Nevill Long’s managing director, Dave Bonner, tells SpecFinish how, aside from personal milestones such as marriage and the birth of children, there have been three significant dates which, for him, heralded major changes, not only in his life but in the ways we all work and communicate within our businesses today.

When Microsoft released ‘Office’ on 1 August 1988, with its now  rudimentary package of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the way in which we worked was turned on its head.

Overnight, we gained the ability to type fluently, compile complex statistics with complicated formulas, and create whizzy presentations with words and images flying in from all corners (accompanied by the sounds of Formula 1 cars leaving the grid, if so desired). Our desktops evolved further. With ‘Outlook’ we abolished the need to talk to one another, instead opting to fire  calendar invites through cyberspace and sit waiting for confirmation from the person sat opposite.

With the arrival of the iPhone on 1 June 2007, we gained the advantage of mobility. Making  ourselves available around the clock, we would feel guilty if we didn’t check our emails constantly while on holiday. How else were we going to explain the  horrendous roaming charges?

By the time 3 April 2010 brought us the iPad, we no longer had an excuse for failing to open our email attachments. Work was now truly 360 degrees, 24/7.

Our lives have been changed forever. Although I wouldn’t turn back the clock, I do think we could be in danger of losing the personal touch along the way. Technology can undoubtedly save a lot of time, but we shouldn’t underestimate the benefit of real conversation.

At Nevill Long we know how  important effective communication is in building meaningful business relationships. It’s that understanding, developed over time, which has seen us maintain our customer  service focus and grow into the UK’s  longest established ceiling  distributor. As we’ve moved from  ink and quill, to typewriter, telex,  fax, phone and email, we’ve never lost the ability to find the right way to connect.

As the late Bob Hoskins would have said, “It’s good to talk”.



Nevill Long

Managing director