Duncan Lambert – Director and General Manager of Rix Petroleum (HULL) Ltd and Director of Rix Heating Services

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    Duncan Lambert - Director and General Manager of Rix Petroleum (HULL) Ltd and Director of Rix Heating Services

    What’s your role?

    I am Director and General Manager of Rix Petroleum (Hull) Ltd and Director of Rix heating services.

    How long with the business?

    This will be my 28th year with the business.

    What’s the best thing about your job?

    Working in a fast changing environment where every day presents a different challenge and managing a work force which is dedicated to providing great service to our customers.

    And the worst?

    The weather, it is very important to our business but unfortunately it is entirely out of my control.

    Rix is a well known company and has a fantastic reputation where it operates. How has that been achieved?

    The main asset is the culture. We are a family business and treat our customers as an extension of that family and we always give an answer if the customer wants to know something, even if it’s not always what the customer would like to hear. We are honest.

    We are not stuck in our ways and are always open minded to change and that is something the business has had to do plenty of over its 140 year history. Today we continue to assess our position in the market, never under estimate our competition, and most of all we value our staff because they are the life blood of the business.

    You mention changes, how has the business changed over the years?

    Wow, I haven’t got enough space here! Everything has changed over the years, computers have revolutionised our industry, they account, monitor, deliver and maintain. The sky’s the limit and they will continue to evolve in our daily role.

    Legislation is a big controlling factor in the industry and changes seem to come on a daily basis.
    Also, fuel storage and tankers have become very complex and we can now track them to the customer, see remotely how much is been delivered, and change the drivers’ route at a moment’s notice. None of that was possible when I joined the company.

    How do you see the company developing?

    The J.R. Rix & Sons Group is constantly looking for the next opportunity and we are always hungry for new technology to harness. Most of what we do complements our existing businesses however we do like a completely new route now and again. It helps keep us focused and ensures we don’t develop tunnel vision.

    On a personnel note, what has influenced your career?

    My apprenticeship was served under a highly skilled engineer. That taught me that nothing was impossible, there is an engineering solution for every problem.
    If you attack life in that way you will never be beaten, there is always a solution and if
    you look for it, it is often staring straight back at you.

    How do you spend your spare time?

    I have many hobbies. Firstly I have a passion for all things mechanical, secondly my classic cars, and thirdly rebuilding my very old house.
    I am also a qualified hot air balloon pilot and fly the Rix balloon whenever I get the opportunity.

    Soap box, is there anything that really gets on your nerves?

    Dealing with banks, insurance companies and things like that. Don’t get me started on them. Other than that Deal or No Deal. If they just opened the box at the start Noel Edmonds would be on the TV far less than he is!

    FACT FILE

    Duncan Lambert - Director and General Manager of Rix Petroleum (HULL) Ltd and Director of Rix Heating Services

    Rix Petroleum is the largest member of the J.R. Rix & Sons group of companies. It distributes and retails petroleum products throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, the East Midlands, the East Coast of Scotland, Shropshire, the West Midlands, East Anglia and Essex.

    The company supplies and delivers domestic heating oil to the home market and commercial diesel to farmers, hauliers and other businesses via a specialist fleet of vehicles designed with the challenges of rural delivery in mind. Boiler maintenance and tank services are also part of the service package.

    The roots of Rix Petroleum go back to 1927 when Robert Rix & Sons began importing tractor vaporising oil and lamp oil from Russia to supply local garages. The war years saw the business expand and supply commercial diesel customers in the East Riding of Yorkshire and the road transport industry. Domestic customers also provided an opportunity for the business as many households converted to cheaper, oil-fired central heating and the agricultural sector opened up as farmers turned from horses to tractors. These developments paved the way for the company as it operates today.

    There are more than 70 Rix branded service stations across North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire which provide essential retail services to rural areas that were once the preserve of Post Offices and village shops.

    J.R Rix & Sons Ltd is a fifth generation family run business which can trace it’s history back 140 years. Other companies in the group include Rix Shipping, Rix Sea Shuttle, Maritime Bunkering, Rix Shipping (Scotland) Ltd, holiday home manufacturer Victory Leisure Homes, and car retailer Jordans.

    For more information contact Rix Petroleum:

    Call (01482) 838383 write to Rix Petroleum Ltd, Witham House, 45 Spyvee Street, Hull, HU8 7JR.