Blakedale | Meet the new MD: 100 Days of ‘Taylor Made’
Following the prestigious acquisition of Blakedale, by Redde Northgate PLC in July 2022, one of the highways sector’s most well-respected businesses now has a new MD at the helm. Jon Taylor is set to steer the business as it continues its upwards trajectory.
With significant expansion plans on the horizon, Jon’s ambition is to capitalise on Blakedale’s rock-solid foundations, whilst benefiting from the myriad of advantages that come from now being under the highly regarded Redde Northgate umbrella.
With an extensive range of experience, which led to him being hand-picked for the role, Jon has been with Northgate for 22 years. During that time, his career trajectory has followed an impressively upwards curve, starting as Branch Manager, graduating to Operations Manager and from there, Regional Hub Manager, which in time led to him being Area Operations Manager and ultimately to Head of Operations.
Well-respected in his own sphere, and with an extensive and successful career within Redde Northgate, as well as having the crucial attributes of experience, passion, commitment, and energy Jon was the natural choice to lead Blakedale over the coming years.
With the first 100 days successfully completed, under his stewardship, Jon and the Blakedale Team are getting used to the ‘new normal’. Whilst Jon acknowledges that there are adjustments to be made, and some of the back-end integration processes are still embedding, he is delighted that the transition from the pre-and post-acquisition worlds has been remarkably seamless. Especially encouraging for Jon, is that news of the acquisition has been received so positively by staff, customers, and suppliers alike.
In three fruitful months, Jon has met most major customers and suppliers. He has been on numerous road trips to see client sites to gain first-hand, a better understanding of what is required of Blakedale and the vehicles they are renowned for, as well as overseeing the integration process. Additionally, during his time at the helm, Jon has gotten to grips with his new day job, and already the rental fleet has grown by over 10% since the acquisition. Jon has ambitious plans to continue with the fleet expansion, and with access to Redde Northgate Group procurement, as well as the whole group product range, these are exciting times for Blakedale.
Amongst all the hard work of the last three months, a night out with the Blakedale staff was the ideal opportunity for Jon to get to know his new team in a more informal setting, and vice versa. The positive feedback and sore heads the following morning were a testament to the evening’s success!
The core values of quality people, quality vehicles, and quality service are at the heart of everything Blakedale does, and Jon is keen to reiterate that message:
“For our customers, a new Managing Director doesn’t mean a change to the Blakedale ethos, nor the Blakedale service. This business has been very successful in the way it has done things for many years, so I’d be foolish to tear up the protocols just for the sake of it. We will build on what we do well and look to make some small tweaks where necessary to achieve revamped goals.
“What has been fantastic is that our team have been first class and are all still onboard and excited about the future. So, any of our customers that hold relationships with our brilliant staff won’t have those disrupted – and their relationship with Blakedale won’t see any changes.”