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10 Minutes with Plumbase’s Andy Williams


Due to a production glitch that was unfortunately not picked up at proof stage, the picture of  Plumbase managing director Andy Wiiliams was wrong in the 10 minutes with… feature in BMJ’s July issue. Apologies for the error. 

What is your current role and how long have you been doing it?
I’ve been Managing Director at Plumbase for four years now

What does your role entail?
There’s a lot of variety to my role, but ultimately I’m responsible for agreeing the business objectives with the PLC board and then putting in place a strategy to deliver these over a certain period of time.

How did you get started in this industry?
I joined Jackson Building Centres, an independent mixed merchant, as a light-side counter assistant when I was 20, having been unemployed for three weeks.

What roles were you doing before and how did they prepare you for this one?
During my time with Jackson Building Centres I had various roles ranging from counter assistant and working in the heating sales office, to light-side rep, assistant branch manager, branch manager, and multi-site manager before I was appointed as managing director. Having experienced such a variety of different roles over a number of years I have built up a vast knowledge of the merchant world, which has been invaluable to me as we put in place workable strategies to deliver clear business objectives.

What would you like to achieve in your role?
I want Plumbase to be a happy and vibrant business which delivers its objectives with a smile.

What has been the highlight of your career so far (can be more than one!)?
Being promoted to Managing Director of Jackson Building Centres/Plumbase.

What do you see as the main issues for builders merchants and for the construction industry at the moment?
The merchant industry has a number of very interesting challenges on the horizon. I personally think that over the next five years traditional merchants will have to look to proactively change their strategies to combat the growth and threat of the internet and come to terms with there being too many merchants and not enough profitable customers to give us all an acceptable return on sale.

If you could go back to the start of your career, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
To be honest it’s the one I have used all my life: Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Football, rugby, golf or gardening – which one’s more likely to keep you busy at the weekends?
Football and the eternal quest to get Leeds United back to where they belong, the Premiership.

If you’re at the bar – what are you drinking?
Indian pale ale or a hand pulled pint of bitter

What’s your favourite book? Favourite film?
Favourite book: The Hobbit
Favourite film: The Life of Brian 

If you could be a superhero, what super-power would you choose?
To be able to read people’s minds. It would make my job so much easier!

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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