matt-doughtySpecialist coated fabrics manufacturer of liquid and dry bulk packaging, Lifting, Load Restraint and Safety equipment, Transport covers and spares, as well as special projects.

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

In my position as Sales & Marketing Manager, I see a wide variety of customers and market places, so one thing I enjoy the most is going from one product or application to another in quick succession. We could be talking about digitally printed tension curtains in the morning, 50T round slings at lunch time and bulk bags for moving foodstuffs in the afternoon. But I think the most exciting aspect of the job is finding a new application for the materials and technology we use.

Who inspired you most in your career?

My father, Ian Doughty, is the owner MD of Structure-flex Ltd. He has inspired me my entire life.

If you were an item in a warehouse, what would you be?

I think I would be the forklift. I had a forklift license until a few years ago so that I could help out in the warehouse from the office, as I was working in a factory with clean room environment. It felt it made sense for me to jump on the forklift in my suit, rather than have the staff in the factory have to change out of their clean room clothes and walk around to load and unload deliveries. I am always amazed at how a forklift makes light of heavy work, how versatile/flexible it is, and how it helps support it’s fellow human beings. I would be happy being in that role.

What brought you to this industry?

I have worked for Structure-flex much of my working life. It’s a family business and I grew up starting as a sign writer, moving into the IT department before developing a series of databases for production planning, human resources and sales. I later moved into commercial roles and finally into sales and marketing. My goal was always to help our business make a transition from product focus to market focus and cope with the transition from UK manufacture to import.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

Nothing, you learn from your mistakes. Without them, how would you know when you’ve improved.

What’s your favourite pastime?

Golf. I’ve been playing for about 2 years and I think I’m now getting the hang of it!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

When I first started for the company I spent 4 hours cleaning out a drain at the back of the factory following a request from my supervisor at the time. At the end of the four hours I learned the drain had always been blocked from the day the factory was set up. The rest of the team had caught me on video camera and I was covered from head to foot in blue dye.

Do you have any hidden talents?

If I do, I haven’t found them yet!

Who would be your favourite party guest?

Derren Brown, fascinating chap or Jeremy Clarkson.

What is the greatest luxury in your life?


If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

I’m a big fan of cars, so I would probably treat myself to something beautiful, fast and impractical. Other than that, I would probably want to see more of the world, but to be honest I am happy doing what I am doing.

Who or what makes you laugh?

Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson (again), my wife, my nephews, Norfolk road users.

Do you have any secret ambitions?

I still want to be a racing car driver

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I visited Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. It is fabulous place, incredible weather and the most friendly of people.

What’s your favourite music album?

I never have a favourite for long. I have started re-discovering some of the albums I listened to at school, as having an iPod has made getting music so much easier to get hold of. I am listing to Cast – The Collection, Ocean Colour Scene’s Moseley Shoals, and Third Eye Blind.

What is your favourite movie?

I have always been a big fan of Bad Boys with Will Smith, but more recently I think Twilight is a great film.

What’s your favourite book?

I recently read Duncan Bannatyne’s biography, which I thought was fascinating.

Who or what do you detest the most?


What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into the industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

I think the key is to have something unique or specialist to offer. Much of the market is highly competitive. To me there are already too many players in much of the industry. My advice would be to make sure you have a unique product, service or way of delivering your offer that sets you apart. Try to be different, find a problem and solve it.

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