Meet Jeff Coulson
National Mobile Sales Manager
I joined Pirtek Nottingham as a Trade Counter Assistant after applying for an advert in the local newspaper back in 2003, which stated ‘willing to train’. I loved my role, I would be talking to a different customer every twenty minutes, I enjoyed being customer focused and realised pretty quickly that this was an industry which I could progress in.
I learnt so much through volume, procuring and sourcing products, and problem solving. I had a very good trainer who was the franchisee at the time, he had extensive technical knowledge and invested time in me. The IT side of processing orders and booking products out was the easy part, through customer interaction I was keen to use this as a tool to progress my knowledge on the products and components.
Six months into my role, the company changed hands which opened up a new opportunity and saw me progress as a Technical Sales Rep. I found myself very much customer focused but now I was also out on the roads, acquiring projects. I would spec up projects, work on margins, product sourcing and provide realistic timescales. I would see all of my projects through from the initial conversation through to the delivery and installation. There is one project I remember in particular which was for an underground water system that involved the supply and install of return fuel lines which were buried through tunnels that you could only crawl in, that was interesting to say the least. I ensured the specification of the job offered long life hose assemblies with stainless steel ends which ran for 100mtrs for eight generators.
At this particular time, I am proud to say we were the only branch supplying OEM hose kits, supplying hundreds of thousands of hoses, valves and pump drive couplings which were shipped worldwide.
Two years into the role I found myself promoted to Pirtek Nottingham’s Centre Manager, now I was back in the office responsible for seven engineers. Whilst the Centre Manager, an opportunity arose with the company Phone-A-Hose as it was facing financial difficulties. My franchisee saw this as an opportunity to expand and appointed me to open a new Pirtek Mansfield branch, where we inherited three engineers. I employed Wayne Hufton as an engineer who now also works at Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics.
In 2010 my wife and I decided to spend a year travelling. She wanted to travel to America and I wanted to travel to Australia, so we flipped a coin and it landed on Australia. To help with the funding of travelling I found a job in Australia, I contacted Pirtek Australia and was fortunate to be offered the Operations Manager role. I now found myself responsible for a branch of five engineers and two depot staff which produced a quarter of a million pounds turnover. From the transition, my experience and confidence grew in working with companies overseas. During my time in Australia, I grew the team and the profits of the branch. I recruited a further five depot staff, four engineers and a Centre Manager. I successfully handed it over to the newly appointed Operations Manager at the end of my one year stay in Australia.
On my return back to the UK I joined Pirtek Nottingham for 6 months, I had realised pretty soon that my skills and capabilities had outgrown my previous roles, therefore I had contacted Pirtek Nottingham and was appointed the Sales Development Manager. I was now responsible for the Midlands, Humberside, Yorkshire and North East area, managing the relationships between Pirtek UK and the Pirtek Centres to develop customer relations. Three years into this role I was promoted to the National Sales Manager, responsible for Pirtek UK’s National Accounts and eight Sales Development Managers who reported to me. The role included the day to day development of each Pirtek depot, training, growing the sales and national accounts. I attended board meetings and travelled to our offices in Europe. This taught me a lot about the commercial element of business, the size of the world and the interactions between companies such as Germany and European relationships, deals and transactions.
When my son Oscar was born, travelling became a nuisance and I was spending quite a lot of time away from home. For me, it was important to spend as much time at home as I could to see him reach his milestones. At this time two things happened, Pirtek UK was bought out by an American company, Venture Capital and Duncan MacBain the Managing Director of Hydraquip had contacted me with an opportunity to join Transnordic Hydraulic Valves, a company which Duncan had recently acquired.
I was able to hit the ground running with my product knowledge and customer development skills. I spent six months at Transnordic Hydraulic Valves growing their customer base and their range of stocked sectional, monoblock and diverter hydraulic valves. Then Duncan MacBain approached me with a vision for Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics. He had a vision, strategy and plan. I knew I could make a difference and joined Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics as the National Accounts Manager. Hydraquip is a dynamic company, I knew with my experience I could help Duncan achieve his goal a lot faster. I am now Hydraquip’s National Mobile Sales Manager and am responsible for a number of Sales Development Managers and Engineers and have been able to grow the sales for the company by gaining big national accounts. I look back and feel confident in knowing that I made the right decision and I’m glad I challenged myself by doing so. I really enjoy working at Hydraquip and am looking forward to continuing my work in the future.
Thursday 1st August 2019
Meet The Team