On the line with Kevin Buchanan

This month, we speak to Kevin Buchanan, our Head of Manufacturing at our Gilberdyke site, about his years of industry experience, how he motivates his team, and his passions outside of production. Here’s what he had to say…


How did you end up in the leisure home industry?


My first foray into the industry came in 1989 as a young lad starting out, and I was drawn to the fast-paced manufacturing environment. There was so much opportunity and so many areas I could gain experience in. Thirty years later and so much has changed (especially when I look in the mirror!) – but in a great way. It’s an industry I’ll always want to be part of.


What brought you to Victory?


There’s something magical about the culture of this company, the place and the people give off this vibrant feeling that you can’t put into words. From the outside in, I could see that the products and the way they were developed was unlike anything I’d seen in 30 years. There’s a reason our strapline is “stand apart” – our homes, the people who create them, and the environment we work in is truly unique.


What does a typical working day look like for you?


Typically, I start the day reviewing processes that will make us more efficient. We’ve grown immeasurably since I joined and although it can be challenging, the rewards totally outweigh any niggles. I also spend a lot of time developing the team, whether it’s with training courses, progression opportunities, and their wellbeing. “Look after your people and the products will look after themselves” is the mindset I live by, so I make sure my team have everything they need to do their job and enjoy what they do.


What do you love most about working for Victory?


The togetherness of the team – I have a great bond with everyone which makes it easy to get things done. I’ve come a very long way in this industry but working here makes me feel very proud of where we started, how far we’ve come in terms of production, and the future opportunities that could be round the corner.


What do you do in your spare time?


I’m a bit of a speed demon - I’m an avid motorcyclist but I also like to wind down and relax by going fishing. But my favourite thing to do is watching my son play rugby – he’s now a semi-pro rugby player and love seeing him progress.


How do you motivate the production team?


I’m a big believer in self-reflection and ask the team to do it to remind them how far they’ve come. They’re a young team, they don’t need patronising – they need someone who backs them, offers constructive feedback, and praises them for a job well done. I’m a team player through and through and I want them to be too.


What has been your most memorable achievement in life?


Personally, my most memorable achievement is my children – bringing them up and seeing them achieve great things is the best job in the world. Work wise, being asked to take on a privileged position at Victory during such a monumental time is something to be proud of.


What’s your biggest motivator both at work and at home?


I always give my all to everything I do. I have bipolar disorder, which comes with its own set of challenges, but it also allows me to think in new and innovative ways – and it also gives me the ability to encourage the lads on the line to talk about their mental health because I’m so open about it. It’s a superpower really. I always make sure I’m the best role model to the team, and the best husband and father I can be at home. If they’re all happy, I’m happy.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?


Always reflect on each day and don’t overthink things. If you’ve done everything you can, walk out the door and enjoy your free time. But if it has gone slightly wrong, don’t let it get the better of you outside of work. Just think – whatever has gone wrong that day, change tomorrow.


If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you buy and why?


Now this is a tricky one – I’d probably buy a Rugby Club, a Mercedes G-Wagon or a Kawasaki H2 motorbike. In fact, I’d buy them all at once!

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