Altecnic’s Managing Director Alan Sherwin is stepping down after 18 years with the Stafford-based specialist in plumbing and heating products and systems Altecnic. Having spent the last eight years as MD, Alan is retiring and handing over the role to Gary Perry, current OEM Sales & Technical Director, at the end of April this year.
Throughout his career, Alan refused to subscribe to the autocratic style of management and is proud that all of the substantial milestones that Altecnic has achieved since becoming MD have involved the buy-in of the entire workforce. This has developed a culture in which everyone works hard for the benefit of the business and not the individual. It’s a type of culture in an organisation that makes an MD’s role both rewarding and satisfying.
Alan joined Altecnic in February 2000 and became finance director shortly after. He says he was extremely proud to be offered the Managing Director’s role in 2010 by Marco Caleffi, President of Altecnic’s parent company Caleffi. Central to any MD’s role is to grow the business profitability and over the last eight years Altecnic has grown by a third to a turnover of £40m. This growth has enabled the workforce to almost double over the last 10 years, with the business now employing around 90 staff.
Professionalism has long been Alan’s watchword, and he has been delighted to take Altecnic not only through accreditations like ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 but also to be the first business in the sector to achieve Carbon Neutral status. The latest accolade and one of Alan’s proudest achievements is to take the business through the Investors in People (IIP) Award this year. Alan says: “Employees are a business’s most important asset – a phrase that is often claimed without substance, but in Altecnic’s case it is true. I’ve always believed that it is of paramount importance to treat everyone in the business fairly and to provide a high quality work environment, so the introduction of a qualified Human Resource Manager was a key element moving forward and the IIP accreditation provided the official ‘seal of approval’ when we received it this year.”
As he makes plans for spending more time with his grandchildren – in addition to playing golf and cycling – Alan says there is no better feeling than “when things come together” and he is grateful for the years at Altecnic and the relationship developed with Caleffi. “Above all,” he says, “I’m grateful for the team that have been with me over the past 18 years. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I’ve had at Altecnic.”
The future MD, Gary Perry, joined Altecnic in 1996 as technical manager. Since then, the sector has seen a huge amount of changes in products, legislation and technical requirements and Altecnic’s product range has evolved substantially. Even though Gary’s roles over the years have become more customer-facing, every day he draws on his vast experience of product development and technical acumen, always taking into consideration the industry and its requirements. The whole purpose of Altecnic’s product development, he says, is to ensure the company provides first-class solutions to the market which are not only innovative but also simple to install.
Amongst Gary’s career highs is his involvement in the thermostatic mixing valves market, where he played a key role working with the whole of the industry in developing standards to improve products and safety. He is particularly proud to have been part of the team that developed TMV2, TMV3 and the DTC standard for thermostatic products and being part of the launch of new products like Altecnic’s patented RoboShock.
Now, in 2018, Altecnic has one of the largest technical support teams in the sector which, under Gary’s management, has been working to set the benchmark for pre- and post-sales support offered to customers alongside excellent quality products and first-in-class service levels.
“Within Altecnic, we have become accustomed to introducing and developing products that suit market opportunities or customer needs,” Gary says, “and this approach has generated substantial growth in our sales and product offering in recent years. My goal is to continue to provide sustainable growth for the business and to deliver true value to our customers by meeting their requirements for innovation, quality and service. I am immensely proud to continue to help Altecnic move forward and I look forward to a bright future for the business for years to come.”