It’s Valentine’s Day, 2023. Forty years ago today, Mick Jackson started his career at Joseph Ash Galvanizing and is now celebrating his ruby anniversary with the Company!
Before starting at Joseph Ash, he sold tape for an engineering company, and had previously completed an apprenticeship as an Electrical Technician. Over the years he has taken on numerous positions, and he is well-respected and liked by all those around him.
Staff at the Halesowen Head Office surprised Mick with gifts, including alcohol and chocolates. He and his colleagues will also be celebrating the occasion at a local restaurant.
We recently caught up with him to look back at his time at the Company and the memories he’s had along the way.
“Before starting at Joseph Ash, I completed an apprenticeship as an Electrical Technician, and sold tape for an engineering company. I then joined Joseph Ash in 1983 as ‘Internal Sales’ at our old Birmingham head office .This involved creating quotes and generating new business. There were only two galvanizing divisions at the time – Birmingham and Telford.
“During the next few years, the company expanded through several acquisitions, growing quite rapidly. During these years I gained more experience in my sales role.
“In the early 90’s there was a requirement at our London division for someone experienced to manage their commercial sales activities. I was asked if I wanted to help on a temporary basis while maintaining my role at Birmingham. For the next 18 months, I split my time working in London for three days a week and Birmingham for the other two days. Once the London operation had stabilised, I returned to Birmingham full time and, given my excellent work in London, I was promoted to Sales Office Manager at the Birmingham Head Office.
“I spent some more years gaining sales experience (especially externally) visiting customers, and around ’96 I’d progressed to National Sales Manager, holding responsibility for sales across all twelve divisions we had at the time. There were about ten External Sales Engineers and twelve Internal Sales staff whom I was responsible for.
“Approaching the new millennium, the Company needed a new central sales system. It was at this time I’d agreed to a temporary project role to help build it. I didn’t have any prior IT knowledge, but I had commercial sales experience. As such, this was invaluable in helping create a new CRM system for the company. Working with a software house, we heavily be-spoked their ‘off the shelf’ CRM system and ended up with the CRM system still in use today. I was also involved in helping to facilitate other new advances in providing a wide area network between our divisions. This CRM helped us gain a 360-degree overview of our customers, greatly improving our sales and reporting, and bringing our divisions closer.
“That was only supposed to be a two-year role, but other bits were added to the system over time. I reskilled in IT, learning on the job. I never went back to Sales.
“In 2006, the Birmingham head office shut down and we relocated to our current Halesowen head office. Thanks to the experience I’d gained in my IT role, I became IT Manager for the Company.
“Around 2014, it was decided we desperately needed to improve our marketing efforts. There was very little marketing being done by the company and no great efforts had been made towards this area, historically. So, using my previous marketing experience from my National Sales Manager role, I agreed to “temporarily” split my time between IT and Marketing to help establish this area of the business.
“We developed a solid marketing strategy, including the creation of our social media channels and exhibiting for the first time, spreading awareness of Joseph Ash and its brand all over the UK. And that leads to where I am today, as Joseph Ash’s IT and Marketing Manager. I’m also current Chair of the Galvanizers Association Marketing Committee.
“A lot has happened over 40 years, as you’d expect. Some good, some not so good, mostly good though! There’s lots of great people at Joseph Ash. Some have become very good friends. They make it a great place to work.”
“Creating the CRM system was a huge achievement. It’s helped the company out massively and allowed us to grow and manage our customer base. I’m also proud of creating our overall marketing strategy, going from almost nothing to what we have today.”
“I’d received a letter from an ex-employee. She was initially one of my internal sales execs, then she worked for me as an IT trainer, helping train the workforce in the use of the CRM system. She’d written the letter to thank me for helping her develop as an individual, develop her career and grow her confidence. She said she would always think of me as the person who opened her future. It was really nice; I still have it at home.”
Thank you, Mick, for all your years of hard work and dedication to the Company!Next page