A Special Piping Materials interview with Steve Chee, General Manager of our Singapore office.
Steve has worked for Special Piping Materials for 12 years (since 2010) and has been in the lead role in Singapore for the past three years. Over that time, he has developed an incredible network of supplier and client contacts, helped to supply products to numerous complex and specialised projects across South East Asia, ridden the wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and helped to grow the Singapore team into one of the most respected exotic piping suppliers in the region.
Steve’s team works incredibly hard to ensure all their clients receive the specialised products that they need on time and on budget. The 30,000 sq. ft warehouse in Singapore holds tons of pipes, fittings and flanges that is ready to be shipped at a moment’s notice with our trusted shipping partners.
Read on to find out more about Steve’s role in in the Special Piping Materials team.
- How long have you worked with SPM?
In the blink of an eye, it has been 12 very good years with SPM Singapore.
- What role are you currently in?
I am the General Manager for Singapore office, and it has been three years since I took up this exciting & challenging role.
- Can you give us an overview of your career so far?
Prior to joining SPM, I was a Sales Engineer with a Malaysian listed company, dealing with coating and in-situ machining. After two years, 2010, I commenced my career path with SPM Singapore, as an Assistance Sales Manager. I was gradually promoted to Sales Manager, and I am now leading the Singapore team as a General Manager. It has been a wonderful learning curve at SPM for the past 12 years.
- What industries does the SPM Singapore office supply to?
We supply to the Oil & Gas, Petro Chemical Plants, Desalination Plants, LNG & FPSO.
- What countries across South East Asia do you supply to?
Our homeland, Singapore, as well as countless other countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Philippines, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
- How do you work to maintain client relationships?
Building & maintaining good relationships is very important for sustainable business growth. Therefore, being enthusiastic & having zeal can make a real difference to our clients and ensure that they like to work with us. Having the ability to understand our clients’ goals & objectives on both a micro & macro level is also incredibly important.
- What’s your favourite (and least favourite) day-to-day task?
I enjoy assisting my colleagues in tackling commercial and technical issues on projects. Probably, my least favourite task, would be the documentation when preparing for ISO audit, but I realise how important it is!
- What made you want to work for SPM?
The values & culture of Special Piping Materials is second-to-none as the company ensures each of our employees, from top leadership to entry-level, is well taken care of. We are like a family who share a bigger purpose and are working towards the same common goal.
- What is your focus at the moment in your role?
To bring the company to greater levels of success and making sure we’ve got a wide range of stock inventory to cater to all the different industries we work with.
- What does a typical ‘day in the office’ look like?
I like to start each day by going through my schedule to make sure I have the time and space to focus on any calls or meetings I have & to get those done first thing. Then I usually check & respond to my emails while I’m still fresh. After that, I would analyse the current commodities & currencies pricing, to ensure we are aware of any fluctuations. In the middle of the day, I would catch up with the sales team for updates & general queries. Before I head home, I usually double check to ensure that I didn’t forget to record any important things or meetings for the next day.
- What do you think the future holds for the piping world in South East Asia?
There is no doubt that Covid-19 has had a great impact on our industry and economy, but I believe there is always innovation in a crisis, which will eventually lead us to greater discoveries & opportunities. I think the Covid-19 pandemic, while extremely disruptive will lead to great innovations in many of the heavy industries.
- What keeps you motivated at work each day? And how do you motivate your team?
I like to treat everyone at SPM Singapore like a family member, and it is always more motivating to be working alongside your family members.
- How do you relax after a hard day’s work in the office?
I would go for a swim after work and immerse myself in the tranquillity of the pool. Sometimes, I enjoy a couple of beers with my friends especially on a Friday night!
- If you had to choose another office around the world to work in, which would it be and why?
That’ll be the UK. The scenic view and the awesome weather, and of course the UK is on my bucket list to visit!
We hope you enjoyed this Special Piping Materials interview with Steve Chee!
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