After over 30 years at Northpoint, we interview Director, Tony Holt, about his career progression and the growth of the company.
Q: What year did you join Northpoint?
A: March 1989
Q: What was your original job title?
A: Quality Control Inspector
Q: How has the company changed over the years?
A: My Northpoint career began at its Trafford Park site, the business was quite diverse and tended to target higher specification work, focusing on coatings for the architectural market, aluminium cladding, white good parts and phone box fascia units. In addition to the powder coating lines we had one production facility dedicated to coating small excavator parts in wet paint. We had two sites, one in Trafford Park the other in Dukinfield. We merged the two into the Dukinfield site 1991.
From the early/mid 90s we put huge emphasis on servicing the fencing industry, there was huge growth in this area and many of the architectural customers had started to powder coat in-house. The wet paint market was decreasing because of the demand for safer and more ecological coating solutions.
Today Northpoint is split up between fencing, pipeline and sheet metal coatings.
Q: How has Northpoint helped you to progress in your career? Tell us about your career progression within the company.
A: Northpoint has given me varied opportunities throughout the years. It wasn’t a culture to go knocking on the MDs door, potential was noted and you were identified as someone who could take on new challenges. From day one I kept my head down, worked hard and built up a reputation for being trustworthy.
My first role was a Q.C Inspector on the Creda line at Trafford Park (think cookers). From here I was offered the chance to support the main Q.C team in monitoring processes and ensuring we complied with the old BS-5750 quality assurance accreditation.
Upon moving over to our current Dukinfield site in 1991, I continued in the lab technician role, next it was a supervisory position on our Architectural powder line. A return to the Q.C function was followed by a stint managing a fencing line after we had converted it from the previous architectural facility.
I took up a brand-new role after the fencing supervisory experience, thought up by an ex MD – In-House Trainer – the majority of that was fork lift truck training, I moved to managing transport for over 10 years and finally became Deputy Managing Director in April 2019 after we had become an Employee Ownership Trust. Fair to say I have had a varied, challenging journey at Northpoint! Looking back this path suited me because I can get easily bored remaining in the same position for too long.
Q: What is it like being part of the Northpoint team?
A: Being part of the Northpoint team is very straight forward, we are all down to earth and approachable. Strict hierarchy is not part of the culture, we are relatively informal and open.
New additions to the team are partnered up with a senior member to learn on the job. Once we establish if they will be a good fit for Northpoint, we then explore external training.
Q: What do you believe separates Northpoint from its competitors?
A: The team are excellent communicators, helpful and friendly. We have excellent problem solvers, who react without delay to any unforeseen circumstance.
We are ultra-adaptable at Northpoint. We can coat large orders in less than 24 hours. The team understands the requirements of the customers and work diligently to meet their needs. We have built an excellent reputation for high standards in the industry, we take great pride in maintaining this status.
Q: Where do you see Northpoint in 5 years’ time?
A: I am not one to look too far into the future, but I would like us to grow year on year, keep evolving and embrace newer, greener, and more efficient technology.
I want a happy and highly skilled team of individuals who look forward to coming in to work at Northpoint and contributing to its continued success within the industry. We believe that by looking after people, hopefully they will repay your faith and trust with loyalty and years of excellent performance that we all benefit from.
Becoming an EOT in 2019 has changed the way many of us think and behave in a positive way, I can only see this improving as we begin to understand it better and work together as a team.