Today’s interview is with Ray Neilson, managing director of Altrad Belle. Ray joined the original Belle business back in 2001 and before then had been operations director with another iconic machinery manufacturer, Benford Ltd.
Really good. Fingers crossed it continues. Altrad Belle’s cement mixers, plate compactors, Warrior wheelbarrow, bowser-pressure washers, 1-tonne high-tip dumper, new reversible plate compactors and generators are all in very high demand from our hire customers in the UK, who are reporting high utilisation.
What is your standout Covid-19 related memory or experience?
There are several things, like our employees doing whatever was necessary to help customers and the company through a tough time – that’s when you know what an exceptional team you have. I also remember a customer saying they had ‘a tsunami’ of demand for our famous Mini-mixer as demand bounced back quicker than anyone had imagined.
With all but a few people furloughed, UK & Eire Sales Manager Bob Williams [who retired in June], plus just a couple of the sales admin team and I found ourselves fielding all the calls, managing export sales, taking machines to customers for demonstrations in the blazing summer heat – everything. In one sense it was good to get hands-on again. And, of course, construction bounced back faster than anyone predicted, making it even busier.
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