Mike Banham, Shorts General Manager celebrates 16 years at Shorts Group this month.
To celebrate this occasion, Mike reservedly agrees to take a trip down memory lane and talks about life at Shorts.
Mike started at Shorts in 2001, as ‘Manager’. Back then, Shorts employed just 50 people and there were no division of services – Plant, Skips and Demolition all came under one-roof.
Mike, recruited by Gary Short, worked in the old head office at Station Works picking up the phone to customers and coordinating skip bookings plus anything else that came his way.
“Back in the day, the office was a very different place to work. People were constantly on the phones to drivers and customers to coordinate deliveries – taking notes on writing pads. A time before email, PDAs and book a skip online.” Mike explains.
“It was very exciting. I would never say no to the customer – I would do everything in my power to make sure the customer got what they wanted, when they wanted. I remember the looks I used to get off my colleagues, when I used to tell the customer, yes of course we can deliver the skip tomorrow. Even though, we had no skips available at that time. But, somehow I always managed to do it. I loved the buzz.”
Just two years’ later, Gary divided Shorts services into divisions and Mike became ‘Skip Manager’. Shorts were growing rapidly at this time with the acquisition of Woking Skips. Mike spent six months working at Woking Skips ensuring a smooth integration into Shorts Group.
Mike worked closely with a lot of faces that still remain here today. Namely, Linda Southam, Steve Meade and Grabba.
In 2007, Mike’s role evolved into General Manager. He remembers the occasion well, as Mike explains “It was through a conversation with Gary one day. Gary was telling me that too much of his time was taken up with day-to-day operations and he wasn’t getting the time to focus on growth plans and investments for the future. I simply said, do you know what you need Gary – you need a middle man. Someone that takes the day to day running of the business off your shoulders. Not thinking at this point, he would choose me. Gary responded, yes I agree. I was thinking of introducing a general manager and I would like you to take the position.”
Mike loves his work and this is clear to see by his jovial persona. He is a big personality at Shorts and the place would certainly not be the same without him.
“I’ve seen so many changes at Shorts in the last 16 years and equally, a large number of changes in the waste industry. This is what I love the most about my work. Every day is different – new problems and new opportunities, but I love change so this suits me!” said Mike.
The future for Mike remains at Shorts. He is looking forward to more challenges, continued development of the business with our customers at the forefront.