Pictured: From L-R: Michelle Topping, Chris Essex, Nichola Roddy & Deon Phoenix

Looking to the future has created a raft of new opportunities at board, doors and fittings manufacturer and supplier Hill’s Panel Products (HPP).

As the Oldham-based business – which has just marked its 30th anniversary – looks to the next phase of its development, it has taken steps to future-proof its sales team.

Leading the moves is Chris Essex, who steps up from his current role as area sales manager for Greater Manchester to become nationwide sales manager. Following in Chris’s footsteps in Greater Manchester is Michelle Topping, currently HPP’s sales office manager. 

Deon Phoenix, meanwhile, is stepping up from sales administrator to sales office supervisor, and Nichola Roddy is adding customer service and internal training responsibilities to her role as sales administrator.

HPP’s business development and marketing director, Dan Mounsey, says: “This is all about laying foundations for the future development of the company. We’ve enjoyed a huge amount of success over the last 30 years, and now we’re looking to the next generation of talent to take us into the next 30 years and build on what we’ve already achieved.”

Chris will be managing HPP’s six-strong area sales team in addition to overseeing the internal sales operation. He’s been at HPP for 18 years, starting out in a temporary job in door production, before moving on to other departments when his job became permanent. After four years away from the business, he returned as an area sales manager in 2017, eventually covering Greater Manchester – HPP’s core area.

“We have a great team and I’m proud to be part of it,” he says. “We’ve put together a 12-month plan to look at product groups and pushing sales forward with the area sales team, and internally we’ll be focussing on product knowledge, competitor awareness and ensuring we are doing absolutely everything we can do – building on the great job that Michelle has done.”

In addition to the changes in the sales operation, Paul Wilson is HPP’s new distribution manager while Paul Boyes has stepped up to become warehouse and logistics manager.

Paul Wilson was previously fittings manager and his promotion means he is taking on responsibility for three more areas: worktop warehouse, stock doors and the carrier team, which collates and packages orders from all over the site.

Paul Boyes, meanwhile, was previously warehouse facilitator and has been recognised for the work he has done improving warehouse departments and locations.

One of the first priorities for both men is to look at operations in the worktop warehouse.

“We are tackling the processes in there, checking how we load and unload vehicles, how products are packed, if they’re packaged well enough, and if the packaging we use is fit for purpose,” explains Paul Wilson.