A day in the shoes of... a happy middleman - cetin.bg
A day in the shoes of... a happy middleman
From the very beginning of my meeting with Tihomir Dimitrov, Senior Infrastructure and IT Contracting Specialist, it was clear that the interview would be fun. We're from Pazardzhik, we're football fans and we even support the same teams.
"I've seen the right team and I'm more relaxed now," were his first words after noticing I was wearing a Milan backpack.
We speak at the headquarters of CETIN, a technology company involved in building telecommunications infrastructure and information security solutions, so he can explain to me exactly what he does as part of the procurement and logistics department.
"Our job is to control the company's cost items for equipment and services," says Tisho, as his colleagues call him.
His team consists of five people. They are, he says, "much more experienced" than he is, which is why Tihomir himself tries to learn as much as possible from them.
"They know the infrastructure perfectly and communicate easily with all departments with the idea of lightening the administrative burden. I make sure to take an active part in all processes to be at their level, and I'm not afraid to ask when something unfamiliar pops up," he explains.
What exactly does the team do?
"In general, I can describe the work as tendering. Anything that colleagues need, such as equipment or office supplies, as well as those in the field such as equipment, comes through us. If the planning department, for example, wants to replace their equipment, they prepare a report saying what they need, and then our team comes into action. We research the market, find a supplier for that equipment, negotiate its supply, then draw up the contracts," explains Tihomir.
Under CETIN, each tender has at least three competing suppliers - whether for a one-off bid or an ongoing contract partnership. Tihomir's job is to have a realistic judgement at any point in time, both against the market - i.e. how the company submits its requests - and against the needs of the people who will be using them.
Tihomir Dimitrov is a graduate of the American University in Blagoevgrad. He graduated in Business Administration with an additional qualification in Information Systems. He then graduated with an MSc in Supply Chain Management in Rotterdam, but it was there that the Covid-19 pandemic caught up with him. He returned to Bulgaria and graduated by distance learning.
"I went there with the idea of finishing and coming back. The weather there is very depressing - you always have to have your raincoat with you," says Tisho.
He has been at CETIN for almost three years. He defines himself as a happy middleman – being the middleman between what his colleagues want and what the supplier can deliver; the person who tries to make the wishes of the people he works with a reality.
"We work with the technical department, with the legal department, and sometimes you have to maneuver between everyone's wishes. I like to sit down at the computer as soon as I come to work and check if there is anything urgent to do. Only then it's time for coffee and a chat with colleagues. And they are very useful - even talking to someone around the water dispenser, you learn more about their work, their needs, and then I, as a middleman, can communicate with them more easily," explains Tihomir.
His working day passes in several mandatory meetings with his and other teams. His job involves sourcing IT services and systems, which means he works mainly on IT infrastructure.
"Any servers or devices that colleagues who work in the field use come through me as a process and supply. For example – if a department wants to replace their laptops or buy new company smartphones, such an order goes through me," says Tisho.
What Tihomir likes the most is to go on-site after the completion of a project and see how it is implemented and how the team's work becomes a reality.
He is not a fan of working from home. For someone like him who is in constant communication with colleagues from disparate departments, it's better to be in the office as often as possible. Personal communication is key in his work.
"I'm in the office all the time, with very few exceptions. No matter how noisy it is, as in any office space, personal contact helps solve problems faster and easier. In the beginning, it was much harder – not only did I not know my colleagues, but we had to communicate only online. And I myself feel comfortable in the atmosphere here."
Even during the pandemic, Tihomir was one of the few who visited the office regularly, as he was a new employee and had to get to know not only the work but also his colleagues. He says it was definitely difficult at the beginning. Even challenging.
Outside the office, Tisho likes to travel and play sports. He almost never misses a Levski home game. He is part of CETIN's football team, which is going to the Czech Republic in September for an improvised championship between teams from all the company's offices in Europe.
"After all the Covid-19 drama, things are finally starting to get back to normal. More and more social initiatives are being organised, which not only help to bring our team together here but also help us to meet colleagues from other countries with whom we work together on international projects."