Tonetech Ltd is an online and physical store selling guitar parts, luthier tools, paints and Tonewood to makers and repairers of guitars. Established in 2007, Tonetech is situated in Pear Mill, Lower Bredbury in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Tonetech apprentice, Dan Horsfield was awarded our Mark Aspinall Award in 2017 and has excelled in his career so far.
We decided to catch up with Bill Quinn, owner of Tonetech to see how he’s getting on...
How has Dan progressed in his role and how has Tonetech benefitted from his performance?
Dan has taken full responsibility for order management, from the printing of invoices, picking and packing the products and shipping the products to customers in Europe.He also maintains stock accuracy, takes delivery of inward bound products and ensures we receive quality orders from our suppliers.His ability to manage this has released me to focus on marketing and sales.In recent weeks, we won a worldwide distribution deal for a new range of guitar products.This required a lot of external work and with Dan’s support on the day-to-day running of the store, we were successful in impressing the supplier.
How has the qualification and training delivery been of benefit to Dan?
The training Dan has received has had a larger impact than just providing knowledge.His confidence has grown significantly and whereas he was previously reluctant to deal with phone calls, he is now enjoying giving good customer service. When I am away from the store, Dan is available to deal with customer enquiries promptly and professionally.
What future plans do you have for Dan and how do you feel the training may support his future development?
Dan has taken responsibility for managing our Luthier Directory website and building entries. He is also working to develop our presence in Instagram. In the future, I see him getting more involved in the purchasing of supplies and in our social media marketing campaigns.
What advice would you give to other employers thinking about taking on an apprentice?
I would encourage other employers to see apprentices as an opportunity to introduce enthusiastic and creative young employees into the workplace. With the right attitude, apprentices can flourish.They can challenge existing ways of working and help you step back and really think about your ways of working.
One piece of important advice is to involve senior colleagues in the development of your apprentices. Even if you have a supervisor in post to manage day-to-day work, having senior colleagues show an interest in apprentices’ development will motivate them to become hard working, loyal employees.
What has stood out as being ‘exceptional’ about Dan or has ‘added real value’?
Dan’s attitude to work is amazing. He struggled to find work after leaving school at 16 however he is hard working and dedicated to doing his best for my business.If there are times in the day when the store is quiet, he will tidy up, do some filing, work on his apprenticeship programme or study guitar related topics and all by his own volition. He shows great initiative and flexibility at work. Dan was working part time at first but offered to move his working days to meet business deadlines. He is not just an apprentice; he lives and breathes our business.