Spotlight Series: A Journey with Alsco Uniforms – Interview with John Gibbs, National Business Development Manager.
Welcome to our Spotlight series, where we delve into the stories of our Alsco Uniforms employees; exploring their experiences, career trajectories, and the unique insights they’ve gained along the way. Our inaugural interview features John Gibbs, the National Business Development Manager at Alsco Uniforms. We sat down with him recently to unpack his time within the company and gain valuable insights into his professional journey.
John, could you share your career progression at Alsco Uniforms, including your roles and duration?
So, I started at Alsco in 2003 as a Sales Executive, and I held that position up until June 2020. I was then headhunted back in May of 2021 to an awesome role just like the Sales Exec role based at Support Centre as a National Business Development Manager, which was a newly created role at the time. I’m really enjoying it, it’s been awesome.
What was your role like back when you started, and how does it differ now?
As a Sales Executive in the early 2000’s, our focus was all about hunting new business with very little farming of existing accounts. This generally involved cold calling, and yes, in some cases we did start at one end of the street and virtually went door to door. It was selling in its purest form and quite a lot of fun. We didn’t get many phone leads and our internet presence was virtually non-existent. I can recall how another rep and I would write our proposals in longhand at home and drop them on the desk of Lyn Southern in the morning, our sales support, who would type them up and print them for us.
Now as Business Development Manager, my key role is focused on new business and growing existing accounts with a focus on garment accounts, in particular food garment accounts. I work closely with Alan Gardner, the National Accounts Manager as a number of the new businesses I deal with also fall across multiple branches.
What training or qualifications have you achieved with Alsco’s help?
I received some awesome David Forman sales training back in the day a couple of weeks after I started and then again in 2020. You can imagine a sales course back in 2003 might sound a little bit ‘ah wow, has that got any relevance now?’ but I feel that the training really opened my mind up to a whole raft of things about the science of selling, and about general interaction with people – I really enjoyed it. I thoroughly recommend those sorts of courses. I’m a bit of a course junkie, I always sit up the front, suck everything in like a sponge, and dominate the question-and-answer time with the facilitator. I also did the Leadership Development training at level 3, which helped to develop my skills and knowledge to become an effective team leader. The inaugural leadership course is one that many of our team across the business are involved with today.
What is your favourite memory during your time with Alsco?
One of them would definitely be winning a mat campaign. I think it might’ve been back in 2015/2016. So that prize was a 10-day trip to the U.S. visiting the Milliken research and development facility. We got to see the infamous Milliken guest house, as well as tour the Milliken museum. I had such a great time over there along with three other guys. It was great to also visit the Alsco Uniforms Atlanta branch which was my first look at seeing the First Aid Kits which we developed. Another highlight which I should probably mention, was meeting my partner Donna through work!
Finally, what advice do you have for those looking to embark on a career with Alsco Uniforms?
For anyone considering a career at Alsco New Zealand, I’d say embrace opportunities for learning and growth. Alsco Uniforms has been a cornerstone of my professional journey, and has provided so many avenues for development and recognition.