Branch News
January 31, 2022

Meet MKM Bolton’s Branch Directors

MKM Bolton branch directors Tony Masters and Wayne Critchley have worked in the construction industry around the Bolton and Greater Manchester area for more than half a century between them. Having been aware of each other’s respective positions in the past, they now join together in their latest venture, as co-directors of MKM Bolton.

“So, I started as a branch apprentice in my youth, before working in the yard and moving my way up the ladder through an apprentice scheme, which when finished saw me go into sales,” explains Tony Masters, branch director, MKM Bolton. “I then held a few accounts manager and sales manager positions before becoming a branch manager which saw me win branch and branch manager of the year accolades. From there, I went on to a regional sales position and worked for a brick manufacturer before having the opportunity to open my own merchant with MKM and Wayne.”

“Similar to Tony, I also started in the yard, but at an independent merchant that was local to Bolton,” continue Wayne Critchley, branch director, MKM Bolton. “I progressed to foreman, internal sales, assistant manager and then depot manager, winning branch of the year. I was with the same company for 28 years, so it needed to be the right opportunity to leave and progress and thankfully MKM and Tony was that opportunity.”

With an unrivalled amount of experience, local and industry knowledge between them, the opportunity to work with MKM and open their own independently run merchant in Bolton was an offer too good to miss.

With MKMs national network of independently run branches continuously growing, the draw of running a merchant independently and foreseeing that control over day to day business was something the duo couldn’t pass up.

“The biggest benefit is decision making, running your own business means quick, fast and fluid decisions,” explains Wayne. “As a national, that can be tough, but independents can speed things up, which reflects in the customer service provided too. Other important aspects like credit limits, KPIs, and pricing, all the way to less admin and emails is all helpful and helps with efficiency.”

No branch can be successful without the right team. From sales reps to yard staff, everyone has to be able to work hard in order to achieve the collective goals.

Alongside a dream team, the directors understand there is more work to be put in place if the branch is to succeed.

“Customer service is a top priority, for sure,” say Wayne. “I think that a good customer service model lacks as an average in this industry, but not with us. Whoever walks through that door is a friend. Be that a customer who we’ve known for 10 years or a member of the public looking for DIY supplies. We’ll treat you as equals.”

“But it is not just face to face customer service that is important,” Tony goes on to explain. “Transport and logistics are too. Getting equipment to sites on time is a huge must. We’re all about ensuring a trusted and reliable supply chain for our customers.”

“For us, success is having a high number of repeat customers and accounts, because that means our customer service and competitive pricing is being recognised,” Wayne continues. “Alongside that, we want to be able to grow the team fast, more specialists, and ultimately reach the personal goals we’ve set out.”

With time fully focused on establishing MKM Bolton as the go to for building and civil supplies, a day off for either branch manager might seem like a distant prospect.

“Well, I’m a Man Utd fan, so I watch them when I can. I’m also big on music Oasis, Queen and a bit of R Kelly to mix it up a bit,” confesses Tony. “I’m also into horse racing, golf and keeping fit. But to be honest, any time off would be spent with my 13-month-old girl.”

“Yeah, in what is the only bit of friction that exists between me and Tony, I am a Man City fan, so there is plenty of friendly rivalry there,” jokes Wayne. “I spend my time with my family, including my 16-year-old son. I enjoy most sports to be fair, especially golf, darts and football. As for music, I too like Oasis and Radiohead, but I’ll listen to anything really.

Its safe to say, the return of a genuine independent builder’s merchant to Bolton is in safe hands with Wayne, Tony and their team. With customer service high on the agenda, both trade and public can expect a friendly, welcoming approach coupled with excellent local knowledge and years of experience to help with whatever next project is on the horizon.