Building sustainable partnerships and developing Vendor Portal: Isaiah’s story


Isaiah became our Supplier Relationship Manger in 2022. But what does a day in the life of our supplier relationship manager look like and why is it important to Shields.


How long have you worked at Shields?

Since August 2022 so almost a year now – time has flown by!

What your role is:

As a Supply Relationship Manager, my primary role is to oversee the Vendor Portal platform, growing our current and prospective partnerships, ensure a steady supply for Shields MarketPlace, and contributing to the standardization of high-quality equipment within the telecoms circular economy.

What is Vendor Portal?

The Vendor Portal is a telecoms supply platform that allows our key partners to collaborate and improve stock liquidity in MarketPlace. It standardizes lead times, quality standards, and stock levels, thereby accelerating the sustainable growth of the circular economy.

How did the idea for Vendor Portal develop?

We came together internally to discuss how we can expand our virtual footprint and grow our existing and future partnerships, whilst also creating positive change within our industry, thus the concept for Vendor Portal was born.

What was your favourite part of the development process for Vendor Portal?

My favourite part was understanding our partners pain points and being able to adapt the platform around these. Streamlining both the buying and selling processes, whilst opening our partners up to further opportunities.

What was the most tedious part of the development process for Vendor Portal?

Being a bit of a perfectionist myself the testing phase took the longest, as I wanted to ensure we had a final product that effectively took into account our partners feedback, whilst also proudly representing Shields.

Why do you like working for Shields?

I enjoy working at Shields because of the positive environment created by the people and the company culture. Shields is currently undergoing a significant digital transformation, and with a rich history of over 40 years it provides a fantastic opportunity to learn. It’s exciting to be a part of this journey.

How did you get into the telecoms sector?

After completing my university studies, I initially worked as a civil engineer on the fibre optic rollout with my brother. However, I realized that the physical demands of the job weren’t for me. Wanting to leverage my degree and stay in the industry, I transitioned to telecom sales and then account management. I found joy in connecting with customers and building relationships, which led me to my current role. Now, I take pride in creating sustainable, long-term partnerships.

What does your day to day look like at Shields?

Every day is different, and the benefit of my role is that there’s many exciting projects to get stuck into. Some of my core day to day activities are:

  • Providing key account management to our Vendor Portal Partners
  • Monitoring and managing supply market liquidity levels
  • Training and development for our Vendor Portal Partners
  • Data and communication analysis
  • Developing new and existing relationships
What do you enjoy most about your role?

I genuinely enjoy the variety that my role offers, and I find great satisfaction in actively contributing to the development of new functions within the Vendor Portal.

A piece of advice for your younger self?

Keep your head down and stay focused! I’d also learn to play golf earlier – it’s a great way to socialise with business partners and a relaxing sport too! (I can still barely play.)

What’s your most common challenge in your role and how do you overcome it?

I’m often working on a number of projects, so time management, prioritisation and communication are fundamental to effectively managing this.

What’s the strangest / funniest / most memorable moment in your current role?

My most memorable moment to date was our digital transformation meeting in Wales, in which we scoped out our digital transformation plans for the upcoming years whilst taking long scenic walks along the Welsh coast. There are some really exciting projects coming up and I’m proud to be a part of some of those.

What would you say to a young person who wants to start a career in telecoms?

Just go for it! There are many avenues and opportunities to get into the industry. Even for people with no previous experience such as the Shields Sales Associates Programme that we recently launched. This is a fantastic avenue into the industry and was created specifically for people who are new to telecoms.

What motivates you?

From a young age, I have been driven by self-motivation and a strong work ethic. I started working at the age of 12 with a paper round, and by 14, I was already pot washing in a local restaurant. Now, as I’ve grown older, my motivation stems from my loving wife and son, who inspire and drive me to succeed.

What do you do to relax and unwind after work?

I like to stay active by running, playing golf, kayaking, going to the gym and spending time with my family. I’m also partial to a cheese and wine night.


To find out more about Vendor Portal read our article here.