Saturday 31 March 2018

Dave Lewis MD of Ellard Reflects on 40 years in the Door Industry

With more than 40 years’ experience in the door industry, Dave Lewis reflects on its changing landscape and discusses his new role as Chairman of DHF’s Industrial Door Group….

A period of 40 years will yield any number of changes, whatever the industry, and it’s probably safe to say that Dave Lewis has seen a fair few. A glittering career catapulted him swiftly up the ranks, from his first position at Crawford Doors in 1976, to his current role as Managing Director of Ellard, a company which, under his sound leadership and direction, has increased turnover from £4 million in 2008 to £10 million in 2017. Dave’s vision is to grow this to £20 million and diversify its product offering.

“It’s true to say that I have seen so many changes over four decades!” he laughs, “and there are a number that are particularly notable, such as the growing awareness of legislation, CE marking and regulation. There’s been a definite shift towards a more professional approach.”

One of the most significant changes however, has been in the advances of technology and electronics, which Dave describes as ‘incredible’.

“The door industry has been referred to in the past as ‘boring’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth,” he explains. “Many of the solutions that are required to make our industry work are complex and innovative. Technology is very much a part of that. When I first entered the sector, 60% of industrial doors were power operated; now, it’s almost 100%. We can virtually service a door in another country from here – now, that’s incredible.”

Of course, with automation comes the need for greater safety. These products are, after all, machines. It was Dave’s desire for a ‘safer product’ that inevitably led him to DHF’s door, the Tamworth-based trade association for companies working with Locks & Building Hardware; Doorsets; Industrial Doors & Shutters; Domestic Garage Doors and Automated Gates. With its history and origins dating back to 1897, DHF is the ‘go to’ organisation for technical advice, training and better standards across the industry.

Holding the position of Vice-Chairman of the Industrial Door Group for four years, in October 2017, Dave took on the official role of Chairman and has his own strategy for successfully steering the group through the choppy waters of a rapidly changing sector. A very dynamic individual, Dave is keen to project some of that vitality into the group’s regular meetings, as well as continuing to increase membership and offer current members value for money.

“The Industrial Door Group meetings are well-attended, but I’m hoping to increase attendance further and help DHF offer door suppliers a greater voice and ‘easy-to-understand’ messages and documentation about industry changes and how these directly impact them,” he says. “Training and the drive for greater industry standards are very much the backbone of DHF’s operations. We work in a dangerous industry, so our enduring message is: a safe product and a safe environment.”

Just last month, DHF launched its latest code of practice (DHF TS 012:2018) designed to raise standards of safety in the industrial door industry. It provides a framework to ensure the safe and compliant installation of industrial doors and roller shutters, drawing on safety legislation, European standards, and industry best practice.

“The new code of practice offers help to all those involved with industrial doors by providing clear guidance on their legal obligation and responsibilities,” says Dave. “At the present time, there are too many untrained people working in the industry, particularly in smaller companies, so getting the message out there about proper training is absolutely vital. Let’s hope to improve this will be the biggest change over the next 40 years.”

Scroll down to read more articles like this which have been published recently

Why not Sign-up to Receive these Articles by Email each Day

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

* Read more current and archived articles on our dedicated website *

Low Cost and Free Publicity - Your company can easily benefit from some publicity like this in return for a contribution towards our layout costs (£55 to £75 plus VAT), payable in advance via PayPal or credit card or receive the service absolutely free of charge if you advertise (see below).

We post articles up to twice a day and never delete them - we only archive them each year so that they continue to remain visible to search engines.

To have your story published - just send us your news item, logo and image(s) and we will review the material, make any necessary changes to the wording / wordcount and then advise you when it will be published.

If you are a regular advertiser placing series bookings or subscribing to our VIP Packages in our printed and online publications, you will qualify for a specific number of free postings on this blog while you continue to advertise with us.

Also, if you purchase one of our Online and Print Combo packages, Featured Articles or Advertorial packages, posting on this blog is included in the price.

For details and rates for all of our advertising options in print and online, download our media pack contact us or visit our website.

Door Industry Journal is a trading style of Avalon Innovations LLP Company Registration No. 06807833

No comments: