Hi, I’m Matt Small, Commercial and Finance Director at Aico and I have been with Aico for the past 21 years. I joined Aico when I was 16 years old as an apprentice, working in the Operations team at the time. The company was relatively unknown in our community, tucked away in a small corner of Shropshire – little did I know what lay ahead for both myself and the company in the two decades that followed.
Having entered our warehouse doors on my first day, Aico’s alarms were instantly recognisable to me as we had them installed in my family home. As the weeks went by, I was amazed by sheer the volume of alarms passing across my pack station and was proud to have played my part in achieving our first million-pound month in the September of 1999.
In the coming months, I saw the square alarms I had quickly become used to handling begin to shift to the circular alarms we know today – luckily still in square boxes! Designed with ease of installation and alarm replacement in mind, the introduction of our easi-fit alarms was a game-changer and in the year 2000, Aico’s turnover surpassed £10million.
In the years that followed, innovation and the evolution of our products continued. The introduction of Radio Frequency interconnection in 2004 was revolutionary and this is now commonplace in our market, with Aico at the forefront.
In 2003, I joined our finance team, with my ambitions now firmly focused on a career in finance and with the support of the company I began studying for my professional accountancy qualifications in 2005. With Aico’s continued support in my education and providing multiple opportunities for career progression the following years would see me move into management accountancy, later joining our management team and more recently my appointment as a Director.
Between 2008 and 2014 our turnover doubled … and doubled again between 2014 and 2019. This doubling of business was not attributed to the taking of market share but due to the increasing levels of protection in homes across the UK, a testament to our team of Regional Specification Managers and their commitment to education and training – not forgetting the innovation and quality of our product that has been a constant throughout the last three decades of our history.
Aico’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is something that I am also very proud to be a part of. I’ll never forget the charity cycle ride from Oswestry to our factory in Ireland, kickstarting our CSR programme which has grown from strength to strength over the past 3 years. Seeing the impact of our donations and our voluntary work in the community has been amazing, particularly in recent times.
The last two years have seen the next generation of apprentices join the Aico team, their progress has been fantastic, and I will continue to watch their careers grow alongside the company. I look to the future with as much excitement as I had on my first day 21 years ago and I am confident that we will see Aico achieve much more in the decades to come.
by Matt Small
Matt enjoys being outdoors, running and cycling