Brown McFarlane proves the importance of having a strong team

Published by Richard Yarrick-Holmes on September 1st 2020, 3:03pm

In the past few months, we’ve seen countless news stories about working from home. And, while many organisations are certainly making a success of remote working, it is important to be reminded of how important a strong team culture can be. In recent years, Brown McFarlane has proved that developing such a culture can sometimes be a matter of life and death.

The Stoke-on-Trent based company is one of the world’s leading specialist steel plate distributors, processors and traders. And managing director Tony O’Reilly is well aware that such a status is only possible if you have a strong team behind you. It is for this reason that the firm has been so keen to celebrate the success of their employees.

Last year, Brown McFarlane nominated Zak Heeland for the National Association of Steel Stockholders Award of Apprentice of the Year 2019; an award he went on to win. He was subsequently interviewed by the President of NASS, Michael Horan, and was presented with the award at the NASS Annual Steel Industry Dinner 2019.

But it’s not just new recruits that Brown McFarlane is keen to praise. The firm also recently paid tribute to Barry Swindail (pictured) who celebrated his 35th anniversary with the company last year, having joined on 10th July 1984 as a grinder/fettler. As Brown McFarlane explain on their website, ‘his career progressed, encompassing various roles, he became a shift foreman at the age of 21 and a few years later started to manage transport. He gained international (CPC) qualifications in transport management and was part of the team that set up the warehouse facility in Dubai.

‘In recent years Barry’s role has involved warehouse, transport, safety and environmental management. His knowledge and experience has been key in the transformation and modernisation of the business.’

Tony O’Reilly congratulated Barry on reaching this milestone and thanked him for his effort, loyalty and dedication. He described Swindail as ‘a great ambassador for the business.’

Finally, the team spirit of Brown McFarlane was proved beyond any doubt last year when administrator Katy Bloor saved the life of her colleague Duncan Nicolson after he went into cardiac arrest after slumping at his desk.

Bloor was deservedly heralded by Nicolson and the rest of her colleagues, with a special presentation at the office, where she was given an award by the Royal Humane Society.

Tony O'Reilly said: "I am so proud of her and she's very modest but it needed someone to take control and that's what she did. Duncan may not have been here if it wasn't for Katy."

As demonstrated by three different employees, from the young apprentice, to the seasoned pro to the alert life-saving administrator, Brown McFarlane is proving itself to be well and truly living up to the true meaning of the word ‘company.’ 

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Authored By

Richard Yarrick-Holmes
Associate Editor
September 1st 2020, 3:03pm

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