Britcom International celebrates 30 years today

Laurie Dealer raises a second glass today, this time to Britcom International. Thirty years young.

It all began on 9th February 1981 by the late Ray Unwin out of an old petrol station at Woodside near Market Weighton. It emerged through trying times to develop strong sales into the Far East, Caribbean, Cyprus and Africa.

Paul Mercer, currently joint MD with Ray's son Chris who joined in 1996, arrived and was instrumental in working with Ray to develop the business. It outgrew its original site and moved to larger premises at Sancton Road, Market Weighton developing its parts and plant equipment business, and in 1992 bought a local vehicle engineering business.

In July 2006 Britcom built a new purpose-built site across town on 14 acres, offering export and UK truck and plant equipment sales, a six-bay chassis engineering workshop, seven-bay service workshop, a body and paint shop and parts sales.

Chris Unwin says Britcom strives to remain at the forefront of its business to ensure our customers remain at the forefront of theirs. "I don't think there is a more appropriate indication of this than the growth we have achieved in the last 30 years," he says.

Paul Mercer adds that the current premises show how far Britcom has come in 30 years. "Since the move five years ago we have significantly expanded the UK side of the business, in terms of vehicle engineering and body shop services. It is our intention to continue to develop and grow our business around the world."

Today the company employed more than 90 people and has an annual group turnover in excess of £30m.

Good work, jobs a good un.

Perry Reeves, new dealer principal at Rossetts

Laurie Dealer, in a nod to his youth, raises a glass to the new dealer principal of Merc-dealer Rossetts Commercials, because Perry Reeves knows one end of a monkey wrench from the other.

Traditionally, the role of dealer principal is offered to those with sales and financial backgrounds. This means they tend to run tight, risk adverse ships, while those at the nuts and bolts end get overlooked and based on Laurie Dealer's experience undervalued.

Elevated from group aftersales director to replace the outgoing DP/co-founder Robert Maxwell, Reeves understands the unusual promotion from the blue collar ranks. "It's not often that someone who's worked 'at the coalface', as I have done, makes it to DP, and I'm determined to make a success of my new role."

He began on the spanners in 1979, as a 15-year-old apprentice technician at a Leyland and Scammell dealer in Brighton, working to workshop foreman before moving to Brighton Transport, and the world of buses. In 1998 he joined Rossetts as general manager in Eastbourne before becoming aftersales director.

Remit? Well first up is to make sure staff involvement is increased. "Our employees are our biggest asset and I want them to feel motivated and valued. So we're setting up 'care action' teams that will comprise delegates from all parts of the business, and give staff a genuine voice in how the company is run."

Good luck, lad.

Jobs a good un.