Celebrating 35 years at Northpoint this year, we interview Operations Director, Philip Butterworth, about his career progression and the growth of the company.

Q: What year did you join Northpoint?

A: A long time ago…February 1986, I can still recall my first day. The office door was opened to the expanse of the shop floor to which I was asked “Can you do that? If so, just follow suit!”

Q: What was your original job title?

A: My original job was working as a manual operative which was the entry level job for any inexperienced new starter at Northpoint. This job role consisted of the loading/unloading of the production lines. It is still the same case for any inexperienced new starters today.

Q: How has the company changed over the years?

A: Northpoint has been through three major ownerships since it was founded in 1979 and each time Northpoint has evolved, with each senior management team improving the business accordingly. The new SMT will continue with this tradition and will inject their own ideas on how they think the company should move forward. Capex investment into the latest technologies will help maintain Northpoint’s strong market position within the coating industry. This will allow us to continue to service our customers (new and existing) with the best possible quality coated product.

Q: How has Northpoint helped you to progress in your career?

A: Having worked at every level over a 35-year period I have acquired many skills while working through most of the job roles at Northpoint. After a 6-week period as a labourer, I was promoted to a powder coater and within twelve months of this role I was professionally trained to be the wet paint applicator on a newly installed wet paint line, where various small items for the Ministry of Defence were coated. I then spent the best part of 6 years in various roles including the quality department and a short period working as a store person.

My leadership responsibilities began when I was asked to take control of a small night shift team running a multi metal line. After 3 years of supervising this I was then asked to change shift and run both of the newly installed fencing lines as a Production Manager, working in this role for 14 years before being promoted to Operation Director.

Q: What is it like being part of the Northpoint team?

A: Northpoint has always been a close family orientated company where everyone plays a part in each other’s job roles. Being a part of this team is very rewarding and every day there are various challenges where the team comes together to resolve them, this in itself gives me a great feeling of satisfaction.

I have organised a number of external social events including a fund-raising cricket match, and also played and managed a successful football team called Northpoint Villa, which competed in the local Hyde, Oldham and District Sunday League.

Having been at Northpoint for 35 years I have worked with some excellent work colleagues and met some great characters along the way. I do keep in contact with some former colleagues and I will also bump into them periodically, when I mention that I still work here the general response is…“My God! You must be the Boss by Now?”

Q: What do you believe separates Northpoint from its competitors?

A: Northpoint is continually pushing the boundaries on the quality, presentation and turnaround of all our customers products. Our production teams work extremely hard to meet their daily targets, couple this with the excellent day to day communications our administrative team give our customers, I think we have a winning formula.

Q: Where do you see Northpoint in 5 years’ time?

A: Northpoint is now an EOT and employees are taking more of an interest in what they do and how the company is performing as a whole. This sense of ownership can only springboard the company in the right direction. Improvement in technology in both the factory and office is on the agenda. This will take Northpoint to the next level.