The Durham dynamo: A day in the life of … Kevin Docherty, Area Business Manager at Egbert Taylor

Kevin Docherty (second from left) has become a self-confessed bin anorak since joining Egbert Taylor in 2010

I started at Egbert Taylor back in June 2010, having joined from the fireplace industry. I had worked at a North East-based British fireplace manufacturer for 14 years and by the time I left I was the firm’s national key accounts manager.

I left the role because the firm couldn’t compete with cheap Chinese imports, which is sadly something we’re now seeing in the waste container manufacturing sector, too. This is changing in a post-Covid world, though. People have started to realise that it doesn’t matter how cheap a product or material is if you can’t even get it into the UK!  

On joining Egbert Taylor, I was immediately struck by the facility – both in terms of its size and the craftsmanship that went into every bin. Even now it’s still impressive! And I’m now a bona fide bin anorak. My wife will testify to that, too, after catching me taking pictures of bins on our honeymoon in southern France. 

As someone who loves being on the road and meeting people, the last two years have been tough. Like the majority of the UK, I’ve had to rely on video platforms to engage with customers.  All sales meetings and enquiries have been dealt with via Teams, Zoom or Skype, which in many ways is efficient and more sustainable – but it lacks the people element on which sales in generally based.

As things start to get back to normality, I’m looking forward to get back out on the road again. I’m off to meet customers in Edinburgh and Fife soon, which will be great. I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a sales meeting as much in my life!

Most of my day is spent speaking with local authorities, private contractors and end users, all of which are typically looking for solutions to recycling and contamination problems. With 50 years of manufacturing under our belt we’ve created some great products that address these issues, too. The T-Lock, for example, which enables a bin’s lid to click and lock shut like a car bonnet, is one of our best sellers and has become a standard feature for many councils up and down the UK.

Egbert Taylor is a great place to work. It has a family mentality and everyone here is always eager to help you out. There’s a great sense of camaraderie here. During lockdown we all had down days but we all stuck together and picked each other up when we needed to.

When I’m not helping my customers, I’m either sitting on a small boat with a fly-fishing rod in my hand, or watching Newcastle FC. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 22 years and go whenever I can. My dad passed away last year and I still have his season ticket. I can’t face giving it up just yet, and I never tire of taking people there. 

Even if you’ve had a hard day at work, there’s nothing like 52,000 mad, screaming Geordies to make you feel good again.