Mark Devanney, Celebrating 30 Years with Polypipe Residential Systems
Thursday 7th April 2022
This week sees Mark Devanney, Sales & Marketing Director at Surestop, celebrating a 30 year milestone with Polypipe Residential Systems.
Mark originally joined Polypipe Building Products on April the 7th 1992 (turning 22 the following day), as a Lorry Driver - with lorry mechanics being his background. From there he was a driver for 8 years, delivering quality product the length and breadth of the UK, before he showed an interest in joining the sales team. Given Mark’s drive and determination it wasn’t long before he realised his goal.
After ‘pestering’ his superiors, Mark received his company car and was given his patch in the Northeast, starting in January of 2000 as an Area Sales Manager. After a successful 13 years, and looking for the next logical step, Mark then moved into a Product Management role.
“Product Management helped me understand the business and manufacturing side of things – why we make products, how to calculate the margins, the marketing side of things, working on the trade price lists and designing different product elements. It was just great for me all round. It helped me understand that you’ve got to make something and sell it at the right price, market it in the right way, for the margin and for everything else within the company to run.”
From there, a number of key leadership roles, including National Sales Manager, followed before Mark ended up where he is now, as Sales & Marketing Director at Surestop, which sits within Polypipe Residential Systems and Genuit Group. With his wealth of experience and his time spent at varying levels of the business, the executive management team clearly thought that Mark was the right man for this challenging and strategically important role.
Some of his job changes may have seemed like a big jump – from Lorry Driver to Salesman, from one business to another, but Mark reveals that he had support from all areas of the business, every step of the way.
“Nobody ever said no, don’t do that, no you can’t apply for that. In all the time I’ve been here, even from Lorry driver to salesman, nobody in the business ever said, ‘you are not good enough for that role, or we don’t encourage you to do that, or just stay doing what you are doing.’
"I’ve always been told that ‘if you believe you want to do it, we will support you in that.’ I was worried about becoming a product manager, working in the office and the change of lifestyle clocking in and clocking out, but I was supported the whole way to where I am now.”
When asked about his favourite thing about the business over all these years, Mark said it is all about the people and the way the business has evolved.
“It’s the people that you meet. The business has grown so much. We’ve seen new departments – when I first started in sales we didn’t have a product management team, we had one person working in marketing. The business has grown and I’ve grown in the business. I’ve seen people from various roles throughout the business move into other positions including some of our current senior team. It’s just great to see the support for people who are wanting to move around or take that next step.
“Then of course Polypipe Group has become Genuit Group, we’ve got all the new businesses coming in, the way they deal with us across the Group is really great. Everybody is really welcoming and happy to help each other.”
The takeaway from our conversation with Mark,
“I’m not going to stop doing what I’m doing. I’m going to always keep pushing for something else, as you always do with a bit more experience.”
Congratulations to Mark from everybody across the Genuit Group for achieving this fantastic milestone.