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Meet Danny

Our Sales Manager

When an injury stopped Danny’s professional footballing career in its tracks, the beautiful game’s loss was Rakem’s gain. Joining as the business’ sales apprentice in 2017, Danny was given his own set of accounts to manage, helping him quickly learn the business’ ropes. Alongside this on-the-job learning, Danny also completed his level two and three NVQ, at no cost to Danny and with support from Rakem.

“I like how Rakem looks after everyone and treats them with respect. Our company values aren’t just for our colleagues – we carry these values over to everyone we deal with.”

– Danny Ashburner, Sales Manager, Rakem

In just two years, Danny completed his apprenticeship and was promoted to Sales Executive. As someone who’d always wanted to do well and grow, Danny welcomed this promotion and the opportunity to manage bigger accounts. As well as the opportunity to get out and about to build the customer relationships that support the business’ success.

The life of a Sales Manager

After another two years, Danny was promoted to his current role of Sales Manager. This involves looking after Rakem’s key accounts, dealing with the company’s suppliers, providing input to Rakem’s strategic plans and helping to drive more sales.

This is part of the role Danny really enjoys: “I get real satisfaction knowing I’m growing customer relationships and contributing to the business.”

While external relationships are important to Danny’s role, working together with team mates is also key. As part of his role, Danny works closely with Toni, his administrative support colleague, as well as:

● Marketing – linking in with social media campaigns and supporting the development of marketing materials.

● The Cemkem Sales team – bouncing ideas off each other and identifying opportunities where potential customers and product portfolios cross over.

● Business Development – bringing new ideas to the table to follow through on.

Administration and logistics teams – collaborating together to keep everything running smoothly.

● Production – sharing information like new sales, customer forecasts and stock levels to make sure there’s enough product to fulfil the orders and meet the agreed timescales for delivery.

● The Technical Team – collaborating on R&D work which includes improving existing products and developing new ideas.

This kind of collaboration is typical for the Rakem Group. Because, although the business has four brands, it works as one team, cross-pollinating ideas and sharing knowledge to drive the group forwards.

“My line manager, our Commercial Director, trusts me to do the best job possible,” says Danny “If I’m stuck with anything I know if I knock on the door, I’ll be listened to and taken seriously.”

What’s next for Danny?

Danny might not be Rakem’s Sales Manager much longer. Because, with a progression plan in place, he’s being supported to achieve his goal of becoming Rakem’s Commercial Manager for the coatings, ink, plastics and paper side of the group.

To help him to succeed, Danny is working towards a level two Institute of Leadership and Management qualification with a level four course in the pipeline. As Danny notes: “Rakem is really proactive about instilling those skills so they’re ready when you need them further down the line.”

While training has played a part in helping Danny to get so far, so fast, the mentoring he’s received from more senior team members has also lent a helping hand: “I see Kieran – the Rakem Group MD – as my mentor,” says Danny. “I can always go to him for support and advice, whether it’s to do with work or something personal. As a big family man, Kieran gives you that additional level of support you might not get with a bigger company.”

It’s this level of wraparound support – and the way the company lives its values – that marks it out as a special place to work.

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