Professional Career

Born in the North East of England into a very modest working class family Steve had, what he describes as, a “normal” upbringing for the area. He attended a local comprehensive school and is the first to admit that he will never set the world alight academically but he does have an IQ in the top 10%.

Steve took the decision at 16 to complete his formal education and enter the job market in his then preferred career of catering. This decision was based on the employment situation in the North East during the mid 80’s. After spending 2.5 years qualifying as a Baker with a local Butcher / Bakers, Steve took voluntary redundancy and moved to the South Coast to pursue a career in banking.

After joining TSB Trustcard, (now LloydsTSB Card Services) as a Mail Room Clerk in the late 80’s Steve progressed through various parts of the organisation into his final managerial role there heading up Debit Card Fraud Management.

Shortly after the Lloyds – TSB merger Steve was offered a tremendous opportunity to head up New Product Development , In Market Test for American Express where he was jointly responsible for launching the Centurion Card still considered the most prestigious charge card in the world and the Blue Card which was American Express’ first ever market specific credit card.

Steve was then head hunted by his former employer LTSB to re-launch the Goldfish card which was a joint venture between Centrica and LTSB. After a short spell and a successful re-launch steve then moved in to the Contract and Consultancy market again working predominantly on card based products in Financial Services.

Then in the early 2000’s Steve took and keen interest applying his knowledge and expertise on Smartcards to the market of Local and Central Government. Working on 4 of the Work Packages within the National Smartcard Project. It was during this time that Steve wrote the Table 7 for smartcard specifications in the e-GIF, this has since been updated by the other consultants and is now Table 11.

It was not long before Steve gained a reputation for providing a high level of smart technologies consultancy which has enabled him to build an impressive list of clients in public and private sectors in relation to citizen smart tokens.

Steve Beecroft at Prepaid 09Steve Beecroft speaking at Prepaid 09

For a full list of clients with some case studies please visit

London Borough of Lewisham – 2008 Smartcard Consultant

Responsible for the solution design & build and the implementation of Phase 1a - Looked After Children (Broadening Horizons). 
Responsible for the solution design & build and the implementation of Phase 1b – Universal Youth.
Liaise with Libraries, Leisure and Arts providers to negotiate concession levels.
Design and implement new financial reconciliation and settlement processes.
Specify requirements and manage development of handheld card readers.
This project create a brand new delivery mechanism for a new service and to facilitate that one of our Business Transformation Specialist was deployed with the responsibility of building new processes and interfaces to existing systems.

London Connects – 2007 Smartcard Consultant

In partnership with three other leading smartcard consultant was responsible for the production of a Web Services Design Document which would outline the design of a Multi Borough, Multi Agency web services solution for a Pan London Citizens Smartcard.
Conducted research and analysis.
Co-ordinated the distribution of tasks.
Responsible for bringing together the final document and ensure consistency of detail and style.
Chaired and minuted update meetings.

NOTE: - The co-authors of this document recommend that specialist Smartcard consultancy is sought for the development of a full business case. For a copy of this document please contact Steve Beecroft on 07855 364493 or email sbeecroft@consultingsmart.co.uk

Co-authored a Business Case for a Pan London Smartcard to be presented to all London Boroughs.
Conducted research and analysis.
Liaise with key Library system suppliers, Leisure system suppliers, London Libraries Consortium (LLC), London Libraries Development Agency (LLDA), Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), and a number of London boroughs for their key requirements of a Pan London Card.
Co-ordinated the distribution of tasks.
Responsible for bringing together the final document and ensure consistency of detail and style.
Chaired and minuted update meetings.

London Borough of Hillingdon – 2007 Smartcard Consultant

Jointly responsible for designing and building an implementation plan for a borough wide citizens card.
Co-authored several feasibility papers for review by the Cabinet which won the contract role of Business Partner for Residents Card for the primary contractor.

London Borough of Waltham Forest – 2006 Smartcard Consultant Project Manager

Responsible for the implementation of the LBWF Citizens Card, The OneCard.
Designed scheme structure and management
Re-engineered existing processes
Designed and built new operational processes for BAU and several financial conversion routines
Supplier selection for Cards, Card Management System, Banking Services, and Cash Collection Agency
Supplier relationship manager.

This was the first, and as at Febuary 2007 still the only multi-application smartcard with bill payment in the UK.

LBWF were awarded with e-Government Excellence: Leadership and professionalism, Sponsored by KPMG. For providing leading e.Government strategies and professional development which contribute to achieving positive transformation.
http://www.publictechnology.net/print.php?sid=7479

First Group – 2006 Smartcard Consultant (P/T Consulting Role)

Responsible for the preparation or the smart ticketing section for three different network rail franchise tender documents.
Designed scheme structure and management
Negotiated collaboration with numerous local authority citizens card schemes including the Freedom Pass
Designed a ticket less and cashless parking scheme that First Group plan to adopt for all of its existing car parks
Designed a web based ticket order, purchase and fulfilment service as cheaper more efficient alternative to www.thetrainlined.com

London Borough of Greenwich – 2004 Project Manager

Conducted analysis of payment card solutions with the aim of replacing the existing solution for rent and council tax payments with an integrated Smartcard solution and report findings to the Finance Director and Chief Executive
Was  Lead Consultant for a concept anf feasibility study into replacing the 3 existing card schemes within the authority with a single card
Responsible for introducing e-forms into the council which has seen a number of desk top applications e-enabled via the internet.
Review, analyse and prioritise a list of 72 e-Gov projects.
Conduct a Feasibility Study and document finding for presentation to Directors and Members.
Recruit 3 Business Analysts
Initiate projects for Smartcards, Committee Services and Document Management.
Conducted Feasibility Study on the subject of merging Smartcard and Access projects.

Office for National Statistics – 2004 e-Gov Project Manager


Conduct a strategic review of a large scale and high profile Web Site Modernisation Program on behalf of the Communications Director.
On completion was asked to remain on a full time basis to undertake a project recovery exercise for the remaining elements of the program within Communications Division.  
Working on a portfolio of 12 projects with a combined budget of £8M.
Implemented change control process to manage the scope of the project and protect its delivery.
Fostered positive relationships with IT and business user groups. This required acting as the interface between senior members of ONS and executives of their partners both at director level.

The ALCO Group – 2003 Project Manager / Consultant

Responsible for managing several projects with the following clients, where my liaison was always senior managers, deputy directors, directors and/or members.

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
Conduct strategic and tactical programme review to identify the most appropriate structure and direction for mainstream rollout of the Advantage Card Programme totalling 200k cards.
Conducted site surveys and operational structure reviews.
Produced and presented full report with findings.

Cambridgeshire County Council
Provided strategic analysis and mentoring to the Smart card Project manager.
Developed and documented service provider business cases.
Wrote PQQ, ITT, and evaluated the responses in preparation for procurement.
Conducted knowledge gathering and clarification interviews with short listed suppliers.
Evaluated the proposed solution including interviews with existing clients of each of the suppliers.
Marshalled the activities of multiple agency stakeholders such as Leisure (private sector), Transport (private Sector), Libraries (public sector), Loyalty (not for profit), Scheme Operator (private sector), Scheme Provider (public sector) the FSA (regulatory body) and Marketing (consultancy).
Agree project requirements, direction and tactical & strategic objectives with the Senior Responsible Officer (SRO)
Managed the conflicting needs of senior users and stakeholders.
Set up Card Community from scheme operator, citizens, service providers and scheme providers.

National Smart card Project – Work Package 6 (NSCP WP6)
Conducted feasibility research on advertising on smart card schemes.
Conducted feasibility research on commercial revenue streams smart card schemes.
Produced a CBA on the above research.
Delivered final report with summaries, conclusions and recommendations and indicative case studies. This report was included in the NSCP Final Report to the Deputy Prime Minister.

National Smart card Project – Work Package 3 (NSCP WP3)
Conducted Gap and Strategic Analysis on the current smart card standards and specification.

Northumberland County Council - (As part of a Trusted advisor Agreement to North East Region Smart card Consortium (NERSC)
Provided strategic analysis on ICT delivery in rural areas.
Presented strategic approach options to 29 different stakeholders within the North East.



North West Development Agency (NWDA)
Designed, develop and deliver a workshop to the Services to Communities work stream to develop and action plan to exploit ICT in a way that counters social exclusion and build cohesive communities.
Produced Draft action plan that was well received and has now been passed for inclusion in the Regional Economic Strategy.

RDC Ltd – 2000 Director

e-Government Unit - formally the Office of the e-Envoy
Provide analysis on various aspects of the implementation and regulation of the e-GIF.
Agree and publish Standards and Policies addressing key issues on Modernising Government and Secure Internet whilst considering the requirements of the “Illustrated Handbook for Web Management Teams”.
Provide strategic analysis on smart card technologies and deployments including Standards, Policy and Security.
Conduct a review and gap analysis on the Smart card Standards Table, which will be used as the regulatory code for all government smart card applications.
Liaise and collaborate with public and private sector organisation’s to ensure best practices and methods are promoted and adopted.

Cornwall County Council
Conducting a feasibility study to establish a process for outsourcing the financial transaction processing of smart card transactions throughout the county’s leisure and transport facilities.  

Adventure Unlimited (Charity)
Provide Consultancy during the ISO 9001:2000 Certification Process.
Provide Change Consultancy during director and trustee board change.
Facilitate Workshops to Employees, incoming & outgoing Directors and Trustees.

Portsmouth Borough Council
Provide support on a pilot exploring multi-application smart cards.

British Standards Institute (BSI)
Conducted “Concept and Feasibility” study on field, remote and tele working processes.
Attended audits at various client locations to assess Quality Management Systems conformance to the ISO 9001:2000 standard.
Produced various project documentation including BRD, PID, TOR and Communications, Training and Implementation Plans.

RNIB, Help the Aged & Sharing the Caring (Charity - Joint Venture)
Conducted a feasibility study for providing online services, giving consideration to Infrastructure, Data storage, ERM, CRM, DPA, FSA, and future development of additional services.
Designed and delivered Organisational Change Management Workshops to deal with soft side of the implementation.
Provided Change Consultancy during a major business change.

Sunumi (Eden)
Project managed the Day to day development of 5 Websites and 1 Portal.
Managed the quality and quantity of the content ensuring continuous improvement continued.
Agreed requirements for and changes to the content and navigation and design with internal customers and stakeholders.  
Mapped all web transaction processes and conducted cross verification gap analysis on the bock office equivalent processes.
Produced various project documents including BRD’s, PID’s, TOR’s, Product Flow Diagram’s, Product Breakdown Structures and Plans for Communication, Contingency and Implementation.
Co-ordinated System, UAT and Beta testing for several Internet Portals.
Produced a various Test documents including Plans TCS, Scripts, Issue logs, Fix logs and Sign off Process.
Responsible for the development implementation and documenting rapid deployment methods including research, prototyping, build and test processes.
Designed and delivered training on the full functionality of the websites to both internal and external users.
Produced training manuals, desk instructions, and delivered an on-line help module for FAQ’s and front line support.
Developed and delivered e-commerce solutions training to Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in the Brighton & Hove area, in partnership with The Open University, The Ecadamy and The Sussex Enterprise Centre. 

Goldfish Bank – 2002 Business Migration Project Manager

Lead a 2-day strategic review of smart card implementation.
Responsible for migrated Credit Card Operations from HFC to FDE Goldfish Bank, Carlson and EvolveBank.
Conducted feasibility study, designed and built the operations conversion and migration plans.
Conducted feasibility study on Contact Centre operation and location.
Produced business continuity plan for Glasgow Contact Centre.
Introduced a work stream structure and re-engineered the existing project structure.
Designed several mock conversions with full supplier engagement.
Managed several supplier and customer relationships at a strategic level. 

Daimler Chrysler Financial Services – 2000 Project Manager (Prince 2)

Produced and issued an RFP for an operational “Smart Fleet Management” system to include ERP, CRM, MI, accounting package, fleet maintenance using smart card technology and modules specific to the fleet management industry such as a fully functional web brokerage module.
Conducted business requirements gathering then prioritised them using MoSCoW ratings and delivered to the business.
Mapped all web transaction processes and conducted cross verification gap analysis on the bock office equivalent processes.
Reviewed RFP’s and produced recommendations document and presented to senior management at Daimler Chrysler Mercedes-Benz.
Managed the vendor/supplier relationships.
Issued functional design, operating model, process maps and a further recommendation document.
Conducted workflow and procedural testing using web, UAT, beta and end-to-end testing.
Process mapped original business workflows from 3 source systems re-engineered and migrated the new workflow on to the new environment, using Critical Success Factors as inputs and Statistical Process Control as the method.
Produced TOR, PID, BRD status reports, project, training and communications implementation plans.
Produced gap/impact analysis including scenario planning for each process revision.
Designed and delivered training.
Promoted the new workflows to other areas of the business by way of “process walk thu’s”, demonstrations and  presentations.

The WWW Company – 2000 Project Manager (Prince 2/Eden)

Project managed several e-commerce implementations and launches.
Produced Business Case with predictable product and benefit realization figures.
Introduced version and change control mechanism.
Acted as Consultant/Relationship Manager to UK & French stakeholders, customers and users.
Secured new business of £112k from a client that was planning to move their account.
Acted as interface between the business/client and the Development Team to ensure requirements were  signed off, understood and delivered on time and within budget.
Provided consultancy for Organizational and Cultural Change Management Programme’s and business re-engineering to a national pharmacy cutting costs by over £300k pa.

American Express – 1998 Head of In Market Test (IMT)

Provided operational and thought leadership for multi functional, multi cultural team of eight Project Managers and overall teams of up to forty employees.  The teams successfully piloted and launched plastic card products such as Centurion Card (smart card), UK Blue (Chip & PIN), The Platinum Card (revitilisation of), and Interactive.
Implemented Logical and Physical Access to “BLUE II” for Staff members as a pilot for multi application functionality of smart cards in Financial Services.
Relocated and re-engineered the Platinum and Centurion Contact Centre to include multi site capability using a web enabled Document Management System. Industry Chairman’s Award received for use on technology.
UK Blue - achieved 72k Cards in Force (CIF) against a target of 56k in first six months. Industry Chairman’s Award received.
Program Managed the Centurion Card launch, responsible for understanding and implementing all the requirements for EMV compliance such as SDA, DDA Off-line PIN, On-line card CAM and issuer authentication via ARQC and ARPC and post issuance updates. The Centurion Card was the first brand new American Express card launched outside the US.
Lead the “Concept and Feasibility” phase of UK Blue V2 (smart card). Digital certificate 509.
Conducted business impact analysis and then released the UK Blue to the business.  
Developed Implementation and Exit strategies ensuring timely and cost efficient delivery of UK Blue, Corporate Loyalty Platform Account Based Pricing, Platinum Card and Centurion Card.
Built methodologies for small projects using a hybrid of methodologies such as Prince 2 and Method 1.
Designed and implemented an Issue Tracking System, which enables early identification, continuous tracking and positive resolution, of process, procedural and servicing issues.
Conducted user acceptance, systems, beta, market and feasibility tests on all proposed projects. Enabling market optimization and the achievement of project and team deliverables.
Delivered value-adding services such as Account Based Pricing with an estimated increased revenue generation of £2800 per card member per year and Corporate Loyalty Platform which established and developed client relationships with many of the worlds leading blue chip companies- Seimens, Lufthansa, Ford, Hilton, Hertz.
Developed a process that delivered full functionality issue tracking which resulted in quick and effective customer and client issue prevention and resolution.

Lloyds TSB Card Services – 1987 Risk Operations Manager

Responsible for the general day to day running of the Credit/Debit Card Fraud Department with responsibility for 48 FTE.
CIFAS Representative for 3 years recommending and implementing fraud prevention and avoidance initiatives of the industry.
Reduced operating expenses by £65k pa by re-engineering the Fraud Notification and Fraud Management areas.
Managed several Fraud Prevention Projects £7m per annum including photo card pilot, membership of CIFAS, new processes for detecting fraud on cheque account processing, cheque book issuance, mortgage application, personal loan applications.

Personal Profile

Steve comments that “it sometimes does feel like it is all work and no play” but he does manage to find time for a fulfilling family life. Four children, chickens, cats and other pets being introduced at various times ensure that time at home is never boring. If that wasn’t enough to make life interesting the Beecroft’s are being coached by their local authority to become a Foster Family.

Most of Steve’s time spent relaxing is with the family in their holiday home in Spain or with his wife ate the theatre or enjoying a quiet meal and a nice bottle of wine. “Me Time” is spent reading, playing sport or watching local live bands. He would like to be more dedicated when learning to Salsa dance but describes himself as “having the ability of a stork wearing stilettos on ice” .

When not working, spending time with the family or enjoying some “me time” Steve can be found developing two personal initiatives that he has been building for the last 5 years which are www.ourplaceinthesun.net a website to promote holiday rental properties which are part of a personal pension plan. It is also used to promote properties of like-minded colleagues. The other is www.yourhomeinthesun.net which was born out of Steve receiving requests from peers for assistance in investigating foreign property investment. For further details in either of these initiatives please visit the relevant web sites;

www.ourplaceinthesun.net

opits

www.yourhomeinthesun.net

yjits

The MP's Expenses Scandal

Appearing on BBC News 13th May 2009