Alistair joined the family business in 1992, a de-merger of the family business in 2005 was then followed by a management buyout in 2009 which saw Alistair become the sole shareholder of Needlers. Around 2000, he identified the food manufacturing industry as a key growth area and began to focus the business on this sector.
The business continued to grow, developing a range of PPE and hygiene products and services specifically aimed at the food industry.
Needlers in 2020, employed a team of 95 dedicated and passionate employees. The company is the number 1 supplier of safety, hygiene and PPE products to the UK food manufacturing industry and turnover exceeded £50m.
Needlers Ltd was sold to Electrocomponents Plc in December 2020, Alistair left in place a strong management team and stepped away from the business to focus on a new business, Burgate Manufacturing Ltd which is looking to re-shore manufacturing of disposable PPE items back from the Far East. A patent has recently been granted and production trials are underway.
Alistair’s approach has been to invest in people with the expertise to exploit opportunities throughout the business, from operational to strategic elements. It is this vision, combined with a strong customer service culture throughout the company, to which Alistair attributes Needlers’ achievements.
Alistair’s strengths lie in his entrepreneurial ability to see problems that customers want solved and deliver the solutions. Experience gained in building management teams, building sales strategies and recognising that culture and values beat strategy but if the two can be aligned growth can be exponential.
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