Position: Senior Project Manager
Time at DRB: 15 years in total
Dave Dalley is a Senior Project Manager for DRB, tasked with overseeing signage and branding projects, predominantly in the South East region. Forecourts are the main client-base, followed by a growing EV charging market.
Dave lives in Didcot, Oxfordshire, with his wife Julie and son, Ben (17).
What does your role entail?
I oversee every aspect of a branding and signage project, from dealing with the client, to helping advise on colours and profiles. I have been in this business for 40 years and have a background in carpentry, so I’m often called upon for technical advice and problem solving, as well as ensuring every part of the job runs smoothly.
What do you see as the main growth area in the business?
Electric vehicles are changing the landscape of the forecourt sector and we’re increasingly winning work at dedicated EV charging facilities, such as car parks and specialist charging hubs. EV charging is an important business area for DRB and the TSG Group at large.
What were you doing prior to your current role?
I’ve been in my current role for three years, since 2020. Prior to that I had a four-year stint carrying out a contract outside of DRB under TUPE. I first started at DRB in 2004, as a Project Engineer.
I have always worked in signage – since I was 18! My first job during college (where I was studying carpentry) was for a sign company. I have lots of experience on the tools, from contractor and engineer to site manager.
What do you like about your job?
Every project and every sign is different. There’s always something to learn and the sectors we work in are ever changing.
A branding and signage project is about so much more than the ‘look’; different substrates, manufacturing processes, installation techniques and health & safety concerns all come into play. You can’t beat the ‘wow factor’, however – seeing a site transformed and a concept come to fruition is hugely satisfying and rewarding.
What jobs have you particularly enjoyed?
I like the challenging and unusual projects where we have to use our expertise to come up with a solution. BP Pulse at Heathrow, for example, presented a complex environment. Airports have very specific health & safety guidance and the variety of surfaces the signs had to fix to meant we needed to develop a range of fixing methods – this was something I was personally involved with.
I have also really enjoyed upgrading BP garage forecourts with non-standard branding solutions – anything unique or bespoke is particularly enjoyable.
What has changed over the past 40 years?
The materials we use have changed. Health & safety is far more important now and we have moved away from using flammable materials on forecourts (for obvious reasons!)
Technology has moved on apace too. The manufacturing techniques we now have at our disposable are worlds away from what I was dealing with at the start of my career.
For the forecourt sector specifically, the biggest change is EV. Massive infrastructure is needed to meet the government’s 2030 EV target and the big players are already putting this in place. It’s exciting to be part of this movement.
What are your interests outside of work?
In my spare time my wife and I enjoy hiking and site seeing in general. We’ve climbed Snowdon recently and plan to do Scafell Pike next.