AKFS have been through a very tough year in 2020, along with many of our staff, customers and suppliers, we never thought for one moment our lives could be so affected by a virus!
After the Boris announcement in March, AKFS shut fully, for nearly 2 months. Then slowly we emerged from the Covid-19 situation, but there was another twist for the business yet to come. At the end of May Ian Knight, the founder and focal point for all things AKFS had an unfortunate cycling accident that saw him unable to work for 9 weeks! For AKFS this was now getting serious.
Due to co-owner and Director Mark Adams needing to be in Andover, the flow at our main site in Clay Cross was not going as well as it could. We needed to add a Director into the site as soon as possible.
As luck would have it, prior to the accident, Ian had some contact with Andrew Hawkyard previously the Managing Director at King Trailers about a possible opening. At that time there was nothing we could do, but now there was something he could help with. So Ian and Mark took a gamble and employed Andrew on a 6 month contract to help in particular at the Clay Cross site.
With those 6 months going by in a flash, we have seen some real changes. Andrew is based in Clay Cross with support from the team there, he has managed to do what was deemed as the impossible; to get the facility doing a great job of turning work out in good time and with the high quality our customers have come to expect, so the gamble paid off.
Moving into 2021 Mark and Ian have decided to move things further still, with Andrew from January 2021 becoming the Managing Director of AKFS. Mark taking over not just the Managing Director role at our separate Fabrication business “AK Fabrication”. This change also sees Mark taking full ownership, leaving Ian to take full ownership of AKFS and role as Chairman. The change gives the company the best possible chance to thrive, and at the end of last week we had a
“Record Breaking” order book
exceeding all expectations.
2021 should be a good year!
“After 17 years of leading the company, it is time for a change and I recognised something in Andrew that would allow the business not just continue but actually strengthen, he has taken on board my drive for
Built Without Compromise
and the day to day running now is with him. He recently appointed a new Finance Manager for the business and a General Manager for the Andover site and has changed some key roles. I can see this benefit to our staff, customers and suppliers, after all they need AKFS to be here for the long term”
It goes without saying that Ian and Mark are grateful for the support and loyalty that everyone involved over the last 17 years have given to us, the journey has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and of course we recognise that we did not do it alone,
so thanks go to the team around us.
We are all looking forward to the next round of challenges that owning a business brings!