Meet the team - Billy Tocock
Updated: Feb 8
Behind every team, there's a talented bunch of individuals who contribute and make DDI Projects the company it is today.
As part of our 'meet the team' series, we kick off by asking Billy Tocock about his role and responsibilities here at DDI Projects.
What's your role at DDI?
I am responsible for managing and coordinating the retail projects for DDI Projects and support all other areas of the business where required. This year has been like no other for the retail sector but as we look to a time when shops can reopen, my expertise can support clients to safely reopen and implement any changes required.
What inspired you to get involved in the construction fit-out sector?
I started as a carpenter and then progressed to this role, having held several posts in similar companies. I have always been ambitious and love the satisfaction of seeing a project through from conception to successful completion.
Is there a project that you have been involved in that you are incredibly proud of?
That would have to be Superdrug Greenwich as this was originally a five-week fit-out and we completed it in three weeks! No other contractor has completed a fit-out this quickly, which is down to our lean construction methods. We use this process to help stick to tight deadlines while managing our teams' efficiency and trades on site.
What does a typical day involve?
Lots of phone calls and lots of emails! Every day is different. One day I might be in the office, and another day I could be in Scotland on a site visit. I love the variety of the role though and getting to meet new clients. I think it's this 'hands-on' approach that sees many of our clients return to DDI Projects as a supplier of choice.
Have you noticed any particular common trends in project requirements, for example, biophilic design, sustainability?
Predominantly people come to us as they know we will complete a project to a high quality within tight budgets and timescales. I have noticed that new shopping centres ask for BREEAM solutions and how we can incorporate sustainable elements into design schemes. Luckily, we have developed some key relationships with suppliers over the years, making it easy to incorporate sustainable elements when required.
Thinking about your most recent project, were there any particular obstacles you had to overcome, and how did you achieve this?
We worked on the Gymnasium Wandsworth project, and this really called for us to put our thinking caps on and think outside the box. The project was located on the outside of a shopping centre, so we had to navigate visitors and neighbouring businesses and make sure our work did not obstruct or impact on the daily running.
What advice do you give to anyone looking to pursue a career within the construction fit-out sector?
You need to be committed and passionate and expect to work long hours. In my role, we have a lot of night jobs, so it really is 24/7. It isn't for everyone, but if you don't mind hard work, it's very rewarding.
I started out in an apprenticeship and really benefitted from that hands-on experience. It's definitely not a job you get bored of plus you get the satisfaction of seeing a finished project.
What are your goals for 2021?
I would like to remain busy and see the high street reopen successfully – it will be nice to see a vibrant shopping centre or bustling high street again as things start to return to normal.
Finally, when not working on projects, how do you spend your free time?
My wife and I have a beach hut at Sandbanks and we love to visit every weekend, or more frequently if possible. I love running and paddleboarding and on a warm summer evening enjoy nothing more than a BBQ on the beach with a nice gin and tonic. We also enjoy long weekends away camping and trips abroad exploring new destinations.