Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2024

Jamie Munday, Sales Director for Avantek Machinery

Facts and Figures:

First job: Compressed air fitter/engineer at Tool Repair Services. I learned a huge amount about repairing and selling pneumatic tools, while meeting lots of people in the tooling industry.

When did you join Avantek Machinery: I started with them in May 2019. I knew what they did and who they were from being around the industry, as part of the Quanex group I recognised it was a great opportunity and Avantek’s approach to customer service and people really impressed me.

Favourite/most useful website: I renovated my house a while back, and did absolutely everything myself – kitchen, plumbing, bathrooms you name it. I was on YouTube all the time and found it extremely helpful for how-to videos. It’s a website I still use regularly to learn new skills.

Business person you admire: An old boss of mine, Promac Machinery’s Derek Bonnard. He was a legend in the industry and such a lovely guy who made everyone feel special. We spent a lot of time together and he was my mentor. Derek used to pick me up from home in his Maserati. He’d jump out of the driver’s seat and get in the passenger side so I could drive, and say “Come on kid, where shall we go today?” And we’d go knocking on doors and speaking to customers.

What lessons have you learned about business within the last 12 months: Not so much within the last 12months, but certainly during my time at Avantek. In previous roles I was predominantly sales oriented, literally out and about knocking on doors capturing new business and dealing with customers. Now, I’m much more involved with the day-to-day running of the company and management of the team. Sometimes I need to make decisions about things that are still relatively new to me. But I have experienced colleagues available to support me, and I’ve learned that asking for assistance or a second opinion is much better than making a bad decision for fear of reaching out.

Best business decision: Definitely joining Avantek, and with the financial backing of parent company Quanex, the business has been able to invest in increasing stock levels across its machinery ranges, greatly reducing lead times to our customers. This really sets us apart from competitors.

Other interests: I’ve recently converted from a caravan to a motorhome, and I love traveling around the UK in it. South Wales is one of my favourite locations, the scenery is stunning. I enjoy fly fishing, motorcycling, and have recently become a grandad which is going to keep me busy.

Working Days: My days are varied, which makes things interesting. I could be working from home, at Cotes Park (where Avantek’s based), or out on the road. There’s the usual admin such as replying to emails, I also spend a lot of time answering technical questions about our machinery and quoting for machines. I do a lot of site visits to discuss customers’ needs and figure out the best solutions. When I’m on site at Cotes Park I’m interacting with the team across different departments making sure everyone is okay and providing support if needed.



Avantek began life as Wegoma Machinery, which was founded in Germany in 1970 and gained a global reputation for its quality and service. Wegoma GB was later established to distribute machinery in the UK and Ireland. In 2014, it became part of Flamstead Holdings Group and was renamed Wegoma Machinery Sales. NYSE-listed Quanex Building Products Corporation then acquired the group in 2015 and the Avantek Machinery name was adopted. Thanks to the resources of the larger corporation, Avantek was able to take a different approach, offering machinery with much shorter lead times or even from stock. 

By the time I came onboard in 2019, Avantek was already well established as a reliable supplier of premium machinery brands to the fenestration fabrication market. Often referred to as the A-Team, Avantek’s dedicated, handpicked team members have a wealth experience and expertise within the industry and a reputation for a quality driven approach, delivering timely installations, and excellent technical support and customer service.

Continuation of high standards

This had largely been achieved under the leadership of Nigel Bishop, who I was replacing as he was moving into the role of Group Sales Director at sister company Liniar. My goal was to ensure the continuation of Avantek’s high standards, while using my extensive industry expertise and contacts to bring new customers onboard and help grow the business. 

Since its inception Avantek has experienced year-on-year growth, but 2020 was a strange one as the Covid pandemic hit and the UK went into lockdown within my first 12 months at the company. I was furloughed early on and had to work from home. However, my furlough period was cut short since the construction sector was amongst the first to restart, though many team members were working remotely for longer. During this time, it was crucial to maintain contact with the entire team, which we did using Zoom. I would talk to people regularly, coordinating our efforts, keeping up morale and updating them on company activities. 

Business picked up rapidly in the second half of the year when the UK economy restarted in full, and people quickly adapted to new ways of working and were eager to make up for lost time. There were also a lot of funding opportunities for businesses in the form of Government grants, meaning many fabricators chose to upgrade their machinery. Avantek was perfectly positioned to supply them as we hold stock of our primary product ranges and as a result were less susceptible to supply chain issues resulting from Covid. It was the perfect storm for Avantek and allowed us to demonstrate our reliability as a supplier to both new and existing customers.

Comprehensive range

At Avantek we offer a comprehensive range of fenestration machinery for aluminium and PVC-U manufacturing, as well as being home to the Avantek-exclusive Supercut. The Supercut cutting and machining centre is Avantek’s flagship, state-of-the-art system which the company has invested a lot of time and resources developing over the years. It’s highly versatile and available in custom configurations, leading to Supercut becoming the top selling cutting and machining centre in the UK, demonstrably increasing manufacturing productivity, quality and efficiency for fabricators who’ve chosen the system.

We also have an extensive range of spare parts and consumables sourced and managed by our Spares and Services Coordinator Kieran Haywood. He does great work helping our customers keep their production lines running effectively, recognising the size of a component or potential order doesn’t diminish its importance. If there’s a risk of breakdown or stoppage to any of our customers, we consider this mission critical and at Avantek we put every effort into ensuring our customers’ operations run smoothly and reducing any unavoidable downtime to absolute minimum. 

Team of Field Engineers

This commitment is also evident in the attitude and performance of our specialist team of Field Engineers, who carry out installations, planned maintenance and breakdown cover. Avantek prides itself on providing personalised guidance and support, ensuring the ideal equipment and ancillaries solutions are reached. I spend a lot of time onsite with clients, listening carefully to their needs and taking a holistic approach to tailoring those solutions. This involves looking at available space and resources, before working out how new machinery will complement and enhance existing production facilities, or even factory planning and designing full production lines from scratch. We’re responsive to clients’ specific manufacturing needs and genuinely empathetic.

Both during and after installation, Avantek’s Field Engineers work closely with a customer’s fabricating team to make sure everything is fully tested and performing optimally. We believe in becoming part of a client’s wider team and delivering superior after sales service. The feedback we receive is amazing and we’re often recommended to new business by our existing customers. Combined with the levels of customer retention we see at Avantek, this is a testament to the standout products and services we offer.

Looking ahead, we are planning to move to a new site within the next 12-18 months. It’s essentially a consolidation of operations, as we’ll be on Denby Hall Business Park alongside sister company Liniar. The site is currently undergoing development that will allow both companies room for significant growth and expansion well into the future. Avantek benefits greatly from access to Liniar’s infrastructure including, transport, human resources, and warehousing for example. And whilst Avantek’s main objective is to continue delivering the superior product range and services we’re known for, while maintaining the personal touch that makes our working relationships special, it’s also crucial we have access to facilities capable of accommodating the company as it continues to go from strength to strength.