5:15 AM 23rd October 2020
10 In 10: Alistair Wright Is Managing Director UXG
Alistair Wright is managing director of Horsforth-based UXG
, a company that designs and manufactures digital, LED and retail displays for a range of UK and international clients, including Halfords, Pioneer, and Dixons Carphone.
He is the latest regional business professional in the hot seat as The Yorkshire Times
gives him just 10 minutes to answer our 10 burning questions.
What does a typical working day for you involve?
A typical working day for me starts with a short commute by train from Harrogate station to Horsforth, where our 14,000sq ft state-of-the-art design and production facility is based, providing me with the perfect opportunity to answer any urgent early emails. I’m normally the first person to arrive, so I tend to get everything set up and switched on, ready for the day ahead, before spending a little more time responding to emails.
UXG is a multifaceted business that provides a bespoke turn-key service, delivering all stages of development, from initial design and manufacture through to installation, maintenance and aftercare support – so, on any given day, there’s always a lot going on.
I’ll typically spend my mornings catching up with my design, manufacture and install and maintenance teams to discuss ongoing and future projects, as well as any issues that they might need support with. There’s always plenty to talk about, as we’re constantly innovating and looking to bring new products to market, such as Auto-Q, the bespoke digital signage solution we unveiled in June which allows retailers to measure the number of customers inside their store and monitor footfall hot-spots.
My afternoons vary enormously, and I’ll generally focus my time and attention wherever it’s most needed, whether that’s overseeing the latest product designs or reviewing the new products produced by our joinery unit. In between these meetings, with my background as a chartered accountant, I’ll often try and find time to run through the numbers with our finance manager, ensuring that on any given day I’m pretty much across everything that’s going on in the business.
What makes your company special?
For me, it’s our people. We’ve built a really strong team, full of experience and expertise across each of our different business units, and we’re all committed to delivering the very best user experience solutions for our customers, to help them to drive engagement and stand out. We only offer our clients solutions that we know will really make a positive difference to their business, and our approach has seen us establish a very loyal customer base that includes the likes of Halfords, Pioneer and Dixons Carphone.
Do you have any business rules that you swear by?
Take the time to really understand your customers and their business needs. UXG exists to help customers to achieve their business objectives and overcome any challenges they might be facing. The secret to overcoming any problem is understanding it in the first place, so as a team we spend a lot of time listening to what our clients are telling us, before creating the perfect solution for them. It’s an approach that saves a lot of time and ensures that we consistently deliver for our clients.
Do you dress up or down for work?
We have a relaxed dress-code in our office and production facility and generally you’ll find me wearing jeans and a shirt, though if I’m attending an external meeting I’ll change into more formal wear.
What piece of advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Mark Twain was spot on when he said, ‘find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life’. It’s so true and brilliant advice for anyone who is starting – or indeed already well into – their career. I fell into becoming a chartered accountant, but it wasn’t really ever a career that fulfilled me. I wanted more, I wanted to be involved in every aspect of running a business and not just managing the financial side of things. My role at UXG is perfect and allows me to do exactly this.
What’s your favourite Yorkshire venue for an event or team away day?
As a team, we really enjoy going down to the pub together and getting to know each other outside of work. So, I’d have to say any venue in Horsforth or Leeds that serves good alcohol and food. Of course, I also have to highlight Leeds Playhouse which we supported the digital and wayfinding signage for as part of its eight-figure transformation.
How do you prefer to travel for business?
I take the train wherever possible, whether that’s for my daily commute to and from Horsforth, or to visit customers or attend industry events in other parts of the country.
What’s your favourite place in Yorkshire to relax?
My hometown, Harrogate. It’s such a beautiful spa town and offers everything you could wish for, from retail and leisure, through to lovely green spaces where you can relax and unwind, like the Valley Gardens.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Yorkshire, and what dish do you recommend?
I live very local to The Fat Badger in Harrogate, so that’s a firm favourite of mine and I love the burgers that they do there – quality food and a nice pint.
What do you miss most about Yorkshire when you’re away?
The greenery. As a region, we’re blessed with some breath-taking landscapes.