Ricky Hasprey Speaks to Professional Builders Merchant Magazine
Date: 31 October 2018
Q: How did you get into the industry and to your current position?
I had made the move to a new town with my now wife Emily. For a number of years prior I had been working for a global bank doing a variety of roles. Once I moved I began to look for a new challenge. CEMEX were relocating a lot of their functions to its head office in Rugby, which was close by. After a number of assessment days, I was selected to become the Technical Sales Support for their Readymix and Asphalt operation. Quite a change from banking!
From the technical role I moved in to external sales for the Readymix business, covering Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. This role was end user focused and gave me a valuable insight into sales operations and site practices.
After a successful spell, I moved around a little which eventually lead me to my current employer, Flexseal, who offered me a role as National Sales Manager in 2013. It has been a great journey with Flexseal so far and has given me avenues to trade with the most respected builders’ merchants and contractors in the UK. I have also had the pleasure of leading and learning from what I believe is one of the most talented sales team in our sector.
Q: How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years?
The industry has changed a lot of the past few years. I have seen a significant change of attitude from merchant and end user. Value for money can been identified as something that is clearly different to the cheapest price - the overall support systems that a manufacturer can now put in place to support its partnerships are far more recognised than in previous years. A lot of our partners have had times of restructure and familiar faces have either moved on or left the industry. That’s when the manufacturers expertise can be of added value.
Q: What are the current challenges facing your company?
We have the benefit of a great brand and one that, over the past few years, has become recognised alongside of some of the really big turnover suppliers to the industry. As our position as a key industry supplier grows, we need to ensure we continue to offer a service package that our customers have become accustomed to.
Q: Which individual has influenced you most in your career?
My 1st manager at CEMEX – Richard Kershaw – was the biggest influence in the early part of my career. He brought out my confidence and career drive. He took a huge chance on taking me from a banking background and putting me into a Technical role – and I know he got some stick for it at the time. More recently, Lee Pashley, Flexseal MD has been a huge influence and was once again somebody who put his own reputation on the line to bring me into the privileged role that I am in.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?
So far, my career highlight has been having a positive impact on Flexseal’s profile in the industry. It’s a company with a great culture and one that treat’s it’s people very well. We have been recognised by 3 national merchants and have received a product innovation award in my time here, which is huge testament to my colleagues from all parts of the business.