Nick Hilton Celebrates 25 Years in Painting and Decorating Business
This year, Nick Hilton, Business Development Director at Southampton-based national refurbishment and asset maintenance specialist CLC, celebrates 25 years working in the paints industry. He joined the company in 2000, when the Cundy Group, a Midlands-based painting contractor where he was CEO, was acquired by CLC.
He started out in the industry in 1983, as a salesman for Manders Paints, an old, well-respected company, which was established in 1773. Manders Paints was taken over by Johnstones Paints, which was in turn taken over by Kaylon (now PPG). Nick left Kaylon to take up the position of Sales Director in the Cundy Group and following the retirement of Jim Savage CEO, Nick took over this role. In a fast-moving industry, Nick's abilities have clearly been an asset to every company he has joined.
Nick sees his role very much as focusing on the successful commercial running of the business. He speaks to a broad range of national clients in various industries, from care homes to the hotel industry, Local Authorities, Social Housing and Education. Nick's is a trusted name in the industry and because of his knowledge and experience, he has managed to maintain good working relationships with national accounts, such as ICI Dulux Paints and Crown Paints, with whom CLC has worked for a number of years.
Nick has a good working relationship with Managing Director, Peter Armitage. Both have a mutual respect for the other's abilities and both work hard to drive the company forward and achieve their aim of becoming a £100 million turnover business. "Despite our very tough budgets, we are currently enjoying a very fruitful period" comments Nick: "We see our future as the largest national refurbishment and decorating contractor in the UK."
Nick has recently reorganised the sales and marketing team in line with the long-term strategic policy to increase the numbers of sales personnel and have more sales managers responsible for a smaller geographical area. While he acknowledges he is always on the look out for good staff, he is also quick to point out that he has never had to use an agency to attract well-motivated, quality staff to CLC: "I believe very strongly in personal contacts, that it is critical to place the right person in the right job and that an important part of my job is all about making and maintaining good contacts. All our Business Development Managers, for example, have a wide and extensive knowledge of the industry and the building marketplace and all have been in the industry for a long time. The same could be said for almost all our staff - I have known one of the regional sales managers for more than 18 years."
Nick enjoys tackling the day-to-day challenges of his job. He is the first to admit that he has always enjoyed working in the industry and being part of a busy and successful team and says: "I get great job satisfaction from working in this industry and I still have pride in seeing a task through to completion".