Greg Gill is a new member of our committee, having only joined our national committee last year. Greg is passionate about our industry in particular securing the future of our industry. He sits on our Industry Rising Star committee and is currently involved in rebuilding the program. His experience in the industry from a very young age means he can bring a unique perspective to our committee and industry.
What is your position within your business and what do you do?
I am the APAC Business Development Manager for ECI Software Solutions. My role is to work with independent hardware and building supply retailers to improve operations by implementing and utilising new technology. ECI provides business management software with a focus on providing cloud solutions and providing mobility and visibility across the business to store owners and managers.
When and how did you enter the hardware industry?
I grew up in hardware stores, with the family owning stores it was my life before and after school. After finishing school, I spent 10+ years on the tools in the construction industry. My personal requirements changed and I required a “steady income” to purchase a house. I was offered a position on the floor at a hardware store, owned by a family member. I took the position and over a period of 10 years in the store, I was taught a lot about the hardware industry and gained so much experience in the retail hardware/trade sector.
What do you love about the hardware industry?
The people – the store owners, their families that put their lives into the business and their customers. The employees who take pride in keeping the stores up to a certain standard. I love the passion that people have for their stores and serving their customers.
Why did you join Hardware Australia and the committee?
To give something back. Since leaving the store I have been working for suppliers to the industry, acquiring knowledge now from both sides. I enjoy providing my input when asked and hope to use this opportunity with Hardware Australia to show the younger generation in the stores that further careers in our industry can come from working on the floor of the local hardware store.
What benefit do you think Hardware Australia brings to its members?
Peace of Mind – Hardware Australia is a place to keep you updated with current topics, regulations etc. allowing store owners to focus on their business, knowing someone is keeping them up to date with changes to legislation and requirements. An additional bonus is having a support line to assist with industrial relations issues that are specific to our industry.
Where do you see the future of the industry?
If the last 12 months have taught us anything, it is that independent hardware stores are a large part of the community and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. When people were stuck inside their houses during a worldwide pandemic, the local hardware store was a saviour to people’s mental health, serving the community by providing them materials to keep busy at home whilst also continuing to support the essential businesses and trades.
I hope the community has seen the value the local independent stores provide with personalised service and localised ranging, and continue to support their stores at the same level as 2020.
Any words of wisdom?
Always be willing to adapt to your environment. Don’t keep doing something simply because that is the way it has always been done. We live in an ever-changing world and people are constantly coming up with ways to improve processes. Be open to change and see if there are small changes you can make that will lead to large improvements in your businesses. Chances are competitors are already doing this and you don’t want to get stuck playing catch up.