Working at Alsco with Richard

Richard Mahood shares how his determination, hard work and positive attitude opened the door to a range of job opportunities, which eventually led him to managing a multi-million-dollar business for Alsco in the upper South Island while still in his 30’s.

Alsco supplies linen and uniform rental services across New Zealand, from commercial linen and uniforms to washroom hygiene and consumables. As Branch Manager, Richard is based at the newly built Alsco plant in Richmond. He has worked for over 20 years with Alsco, all starting from a role he took with the business during his ‘gap year’ following high school.

His career started in the Service team, which involved him carrying out deliveries in his designated region, ensuring all orders were correct, and dealing with any customer concerns on the route. This then progressed to a Route Jumper role and then onto Supervisor. This was followed by his first managerial role overseeing production, and then eventually Business Manager overseeing the Taranaki region.

As Richard progressed further within the business, the roles started becoming wider than just the Taranaki region, and nationwide opportunities opened.

“A standout from my journey has been the amazing support I’ve had from my mentors who helped me along the way and wanted me to succeed just as much as I did”, says Richard”.

As you can imagine every day is different, however, a crucial part of Richard’s role is dealing with people, both internally and externally. There are 50+ staff working at Alsco Richmond as well as over 2000 customers, most of which Alsco services at least once per week. With this level of interaction, ensuring everyone is happy can be challenging, yet ultimately rewarding.

Richard gives us some insight on what it’s like working at Alsco: when starting out, a new member is paired up with another staff member for approximately four weeks to follow along, learn on the job, and gain confidence before taking on responsibilities of their own. Each area of the plant has its own team structure, so every role is clear and important. Alsco provides significant on-the-job training as well as formal NZQA courses for some roles, so previous experience is not necessary. Another great aspect of Alsco is the number of opportunities to expand your career – with a strong internal promotion ethic, managerial roles are most often filled via progression within the nationwide team.

We asked Richard what he enjoys most about living in Nelson Tasman. His response: “the lifestyle – it’s busy enough to keep me active and motivated, but still laid back.” He also appreciates the weather – even in the winter it is often calm with fine days. Richard enjoys spending his weekends with his family, or out on the water fishing and exploring the great beaches. Richard also enjoys travelling down to Hanmer Springs and taking the kids to the hot pools.

Richard shared some great advice for those deciding on what to do next:

“Start working and work for the position you want, not just the one you have. If you want to do more, then put your hand up and do more – don’t just ask for the role, show somebody that you can do the role. Continue to challenge and push yourself, and with the right support and in the right organisation, you’ll get there.”