John Coughlan has been the CEO at TSP Engineering since 2014. A results-driven, business turnaround leader, Coughlan possesses a significant record of driving operational improvements through operating with a customer-centred approach.

Having worked in a number of different countries and continents, such as the United States, China and the Philippines before moving back to the UK, Coughlan believes such extensive experience has seen his leadership style develop over the years. “It’s definitely developed over the years and allowed me to understand diversity and working with different cultures,” he says. “It has helped me enormously to understand people. I have a philosophy to understand the three Ps: people, product and profits. This means that if you can get your people right, the people will get the product right and this will subsequently allow you to get the profits right through the business.”

Talent management is a key pillar to Coughlan and he acknowledges the importance of equipping staff with the knowledge to leverage data more effectively. “It’s one of those things that I learned really early on,” he explains. “You have to provide staff with the tools to interrogate the data that will draw out the answer to the problem. It’s important to never just give away the answer but provide a route to the answer that they need for the problem. It’s about how to harness, interrogate and how to interpret the data to provide results because data doesn’t really lie.”

With the importance of data growing at an exponential rate to businesses such as TSP Engineering, Coughlan affirms that an agile and flexible approach to operations is key, particularly in a digital transformation. “It’s about harnessing the data to drive our technologies and the changes that we make on a daily basis,” says Coughlan. “The digital era that we’re now in is constantly making us look at our business and how we operate. Only recently, based on what we’re doing, we’ve decided to take one of our business departments and set it out into a business unit on its own to allow it to get further ahead on the digital transformation and not to be held back by other areas of the business.