Norman Piette’s new sales manager, Sam Wanless, brings years of experience in the solar power industry to Guernsey’s builders’ merchant.
Originally from Warwickshire, Sam moved to the island from Australia in October last year with his local partner. “I’ve spent the last three years in Sydney and Brisbane enjoying the sunshine and managing a team selling solar power systems,” says Sam.
“I’m very interested in renewables and sustainability. Attitudes to energy consumption have radically altered in recent years. The need to slow down climate change and the costs associated with fossil fuels make solar an extremely attractive option. By harnessing my expertise I am hopeful the solar market will be an area of expansion for Norman Piette in future.”
Thirty-year-old Sam manages a team of 11 people. This includes the internal sales team who mostly deal with inbound enquiries, quotations and tenders. He also looks after the company’s representatives on the road who visit sites and businesses and offer advice ‘in situ’.
Norman Piette’s history dates back to 1739, making it one of the oldest builders’ and timber merchants in the British Isles.
“I’m proud of the company’s history and yet there is a great focus on technology, new products and monitoring of industry trends. The fact we are one of the largest employers on the island and still family owned was something that also appealed to me when joining.
“This is an interesting time in the building industry. Things are getting tighter, interest rates and the cost of living have gone through the roof but wages have remained the same.
“Customers will look for savings online. That is human nature. I believe our staff expertise, the quality of our products and our excellent customer service will win the day. But, we cannot be complacent and have to give 110% every day.
“Norman Piette’s biggest strength is its reputation. We must ensure that we are ‘hot’ on every enquiry, that we deal with everything to the best of our ability.”
Despite the economic downturn and the pandemic hangover Sam is optimistic that Guernsey’s construction industry will prosper:
“I have spoken to many people in the island from small tradesmen to large building firms and while interest rates remain as they are they don’t expect a slowdown in demand for their services.”
“I am a realist and there will be challenges. Operating on a small island where supply chains are out of our control can be difficult. My job is to give our clients, big or small, the best customer service experience possible and do my bit in helping to build a better Guernsey for everyone.”