Do you want to get to know our team better? First up, we have our Technical Manager, Mark McArdle

This month, we’re kicking off a series of blogs that will enable you to do just that! We’ve asked each team member a range of questions that we think will help you understand what makes them tick.

Over to Mark!


How do you help Gradient clients?

I help support customers with their business improvement projects by providing technical advice or working with the Gradient IT team to deliver technical solutions and/or support implementations and go-live projects.

This can be anything SyteLine-related, such as modifying SyteLine or creating an entirely new piece of functionality to support a unique business process or modifying reports or creating new ones. Also, I work within the wider ecosystem of Infor OS, so I enable integration of third-party systems with SyteLine via ION and APIs or workflows or workspaces and home pages. It’s an entire platform of applications and tools for running a business, so it’s about choosing the right ones for the customer’s needs.


What is your non-negotiable before you start work each day?

Coffee and a short meditation.

For part of the year, I am in the USA, but try to align myself with UK hours. The coffee helps to get the brain cells firing at 5am (or earlier some days!) and the meditation is a little moment of focussed calm before the day starts.

In the UK, I’ll have a run before work, so I have my exercise in for the day.


How do you plan your day?/What do you need to do in your day?

Everything I do is driven by customer requirements. Priorities are determined with the Gradient project managers from their discussions with the customers and the time is scheduled into my calendar. The important thing I need to do is stick to the plan and tell the project manager if there’s a delay or deviation from the plan.

At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to review the day and make notes in my support systems (I use Trello a lot), so I know exactly where I am the next morning.
If we have any quiet periods, then I’ll look at how to improve internal processes or think about functionality we can develop or fill any grey areas in my knowledge of the product(s) with training.


What is the best thing about working at Gradient?

Gradient has a real family feel, with everyone supporting each other. There are no politics or power games, and I can talk candidly or have a gripe if I need to.


What has been your career highlight?

I’ve had a few, but a successful implementation of SyteLine for an aerospace manufacturing company ranks highly as it was a very challenging project with a great deal of business complexity and third-party systems to integrate, incorporate or remodel. I was responsible for all data migration from the legacy system to SyteLine and have to say the go-live weekend went by without a single hitch!


What did you do before you worked at Gradient?

My first job was as an apprentice coach painter. I also worked on a building site before going to college. You can still see some of my handiwork around my hometown.

From college, I joined a firm of accountants as a trainee chartered accountant. It wasn’t really me, but I stuck at it and finished off working as a senior auditor before going to university. From university, joined an aerospace manufacturing company who were implementing a UNIX-based business system. Over the years, I developed this system along with integrating many third-party ones to support the rapidly changing business needs. Also built a data warehousing solution to satisfy complex reporting requirements. I was part of the implementation team that migrated to SyteLine in 2014 and worked on further developing it until I joined Gradient in 2021.


What is your favourite film or TV program?

So many to choose from! One movie I’ve watched many times, including all the different versions, is Blade Runner. There is a lot of depth in that one about the meaning of life, but I could name a dozen other ones, too.

I’ll throw in an all-time favourite TV show, although there’s a plethora of others I could nominate too. Again, I watched this so many times: The Royle Family.


Which sports team do you support?

In the UK, Manchester City FC. And yes, I’ve been a lifelong supporter, not a Johnny-come-lately when the success flowed in. I suffered all through the late 1970s, 80s, and 90s, and I deserve this!

In the USA, Orlando FC when I can get tickets, but lately, I’ve been drawn to a different ball game: basketball. And Orlando Magic is my team.


If you were on our quiz team, what would your specialist subject be?

Usually, something obscure about movies or books. I leave the geography and history questions to others.


Finally, what is one thing about you that someone may not know?

It’s a dream of mine to open an independent cinema showing classic movies on the big screen to a new audience who missed them the first time.



Thank you to Mark for kicking us off with this series of posts, we hope you enjoyed it. We’ll be posting these between our other blogs, so watch out for our next team member.

If you want to see how we can help you with any of the SyteLine topics that Mark has raised, then please get in touch.  We’d love to hear from you.