Brandon Rigby has been in the industry for 16 years, having first entered the world of window furnishings as an installer in his family business.
“That early role as an installer suited my skill set and is where the bulk of my practical experience in the industry comes from,” he tells WFA. Working in the family business gave him exposure to a diverse range of experience and enabled him to secure his initial role as Product Development Manager at Norman Australia, before moving on to become General Manager.
Looking back, his early working life also came with some brutal lessons, he admits. “As a brand new installer, the learning curve was quite sharp and a few costly mistakes were made along the way, in terms of mismeasuring product. I quickly learnt that this cannot happen too often if you want to be a successful installer! Luckily I had a few good mentors and I spent a lot of effort ensuring that mistakes were kept to a minimum. This in turn led me to become virtually error free when it came to measuring and ordering product.”
Another key early experience of a more personal kind was the opportunity to live in Taiwan as a missionary for his church. “I learnt to speak Mandarin and this was also a great opportunity to develop greater people skills which have been useful in my business dealings over the years.”
These days, a sense of personal responsibility informs Brandon’s ongoing professional development and helps him deal with the challenges and opportunities of his role at Norman. “In my experience, no matter what field you are in, good things do not come easy and there are always challenges. that need to be overcome in order to be successful,” he says.
“At Norman we strive to have clear procedures and plans in place to deal with issues that arise that are out of our control.” “I always found Norman to be a great organisation, even before I joined them and noticed they would strive for continual improvement. This strong corporate philosophy makes my current role easier as we continue to deliver a high quality product and strive to provide the customer service you would expect to accompany such a product.”
Brandon says he relishes the opportunity to interact with customers on a daily basis. “Although there is a lot of other responsibilities that occupy the
day, I love going to the place where it all happens! Whether it’s a difficult measure or installation or even a challenging consumer, I enjoy these interactions and opportunities to put the skills I have developed in the early part of my career to good use. I really believe in getting information from the place where it all comes together which is often in a customers home, rather than relying on report on a computer screen.
The pandemic has emerged as a ‘crisis-opportunity’ for the Norman Australia business, triggering a professional development drive and innovative ways of engaging with customers.
“The last year or so certainly has been an interesting time. We started off just like everyone else, not quite knowing what was going to happen and perhaps expecting the worst. As we discovered, the results last year in our industry were certainly not negative by any stretch. While we were in lockdown, we tried to focus on the ‘silver lining’ and used this time to further train and upskill our organisation as well as our customers so we would be in a better position at the other end. This was done via technology and had the added benefit of helping both our organisation and customers feel connected while we couldn’t socialise in the usual ways. All things considered, COVID-19 has been an opportunity for us to learn new skills and develop more efficient ways of doing some of our daily tasks.”
Looking ahead, “We have a very clear set of objectives and a DNA that we adhere to at Norman,” Brandon says. “My ambitions are to do my part to help the organisation reach the height of its potential. We do this by working side by side with our retail partners and helping them achieve their goals and ambitions.”