PBM speaks with Ricky Hasprey, National Sales Manager for Flexseal.
Since its inception in 1989, Flexseal has been at the heart of the civils and drainage sectors, playing a vital role in shaping the way contractors install, repair and refurbish drainage and sewer pipelines. The company says its success is linked to its strong strategic relationships with UK builders’ merchants and it is committed to supporting its reseller partners to meet the changing demands of trade users.
Flexseal celebrates its 30th anniversary next year and plans to reflect on its history as a flexible coupling market leader and on the people that have helped raise the profile of the Flexseal brand.
How did you get into the industry and to your current position?
For a number of years, I had been working in a variety of roles for a global bank but I then made the move to a new town with my now wife Emily and began to look for a new challenge. CEMEX was relocating a lot of functions to its head office in Rugby, which was close by and, after a number of assessment days, I was selected to become the Technical Sales Support for its Readymix and Asphalt operation. Quite a change from banking!
From the technical role, I moved in to external sales for the Readymix business, covering Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. This role was end-user focused and gave me a valuable insight into sales operations and site practices.
After a successful spell, I moved around a little which eventually led me to my current employer, Flexseal, which offered me a role as National Sales Manager in 2013.
It has been a great journey with Flexseal so far and has given me avenues to trade with the most respected builders’ merchants and contractors in the UK. I have also had the pleasure of leading and learning from what I believe is one of the most talented sales teams in our sector.
How do you feel the industry has changed in recent years
The industry has changed a lot of the past few years and I have seen a significant change of attitude from both merchant and end user. Value for money can been identified as something that is clearly different to the cheapest price — the overall support systems that a manufacturer can now put in place to support its partnerships are far more recognised than in previous years.
A lot of our partners have had times of restructure and familiar faces have either moved on or left the industry. That’s when the manufacturers expertise can be of added value.
And what are the current challenges facing your company?
We have the benefit of a great brand and one that, over the past few years, has become recognised alongside of some of the really big turnover suppliers to the industry. As our position as a key industry supplier grows, we need to ensure we continue to offer a service package that our customers have become accustomed to.
Which individual has influenced you most in your career?
My first manager at CEMEX, Richard Kershaw, was the biggest influence in the early part of my career. He brought out my confidence and career drive. He took a huge chance on taking me from a banking background and putting me into a Technical role — and I know he got some stick for it at the time.
More recently, Flexseal MD Lee Pashley has been a huge influence and was once again somebody who put his own reputation on the line to bring me into the privileged role that I am in.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
So far, my career highlight has been having a positive impact on Flexseal’s profile in the industry. It is a company with a great culture and one that treats its people very well. We have been recognised by three national merchants and have received a product innovation award in my time here, which is huge testament to my colleagues from all parts of the business.