Alt - Looking to the future with Andy Colley, Operations Director

Looking to the future with Andy Colley, Operations Director

Having recently celebrated 16 years with Redhill, we caught up with Andy Colley to reflect on his time so far and to discuss what the future holds for Redhill.

How has the manufacturing industry changed during your time with Redhill?

For me, one of the biggest changes has been how people are doing business. In the past, it was all face-to-face and there was a real sense of loyalty between distributors and manufacturers. Nowadays, people can search for what they need on the internet, so the competition has become much more visible. At Redhill, we focus on maintaining strong and trusting relationships with our distributors and this has been a key priority of ours since we began in 1977.

What is a typical day like for you at Redhill?

As Redhill’s Operations Director, I oversee all projects and I’m constantly looking for additional efficiencies that can be made to our processes. A typical day for me includes focusing on how we can improve our products, as well as prototyping new products to bring to the market. Distributors know that we are flexible and welcome bespoke requirements, so I also handle a wide range of sales enquiries.

During your 16 years with Redhill, what has been your proudest achievement?

Our Mobile Safety Steps being awarded the BSI Kitemark really stands out for me. The Kitemark is synonymous with a product being thoroughly revised and tested to prove incredibly high standards in quality, safety and durability, so this is an achievement that we’re all really proud of. Research is a major part of my role and I led the decision to install our new laser cutting machine. I’m really proud of the efficiencies and quality improvements that this has brought to both our processes and our products.

How does Redhill achieve its strong commitment to continuous improvement?

Identifying efficiencies that can be made is vital in helping Redhill to continually improve. The way people are accessing information has evolved, so we are now developing an online order book that helps us to give distributors fast and accurate information on their orders in a quick and easy to use way. Our IT apprentice is currently in the final stages of implementing a new material requirements planning system, which will create even more efficiencies within our processes. We’re continuing to expand our team, and we are now in the process of getting our products on a 3D CAD using SolidWorks, and we will be creating more videos to showcase our products.

How would you describe Redhill’s culture?

We’re a family-run business so our culture is friendly, open and supportive. We have a low turnover of staff and a lot of our team have been with us for over 35 years, which really shows just how strong our relationships are, both internally with our team and externally with distributors.

What can distributors expect to see from Redhill in the next few years?

We have just rolled out a new media gallery on our website to further showcase our products and product videos will also be used to highlight each product’s key functionality. Over the next few years, we will also be finding extra warehouse space to help increase our stock levels to ensure we maintain our ability to meet demand.

What does the future look like for Redhill?

Our core focus for the immediate future will be around building up our Work Gear distribution networks. We will also continue to build and maintain long-lasting relationships with providers across the UK and we will be expanding further into Europe, so there’s a lot in the pipeline.

Why is it so important that Redhill remains at the forefront of safety and quality standards?

At Redhill, we put the quality and safety of our products at the heart of all that we do. We don’t just design things that look good – they also need to be to the highest standards of safety, functionality and durability. Alongside our BSI Kitemarked products, we also implement our own safety and quality standards to ensure that our distributors are accessing market-leading products that are built to last.