For the past two months, we've been interviewing the hardworking people behind the tree line at Forest Computer Solutions. During this process, we've been reminded that having the human touch is an essential part of any business.
This month we'll be talking to Keran Palfrey in Programming and Support.
FCS: So Keran, please tell us how you go into the software development industry.
Keran: Around 6 years ago, my husband and I started to get serious and him being in the military meant we would be traveling around the country often for his work. I was at the time working at a law firm as a paralegal / legal secretary and my Dad who started Forest suggested he would like to retire and asked if I would be keen to learn the ropes and someday take over the reins.
We hit the ground running and I worked at a client site nearby to learn exactly how they used the software which we then redesigned and rewrote so I could see exactly how it all worked, this inspired me to start doing my degree.
FCS: That's a great entry into the industry. What drives you in your role at Forest Computer Solutions now?
Keran: A large part of what motivates me is earning money for my family, we are currently house hunting at the moment for our first home so is a very exciting time for us. We would love to book a holiday at some point also, I would personally love to take my daughter and stepchildren to Disneyland Paris however feel that might be a future goal given the interest rates for mortgages at present.
FCS: Those are some nice goals to keep you motivated. What do you enjoy most about your work?
Keran: I am currently doing my open university degree in software development and having the ability to work two and a half days a week is perfect to take what I am learning and put it into practice as well as being able to look after my daughter and have some special days out together when she is not at preschool. I also thoroughly enjoy providing great customer service and am very lucky at Forest to have a customer base who are brilliant to work with.
FCS: We hope the software development course continues to go well, I'm sure the customers will appreciate the additional expertise you will bring.
FCS: What about plans for the future?
Keran: My plan for the future is to hopefully build the business and do more programming. It is difficult to find additional avenues in which we can explore to build on what my Dad has done so far however have ambition that Forest will continue for many years to come.
FCS: Have you had any notable experiences that you would like to relate for our readers?
Keran: The biggest experience of my life would be having my daughter who is now three years old, she has completely changed my outlook on life and has given me a push to further myself and my career in order to be able to provide for our family in the long-term and make her proud.
FCS: Can you think of a particular challenge that you've overcome along the way?
Keran: The biggest challenge I faced was increasing the number of days I worked after having my daughter from 3 to 4 days. I had spoken to my Dad prior to having her and it was agreed I would return part-time however I was too ambitious with the amount of time I took off and then when my days increased at 6 months I had to be honest and share that it was a little too much. It was Covid at the same time and at this point, different rules came in, so I was unable to work from my parents’ house where my Mum was on hand to help and I really struggled not being able to go on walks during the day and explore more due to needing to be home for the business hours. I don’t know why I was worried about the conversation as my Dad was massively supportive and I went back to doing 3 days a week straight away which worked great for family life. Gemma then came in to help with the additional two days of customer support which was brilliant as meant we were able to keep the business in the family and ended up job sharing the customer support role.
FCS: Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, it's been interesting to get to know the people working hard behind the scenes at Forest Computer Solutions.
We hope this series of interviews has given some fresh insights into the people behind Forest Computer Solutions. If you have any questions about us or our payroll software please feel free to get in touch.