In 1980 my Grandad Roy converted the space under his stairs into an office and started Airmech Pneumatic Supplies & Services with a phone and a notepad.
All quotes were typed by my mum, Karen, in her lunch hour at work.
A year later, Grandad Roy moved into a broom cupboard sized office in a friend's business building - it was cramped, but in addition to the phone and notepad, Airmech now had an official business address!
Another year passed and it became obvious that premises with room for stock would be required. This resulted in a move to Newport Road in Coventry to a small unit. Offices were built and a mezzanine floor above for stock.
It was at this unit that Grandad Roy employed his first real employees - 8 in total. There were Sales/Service Engineers, a Store Man and an Office Administrator. My mum, Karen, who typed the quotes 2 years earlier, started at Airmech in January 1983 and the business continued to flourish.
Grandad Roy secured some big clients such as Dunlop, National Plastics and all the Birmingham bakeries.
Things really started to pick up.
As Grandad Roy was living in Lutterworth, Leicestershire with his wife and family, he wanted to move the Company closer to home. By the late 1980s, he had a large unit with 6 offices and a workshop - there was a separate stores area and over 20 staff working for him.
In the mid 2000’s Grandad Roy wanted to downsize and looked at selling the Company. In the end, he retained a share of Airmech and passed the running of the Company to my Mum, and Dad, Keith.
My Dad ran the Company from 2006, relocating to Nuneaton in 2007. In 2013, not long out of University, I was brought on board to take over, and a year later, my Sister, Georgina, was employed in the office - a true example of a 'family-run business'.
In 2015 I was appointed as a Director, and I began to make changes to update and modernise the business.
Today we've completely updated our internal systems and implemented processes so we are able to effectively serve over 200 customers new and old.
Working in, and then taking over the family business has meant working hard to 'learn the ropes'. I have so much respect for my family for developing the the business this far. The work ethic and values they have instilled have resulted in me being an enthusiastic, positive worker who is dedicated to the task and enjoys the process.
On the whole we are a company that believes in hard work, honesty, integrity, and fun! And we’ve always been about “people over profit,” whether it’s our employees or our customers.
The way we see it, our people work a hard eight hours a day for us, and we want to make sure that they’re taken care of, even if it means our profit margin is a little bit less.
If we make a mistake on a customer’s job, we own that mistake and pay for it to be fixed. Obviously, that impacts our bottom line, but taking care of people is more important to us than making sure that our bottom line is met.
This brings me to my next point….
There are certainly good reasons other companies charge higher fees, but we have been able to successfully run our business and fulfil our customers compressed air needs for 4 decades now. We’re proud of that.