We’re always here for our customers

Kevin Bonnar
Kevin Bonnar

Kevin Bonnar joined AluK as sales director in April. Three months into his new role, he’s the focus of this month’s People Spotlight.

Glass Times (GT): How did you get into the industry?

Kevin Bonnar (KB): I’ve always worked in construction. Encouraged by my dad, who was an electrician, I started out as a teenager studying for a GNVQ and then an HND in Building Studies. I put in plenty of hard yards working on sites for main contractors, and that’s obviously turned out to be invaluable experience. I was actually well on the way to being a site manager when I got recruited by Fischer Fixings to join them first as a technical advisor and then in an onsite technical role.

I spent more than five years with Fischer in my 20s, and that’s where I got my initial insight into facades, because we developed an innovative undercut anchor system called FZP for fixing into glass and rainscreen cladding systems. With that product, I started working directly with architects and, from there, got the opportunity to join Velfac in more of a sales role promoting their high end timber/aluminium composite windows.

My time with Velfac coincided with the Building Schools for the Future programme and we had lots of success getting onto frameworks in the education sector and beyond. That experience with frameworks and my knowledge of negotiating key account supply chain agreements is definitely something I’m planning on sharing with AluK and our customers.

GT: Three months into the role at AluK, what are your early impressions?

KB: I’m hugely impressed with just how customer centric AluK is. In a market where it’s quite hard to cut through with product differentiation alone, I can see we score massively on flexibility and customer service. Customers know that if they need a product quickly, we’ll do everything we can to make that happen because our operational and logistical resources are geared to short lead times. There’s also a culture of always being available to customers – whether that’s on the phone or face to face, which I really like and is very much in line with my own approach.

There’s also a definite sense of excitement at AluK and amongst customers about the changes that Russell Yates and the new leadership team are implementing here, and I’m really enjoying my time so far.

GT: What has been your proudest achievement at work?

KB: During my time with Velfac, I built a new revenue stream supplying local and regional multi-plot housebuilders from scratch. When I left, that was turning over £14m a year and again, it’s an area where I see potential for AluK and our customers to win business. Mass housebuilders might still be largely wedded to PVC-U because of price, but if you have the right product and the right approach, there’s plenty of smaller housebuilders willing to use quality aluminium windows and doors to enhance their offering and their margins.

GT: And in your personal life?

KB: I’m pretty proud of my golf handicap because I currently play off a very hard earned 2. I’ve quickly realised that this is a market that loves a charity golf day, so I’m hoping that will mean I get invited to a few.

GT: What are your interests outside of work?

KB: Golf is the obvious one – hence the low handicap, but I’ve got four endlessly entertaining (and demanding!) young children who take up most of my time when I’m not in work or on the course.