April 2023 marks a very special double anniversary for Medical Air Technology: it’s ten years since Steve Stott and Stephen Taylor took ownership of the company, and ten years since we moved into our offices on Mercury Way
“I am very, very passionate about the company and my exceptionally hard-working team. Over the years, sticking to my vision, I have had to pinch myself every day thinking about the success we have built. Yes, we have had some luck, but mainly our success is down to hard work and the determination to get where we are. My greatest pleasure is not only seeing MAT do well, but providing employment to a loyal team of staff who have stood by me for many years, as well as seeing junior staff growing through the opportunities we have given them to eventually become the next MAT Senior Management Team, taking us forward into the exciting future I know we have.” Steve Stott: Chairman, Medical Air Technology
April 2023 marks a very special double anniversary for Medical Air Technology: it’s ten years since Steve Stott and Stephen Taylor took ownership of the company, and ten years since we moved into our offices on Mercury Way.
We thought we would celebrate by looking back at how the company has grown and changed over the last ten years and sharing some of our plans for the future.
In 2008, Stephen Taylor joined MAT as Business Development Manager. A year later, Steve Stott also joined the company as Service Operations Manager. Two years later, they became directors of the company. This coincided with the then Managing Director deciding it was time to step down from his role and move on to the next stage in his career. Steve and Stephen purchased his share value and took over day-to-
day running of the company.
It wasn’t long before MAT’s owners asked Steve if he would be interested in also purchasing their shares, making him owner of the business. After considerable thought and discussions with Stephen on what the company values would be and where their shared passion and commitment could take the company, in 2013 the sale went ahead, with Steve intent on making MAT the market-leader in both contracts and service aftercare.
Steve says of this period: “My aim for the company was initially to stabilise our business and build the trust of the MAT family, which is how I see it – a family. Next stage was to push for more sales and increase our service and facilities management division, MAT FM, which I thought would lead to much more contract investment.
“My major aim was to build a new team that I could trust to enhance our capabilities but that would, very importantly, fit in with the existing MAT family to give staff the confidence to welcome them and work seamlessly. Stephen and I thought this would take two or three years and after a lot of luck and some stressful decisions, in the end it all came together very well.”
With a new, extended team and business plan in place, the real change was able to begin. Initially, MAT was made up of around 16 staff, working from a small office in Middleton and with a warehouse a mile away.
While the first stage of Steve’s plans was being enacted, all operations had been moved into the warehouse, which was cramped and clearly far from ideal. Luckily, Steve spotted an Office For Rent sign near the Trafford Centre and came to look at what was eventually to become our new home at Unit 2, Mercury Way. The opposite side of Manchester from the Middleton warehouse, the commute was difficult for some office staff, so the move was phased gradually, starting with MAT FM, then MAT Contracts, followed by everyone else a few months later. Clients now had a smart, modern new office to visit, showing where MAT was and where we wanted to go.
The move quadrupled our office space and trebled our warehouse area for manufacture and parts. The benefits from this would become apparent as the business grew. This actually happened faster than planned, and when the opportunity came along to rent the adjoining unit, which was a similar size, we quickly said yes, and this became our Manufacturing and Storage facility.
Initially, MAT concentrated on Service and small to medium Contract growth. The expertise in the expanded team also meant we could increase our work in the life sciences sector – originally this was very small compared to operating theatre works, just 10% compared to healthcare’s 90%, but today we are at about 50/50, which is a very exciting change for the company.
We now have 40+ staff and turnover has increased dramatically. In 2009, we were looking at turnover in the region of £2.8-£3 million, with MAT FM turning over £300 to 400K. We are now at a total business average of £12-£13 million with some very Highs and not so many Lows. FM turnover is at a steady £3 million and we are exploring what we do next to give us more space to increase both MAT FM and our Research and Development capability.
In 2021, Steve Stott decided to step back a little from day-to-day activities, undertaking a role as Chairman. Barry McCurdy moved from his role as Finance Director to head up daily company matters as Managing Director, supported by the senior management team comprising Andy Smith (Technical Director), Adrian Parkin (Contracts Director), Will Evans (Business Development Director), and Lee Manfred (Operations Director MAT FM).
“Since joining MAT in 2013, I have worked closely with Steve to help him steer the company through what has been an amazing journey. This close working relationship provided me with the experience to be able to give Steve the confidence to take the step back and enjoy more time with his family. I would like to thank Steve for the guidance, training and support he has given me and also for giving me this exciting opportunity.
“It is an honour to be given the responsibility of leading the business through its next phase. The team that had been built prior to me taking the helm has made the transition a lot less stressful than I thought it may have been. This has been proven by the fact that in 2022, MAT achieved an historic level of success. We are also very hopeful that this will be replicated in 2023.” Barry McCurdy: Managing Director, Medical Air Technology