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From miscellany to mainstream: in my time with AF I have witnessed the rising value to rural businesses of what I deal with, the widest range of input categories.
When I joined AF back in October 2006 it was as assistant to Nigel Brighton, in what was then known as the ‘miscellaneous’ department.
My previous employment was with Jewson so Nigel and I agreed that I would deal with all building enquiries, and he would take all the other areas.
Laying the foundations
I soon realised we didn’t have building materials suppliers to deliver good savings to Members. So I spent the next few years meeting with merchants, distributors and manufacturers, setting up deals and rebates so that we were in a better position to deal with any enquiry – from ready mixed concrete to kitchens and bathrooms.
Onwards and upwards
It wasn’t long before turnover on building materials had grown to a level where it could stand alone as department in it’s own right. I was promoted to the building materials product manager, and it was evident that I needed an assistant. Step forward Sally Barber (you may already know Sally as AF Billing Manager). Sally and I worked brilliantly together and between us made the building materials department one of the most successful in the group at the time.
Every day is different
My role has changed significantly over the years. I now work as part of the General Inputs team which covers fencing, waste, electrical products as well as agricultural buildings and construction materials. It’s an incredibly diverse product area and every day brings a different enquiry. Although I’m the first to admit I’m happier dealing with bricks and blocks than pens and pencils!
Binoculars at the ready
Outside of work I spend most weekends with my wife and our Jack Russell rescue dog at our static caravan on the North Norfolk coast. I have a keen interest in ornithology and as this part of Norfolk is renowned for being a haven for bird life I tend to spend most of my time with a pair of binoculars around my neck! I also have a teenage daughter who is an apprentice nurse with the NHS – but she’s too cool for birdwatching!
Richard Bradford General Inputs Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org 01603 881 878