Interview With An Operations Analyst
December 18th, 2023
It’s that time of the month again when we have the great pleasure of interviewing another one of our amazing employees! This month we are interviewing Operations Analyst Bowen Humphreys to get an insider look at what it’s like working in the operations department of UTOPIA Fiber!
What’s your name, and position, and how long have you been at UTOPIA Fiber?
My name is Bowen Humphreys, I am an operations analyst and I’ve been here for a little over a year and a half.
What do you do as the operations analyst at UTOPIA Fiber?
My role covers a lot of different responsibilities, but mainly I do all of the reporting for UTOPIA Fiber. So for any department, any sort of information that they are looking for within any of our databases, I can help collect and create reports and make them look nice for people. The other thing that I do is fleet management. We have a little over 50 trucks that all have to make sure that they are getting oil changes and being maintained. Whenever we have old trucks that get up high in mileage, we need to get rid of those and get new trucks, get them outfitted, get them wrapped with UTOPIA branding and all of that. So maintaining all of that as well as making sure if we have trucks that get into accidents sometimes, dealing with that, and dealing with insurance. Then beyond that, it’s just helping Jeff Erwin our COO with any sort of projects that he’s got on his mind. Whether it’s sending out requests for proposals, or doing some sort of financial analysis on different projects and things like that.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
My day is pretty varied. There are scheduled reports that I do on a daily and weekly basis that I send out to different people in different departments. There are new requests for reports that come in and then anything after that is up in the air on whether there’s new vehicles that need to come in or different individual projects that we are doing to make things run smoother.
What inspired you to go into operations?
I like the puzzles in operations. It’s never-ending, you’re always sort of operating and keeping things moving forward and going. But there are all sorts of puzzles in operations with how we do things and whether we can make things easier for people, help things take less time for people and just help improve the quality of life for the employees and the end-use customers.
What led you to work at UTOPIA Fiber?
Right now, UTOPIA Fiber is sort of a small company that’s growing into a big company, and that change from a small company to a big company brings with it a lot of problems and a lot of opportunities. I said that I like puzzles earlier and that growth in and of itself is a really big puzzle when you switch from being a mom-and-pop shop where you rely on people to get things done. With a big company, now you have to rely on processes and best practices and things that are written down so that other people can follow them. That change from small to big is a really exciting step for UTOPIA Fiber and that’s what brought me here.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle your team faces?
I think for me some of the biggest obstacles is again moving from operating like a small business to operating like a big business. There’s a lot of new ways of doing things that we haven’t done before and sometimes that can be intimidating for people to start doing new things. Sometimes people have always had better ways of doing things or had an idea of how to make things better that they’ve either voiced before and never really caught on, or they never really brought up before. Now is the time when we can take that and run with it and implement it in a pretty effective way. It’s bringing people along on that journey and letting people know that it’s okay to try new things and it’s okay to bring up new ways of doing things!
What’s your favorite thing about working at UTOPIA Fiber?
Can I pick two? It’s hard to pick just one! I mean obviously, the people at UTOPIA Fiber are amazing, they are talented, they are highly intelligent, and it is just a joy to work with everybody at UTOPIA on a daily basis. That is one of the things that I love about UTOPIA. The other thing is that because my role and my job has a lot of different tasks associated with it there is always something new for me to do. It’s really exciting for me to come to work and have a couple of things that I know I’m always going to be able to get to do, and then anything else that comes along is something novel and exciting.
What’s been a rewarding memory you’ve made at UTOPIA Fiber so far?
There’s a couple of different ones but one of the things I can think of started to happen when I got here and Jeff Erwin tasked me to set up uniforms for all our field services guys. They are out in the field during all seasons and all hours of the day sometimes, so it was really important to Jeff Erwin to make sure that they had the right equipment and tools, including clothes and shoes. So I worked to make sure that we had proper weather gear and then we implemented a boot policy where we help support the cost of all of our field crews’ purchases for boots. It was something that initially started out as another task to do in the job, but when I saw how big of an impact it had on our field crew guys and how helpful it was, it turned out to be more rewarding than I expected.
What do you wish people knew about UTOPIA Fiber?
I think when you talk about internet companies, a lot of times you forget that it is run by humans. Especially with bigger companies, a lot of times it feels like there’s not really humans involved in the process even though you’re talking to customer service to get things set up. With UTOPIA Fiber, every step of the way I feel there’s humans involved. I think that is something that I hope that a lot of people know more about, is that it’s all local people on the other side helping out.
Outside of work what’s your favorite thing to do to unwind from work?
So I try to keep in shape quite a bit, I go to a local gym here called Burn Boot Camp and we have a group of us that do fitness competitions. I used to do foot races and bike races and stuff like that, but weightlifting competitions I was never really into until recently. That’s something I recently got into and it’s a lot of fun to do that. Other than that, I like playing Dungeons and Dragons, and then of course it’s Utah so I enjoy being outdoors like hiking, skiing, camping, and going off-roading.
What’s your favorite Holiday season tradition?
I come from a Jewish family and one of the things that comes around the holidays is Hanukkah. You light the menorah and eat oily foods, so anything deep-fried like latkes. I always love sitting down and having tasty food with lots of oil, lighting the menorah, and having a nice night together with my family.
That’s all for today’s interview! We hope you enjoyed getting to know another one of our incredible employees! We want to thank Bowen and his team for all the incredible work they put in to help UTOPIA Fiber continue to grow and provide better service to our customers!