Portishead-based distributor, Tailor Made Catering Equipment Services, has promoted James Austin to general manager.
The new role will involve overseeing the day to day operations of the business.
Austin won this year’s CEDA Rising Star Award for his previous project account manager role, when he managing a newly-acquired chain account through 20 projects.
He joined Tailor Made in 2016 with no prior industry experience and was enrolled into an intensive training programme which included an SMSTS course in week one, numerous supplier visits/training and AutoCad education.
Austin was tasked with generating business starting with a blank canvas, drafting databases from scratch and using them to create new business. Prior to GDPR this included around 200 cold calls per week (for a time), many hand-signed and specifically-addressed letters, along with walk-ins.
Spending the duration of his second year at Tailor Made HQ supporting the business from Bristol, this gave him the opportunity to develop his CAD skills and tap into the dealer’s infrastructure by working the majority of the week away from home and travelling back to Yorkshire for the weekend whilst visiting customers along the way.
In 2017 he took on responsibility to manage the newly-acquired chain account. After 20 projects Austin also picked up the distributor’s own ‘Best Newcomer’, award which was presented by senior management at a kitchen review and update meeting held at the company’s HQ.
Towards the end of 2017 Austin supported another existing chain account with a refurbishment program, whilst juggling existing accounts alongside.
Following three refurbishments at the end of 2017, Tailor Made won a further eight schemes. Austin managed these and also took on the new build programme from MD Jim Stevens.
In November 2018 Tailor Made was informed its refurbishment tender had been successful and the business was secure. This deal was worth 80-100 sites.
Since then, Tailor Made has recruited a young team, including three graduate designers: Ian Forder, Liam Spear and Tom, all of which report into Austin.