SpecFinish spoke to the MD and Owner of FIS member Ryedale Interiors about job satisfaction, career highlights and why a good leader is nothing without a competent team.

Tell us about your current role
I am the Managing Director/Owner of Ryedale Interiors Ltd – an award-winning manufacturer and installer of high-quality, bespoke glass reinforced gypsum (GRG) and fibrous plasterwork. We’re a specialist sub-contracting business based in Leeds, which means we design, manufacture and install GRG & Fibrous Plasterwork for larger construction firms within the main construction industry.

For over 25 years, we have been a trusted supplier to some of the country’s most prestigious construction companies including Vinci Construction UK, Sir Robert McAlpine Construction Ltd and Wates Construction, supporting the restoration, redevelopment and design of a variety of visually stunning projects across the retail, commercial property and leisure sectors. Some of our most recent projects include The Majestic, Leeds and Barton Square, at the Intu Trafford Centre Manchester.

My role within the business is not only to take care of the day-to-day running of the business including sales, estimating, project management, quantity surveying etc, but also to ensure that every member of the team feels inspired, motivated and valued. I am proud to have a small but perfectly formed management team of extremely capable and motivated people helping to deliver our projects.

What is it about your job that you love so much?
I thoroughly enjoy being asked to work on complex designs, providing solutions to clients’ issues and competently following this through to project delivery. I enjoy watching contracts go through the whole process of design development, CAD detailing, manufacture and then site installation. Walking around the site with the client on completion is extremely satisfying.

I love the uncertainty of my day too! I often come into work expecting to do one thing and suddenly find myself engrossed in a technical take off of quantities from drawings for an upcoming project, that I knew nothing about the day before!

Any highlights in your career?
Setting the business up with Dave Brook back in 1998 and steadily growing from a standing start, making mistakes and learning along the way, purchasing premises in 2001 and just becoming better at what we do has been and continues to be a massive highlight in my career.

As a company, we’ve been successful in winning awards for our work and gaining recognition from our industry peers. It’s very satisfying to know that my team are being recognised for the quality of work they deliver, especially as we are a Northern company and not based in London.

What do you think has contributed to your success?
We have a motto “Never compromise on quality and always do exactly what you say you will do” and that’s what I consider has made Ryedale Interiors so successful.

We don’t make promises we cannot keep because relationships are built on honesty and truthfulness, that’s with staff, clients or suppliers.

What advice would you give to others in your industry?
Never compromise on quality, keep an eye on the market rates, look after your staff and they will remain loyal.

How do you overcome challenges in your industry?
A guy called Harold Rollinson, who was my early years mentor when I entered the industry, used to say, “problems are hurdles for thinking men”. It’s always stuck with me. He taught me the principles of getting involved and sorting out issues, and striving to do the job right first time, no compromises.

Why is teamwork so important to you?
A good leader is nothing without a very competent team around them, from labourers right through to project managers. You cannot run a successful business without having the confidence that your team will deliver. I am lucky to have such a fantastic team of skilled craftspeople and office-based staff, and they deserve to know they are appreciated. By encouraging each of them to value the other, and showing them that their work doesn’t go unnoticed, they produce a higher standard of work.

If you could pick one historical building to work on, what would it be?
The Houses of Parliament are currently being restored and it would be amazing to be part of the project delivery team as it exists as one of the most iconic symbols of western democracy in the world. The level of detailing in the restoration will be second to none and would be an immensely rewarding project to be involved with.

Find out more about Ryedale Interiors