Oldham News | Business News | New purchasing manager at Oldham firm HPP brings extensive

Date published: 20 May 2021

Furniture components manufacturer and distributor Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) has appointed Gary Kinder as purchasing manager.

The 53-year-old has extensive fitted furniture industry experience in Greater Manchester and across the north, and his CV includes roles with Eurospace Furniture, Symphony, Richmond Cabinets and JT Ellis.

HPP, based in Oldham and with a second UK distribution centre in Sheffield, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

It serves the national kitchen and bedroom fitting industry.

It has over 2,000 trade customers across the UK and supplies over 6,000 products including its own brands of doors and cabinet components.

The company is headed by brothers Martin and Stephen Hill and Managing Director Keith Wardrope.

Mr Kinder began his career aged 19 with Eurospace Furniture in Leeds where he gained experience in stock control and supply and was later promoted to a buyer.  

His career then took him to Symphony, also based in Leeds at the time, where he spent four-and-a-half years, and then into the touring caravan production industry with Swift Group PLC in Hull.

He said: “The caravan industry was quite different to the furniture industry.

“It was closer to the automotive sector with some of its advanced operations and varying components used.

“I learned a lot at Swift Group including about different purchasing principles.

“It was a very useful experience.”

In 2003, he attained the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) qualification.

He later returned to the furniture sector and spent over 12 years with Richmond in Hadfield, near Glossop, and in Greater Manchester.

His last role before joining HPP was with JT Ellis in Huddersfield.

Speaking about his new role with HPP, Mr Kinder said: “I’m delighted to have joined.

“I’ve known the company for many years through previous roles as a buyer.

“It has a great reputation and history.

“Since joining HPP, it’s been good to meet everyone, learn more about operations at Oldham, Sheffield and nationally; and work with the Managing Director, Keith Wardrope, and Purchasing Director, Alan Bolton.

“I’m working across the business on a variety of projects.

“These including stock control and buying, evaluating existing product ranges and potential new ones, and looking at product sales reports and data.

“This includes working closely with the purchasing team, sales representatives and HPP’s IT Director, Andy Evans.”

Looking ahead, he said: I think this year will be a good one for HPP and the wider KBB sector, as the economy opens-up again.

“Homeowners have made significant investments in property improvements in recent months and that will probably continue.

“Some people will return to their previous routines of commuting and working in traditional workplaces but there may be a greater range of office and home-working in future.

“Foreign holidays will return but I think this will take longer.

“These types of factors will contribute to ongoing consumer spending on homes and residential developments, which will be positive for the KBB industry.”

In his leisure time, Mr Kinder enjoys playing golf and watches cricket and other sports.

He played cricket for many years but is now retired from playing.

He also enjoys watching his sons play rugby and cricket and watching football.

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