Welcoming Rickie Cole back to Cablenet

Welcoming Rickie Cole back to Cablenet

We're excited to announce Rickie's return to the Cablenet team.

After a 14-year hiatus from the network cabling industry, I’ve finally returned to the industry and a company I always loved working for!

I left Cablenet in 2010 and joined SGS, which I always describe as one of the biggest companies nobody has ever heard of. At the time I joined, there were over 120,000 employees in 140 countries! SGS are a traditional testing, inspection and certification (TIC) company, but I joined their Government and Institutions division, one of the more niche divisions. In my role, I helped companies exporting goods to countries in the Middle East and Africa attain the necessary certification for entry into those markets by verifying the goods against their applicable standard for import as defined by the relevant regulatory authority. It was an incredibly steep learning curve, but it opened my eyes to the world of international trade compliance and taught me much about product conformity and market surveillance techniques. After eight successful years of working in a sales/account management role, I was promoted to a business development role with the company. I picked up a portfolio of non-traditional services to develop, such as Aid monitoring services, NGO benchmarking, electronic cargo tracking services, cargo scanner training, remote inspections, forestry certification and queue management solutions, to name but a few. I was also asked to look for potential mergers and acquisitions for the company, culminating in acquiring a business in June 2019 that made proprietary software solutions for international trade.

Sometime in 2018, while working on this acquisition, I came to the realisation that some of SGS’ products and services would be able to help the UK government with the upcoming departure from the EU in 2020. I produced a white paper that we presented to HMRC, which led to many follow-up discussions with the likes of DEFRA, the treasury committee, the UK Border Force and the cabinet office (I also made two visits to number ten Downing Street during this time, meeting with two separate prime ministers!). As a result of this work and my knowledge and experience, I was invited to the technical panel of Prosperity UK’s Alternative Arrangements Commission as a specialist in market surveillance techniques and product conformity. In late 2019, following the acquisition, I helped to launch SGS’ trade facilitation services, and I became the UK TransitNet manager for SGS, responsible for SGS’ NCTS offering, which proved to be incredibly lucrative as a result of Brexit and despite the global COVID pandemic that forced me to be highly adaptive and embrace remote technology in a way that I’d maybe not expected to. By late 2021, I was looking for a fresh challenge but wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do next, so I took on various roles over the next two years, including being a milkman (which I genuinely loved doing)!

By November 2023, I was looking for a new role, and Cablenet was looking for someone to fill a business development role; I always looked back on my time in the industry and with Cablenet fondly, so the stars were very much in alignment for me to come full circle and make a return, bringing with me the wealth of knowledge and experience that I’d picked up in the interim 14 years.