Stannah may be to the stairlift what Hoover are to the vacuum cleaner, but they’re actually a very innovative engineering firm with a lot more products on their books. Patrick Stannah is a joint MD of the family business, and he tells us a bit more about his role.
What is it the company does?
Stannah is a world-leader in lifting products, supplying stairlifts, passenger lifts, escalators and moving walkways, vertical platform lifts, goods and service lifts. It is one of Britain’s leading engineering companies and remains an independent, family owned and run firm.
Stannah is run today by fifth generation joint MDs Patrick and Jon Stannah and now operates in more than 40 countries and has subsidiaries in nine countries including Holland, Italy and America.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I’ve worked in a great variety of roles since joining the business as I’ve had to gain experience in all departments. Now I manage the business in partnership with my brother Nick , with my focus on the marketing and distribution of Stairlifts globally.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A great leader is someone with strong values who ensures these are reflected within the heart of their business and team and someone who leads by example. At Stannah we strive to take care of our customers and colleagues which is reflected in the loyalty they have shown us.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
I would say the biggest change came with the advent of government austerity in 2010 which meant we had to re-orientate the business away from focussing on local authorities towards driving sales to private individuals living in their own homes.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Through exercise and keeping fit.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a sail maker!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Since the launch of our homelifts business five years ago, average growth year on year has been 71% and we’re keen for it to continue on this trajectory. We think homelifts could one day become an everyday essential, just like having a dishwasher or washing machine at home.
We will continue to innovate to meet the demands and expectations of our customers, so we expect to have developed new products and services by this time.
We hope to see Stannah’s global reach expand beyond the 40 countries we now currently operate in.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
I would always advise any business leader to put the customer at the centre of everything they do. It’s a philosophy my great great grandfather and founder of Stannah, Joseph Stannah, worked by and it still informs our approach to product development today.
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