We recently caught up with our new Sales Director, Andy Dennis to find out more about his time with Swish so far.
When I was approached for the role, I was particularly interested as Swish wasn't a company I regularly saw in the recruitment market, though one I was aware of from its scale. On learning more, I was impressed by the business, its culture, values and approach. With any business it's the people that make the company, and my introduction through recruitment was measured and broad – I met key stakeholders in Operations, Distribution and the wider Group throughout the recruitment process. It was clear that 'fit' was as important to Swish as it was to me and I liked what I saw from the offset.
There's a strong team spirit across the business, and this is emphasised in the Commercial group. We operate without deference to hierarchy, and I believe our customers recognise this and welcome the approach. Since joining the business in May, I have been impressed by the commitment to excellence I have seen in all areas of the business. In any organisation the culture and values are important, though it's the people that make the business who we are. Receiving unsolicited compliments on our drivers and customer service team demonstrates the recognition we create in the market. That's something I have found truly unique.
As Sales Director the role is varied, I speak to less customers than anyone in the field or office based teams, so my role is one of support and direction. Ensuring we remain competitive whilst delivering a strong return is a complex challenge, and the role therefore has a degree of administration which can take a couple of hours each day. As I'm new to the plastics market, I'm spending as much time as possible in the field with the sales team, to better understand the changing needs of our customers. So far, I've been to every area in the business and am continuing this approach. Our key accounts expect dialogue at Sales Director level and I'm building those relationships, supported by David Whittaker as we hand over.
I've joined in May '22 and whilst that's a short time, already there has been change – We've seen a return to pre-pandemic levels in the private RMI sector, possibly the result of consumer spending moving back to other big-ticket items, and the impact of rising household costs. At the same time, consolidation in the new housebuilding sector has returned. Vistry (formally Bovis Homes) has bid to buy Countryside Homes, with the deal likely to be completed in the coming months. Swish is a long-term supply partner to Countryside so we must leverage our position in the new group, once the dust has settled and the buying team finalised. We expect more of this activity as some builders, on the back of a very strong two-year period look to sell at the peak of the market. It's both challenging and creates opportunity for us.
I'm an avid rugby fan, having played both codes of the sport and try to get to a game most weekends. As I live close to the Yorkshire coast, I spend time there which is a great way to relax at the end of the week. We have a dog, Stan who comes everywhere possible, and some places he shouldn't! In the summer you'll often find me at the races, with York & Beverley my local favourites.