Kevin’s arrival sparks fresh opportunities
Posted on 25th January 2018 at 14:54
At the age of 57, with the successful running of two multi-million-pound electrical firms under their belt, most people would be starting to daydream about taking it a little easy.
Not Kevin Bristow, Foley Electrical’s new General Manager.
In fact, he’s joined our business to help drive it to similar success, and we couldn’t be more delighted to have him on board.
Kevin is hoping to bring some of his extensive experience and skill to bear in helping our Co-Directors James and mum Sally to carry our company to the next level.
At the tender age of just 25, James has a great deal to be proud of already. Having passed his electrical apprenticeship with flying colours, he established the business in 2014 and now employs seven people, serving a client base ranging from private domestic clients through to major petroleum companies, property developers and farmers.
However, what sets James apart is his appetite for learning. With one eye always on the horizon, he’s constantly looking to ensure Foley Electrical keeps pace with the highest standards and exciting new innovations that characterise our industry.
And he is astute enough to know that an injection of wider experience will get the company where he wants it to be in double-quick time.
An impressive run
Kevin’s first role was with the former Hull-based electricians firm Beaumont Electrical, owned by his father and brother-in-law. He worked his way up from apprentice to technical manager over a period of 22 years. In that time, the company grew from 10 to 140 people, with five offices in London, Hull and Manchester, and supporting major names like the Macdonalds chain of restaurants.
In 2008, Kevin’s brother-in-law sold Beaumont Electrical to Faceo, a French owned company Facilities Management Company which was attracted by its solid national base of skilled engineers.
Kevin took on the role of Technical Manager for the merged company, which went on to do everything from testing work for insurers like Royal Sun Alliance, to Ministry of Defence installations and reactive work.
After that, he was offered the opportunity to buy into his own business, taking on KRG Mechanical and Electrical Services seven years ago when it had five engineers on board and a turnover of less than a quarter-of-a-million-pounds, and transforming it into another major player in the electrical industry.
“We spent a year sorting it out, moved into larger office premises and quickly grew our turnover to several million pounds a year,” said Kevin.
“We then joined forces with a large regional property development company and 78 per cent of our work became focussed on them. I’m very proud of the success we achieved, but last year I decided it was time to move on again, and exited that business in order to seek out a new opportunity.”
An ideal match
It was a chance conversation with James and a local supplier, which exposed what that next step was to be.
“I’m really proud that James approached me through a long term colleague to help him achieve his vision for Foley Electrical. He is so enthusiastic and determined, I know we can achieve huge success together.
“My career journey started at a similar point, offering everything from day-to-day electrical services for individual domestic clients, to larger installations and maintenance for industrial and commercial sites.
“So I know what can be achieved and I’m confident that James and I can work together to get this company to where it deserves to be.
“What drives me is being part of something that will definitely grow and passing on experience and technical knowledge.”
So, what does Kevin see as the potential next steps for Foley Electrical?
“My first priority is to get a good understanding of what’s currently in place – no need to reinvent the wheel. We’ll be assessing our electricians’ technical ability and providing any additional training they need to make sure they remain at the very top of their game.
“Then we’ll look at opportunities like bringing in new skills and experience to bolster our offering.
“I had previously worked direct with the NICEIC governing body as an associate assessor and it’s my staunch belief that making sure everything is of the highest possible quality and level of compliance is the bedrock of any electrical business. Making that as strong as it can be is vital to us growing in the right way.”
And his first impressions are good.
“It’s clear that Foley Electrical has a fruitful niche market around its current location, with the opportunity to build on its agricultural specialism and industrial opportunities too,” he said.
“There’s a golden opportunity to specialise in certain areas and build even stronger relationships, which we’re looking forward to doing.”
Customers calling in to our office will find Kevin on the end of the phone from here on in, and can expect to benefit from his ‘can-do’ approach and experience in everything from technical planning to electrical assessing and project management.
“I hope that what I bring is a thorough understanding of the electrical industry in various areas, from customer enquiries to testing, design and legalities relating to electrical works – especially within a business environment,” added Kevin.
Asked about his biggest achievements, he continued: “It has to be running my own business and growing it from five employees to a company turning over more than £2million per year, with 50-plus electrical and mechanical engineers.
“Our most important goal is to meet clients’ expectations and deliver high quality, cost effective solutions for them.
“New regulation is being introduced almost daily, and there are more new technologies coming over the horizon than ever before, such as solar and other energy efficient alternatives.
“So, in this increasingly challenging and competitive environment, we need to remain on the ball and maintain our edge.”
Kevin concluded with this message to our clients: “Whatever you need, we can deliver. If we can’t do it ourselves, we will find you someone good who can. If we don’t have the answer, we’ll find it out. Whatever your issue, we’ll provide you with a solution.”
And when he’s not busy looking after our customers and planning what we should do next, Kevin is actively involved with his close family life. With three daughters and now grandchildren there is always something to be done, and if I he ever manages to break away for a bit, he also enjoys an afternoon supporting his local rugby league team Hull FC!
Tagged as: New General Manager
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