelling – thankfully I was offered the role and the last four and a half years has been a brilliant experience working with some fantastic people.

What does your team do at D&G? 

We’re responsible for regulatory compliance, risk, data privacy and quality assurance. In simple terms, I would say that we exist to protect the business, its customers and employees from harm. And we do this by partnering with all functions and stakeholders in a proactive way to provide support, advice and guidance.

What is the typical background of someone in risk? 

The beauty of a career in risk is that you can be successful from any background, irrespective of qualifications and experience, so long as you enjoy learning and working with people. I read a comment on LinkedIn recently that risk professionals needed a statistics background in order to be successful, which I don’t agree with at all! 

What would you advise someone if they’re interested in joining the world of risk? 

My advice would be to reach out to people working in risk for advice and guidance, as we are always keen to welcome new entrants to the profession!

What did you do today? 

I went to the Association of British Insurers Offices in Central London, which is the industry body representing Insurers and Pension Providers. I sit on the General Insurance Executives Forum with representatives from other Insurers, where we talk about key industry topics such as new laws, regulations and economic trends. It’s a privilege to represent D&G in this forum to ensure we have a strong voice in the industry.

How would you describe the culture at D&G? 

Our culture is one of customer centricity, where we look to support and protect our customers when they need us. We are becoming increasingly agile and tech-enabled, which puts us in a good position to support our customers with new services and solutions in the future.

What is something exciting in your world at the moment? 

I have loved being a dad for the third time this year as baby Lucas was born in May. And our everyday flexibility proposition has made a big difference to me personally, as it has enabled me to spend valuable time with my family and watch my children grow up, whilst feeling more connected to my global colleagues than ever before. 

What does it mean to you to be a part of a global business? 

I’m proud to lead a global team and love travelling to meet with our teams as my functions are represented in every D&G office across all territories. I enjoy learning about the local culture in each location and take time to listen to how we can become even more effective as a global team. We are on a journey but making great progress.

What do you love most about your job? 

I love working with our people to build solutions that protect our business, people and customers whilst enabling innovation and growth. I also love the variety of my role – no two days are ever the same!

What would you say to someone thinking about joining D&G?

We are on a fantastic journey with a clear vision and a great culture – come join us!

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