Published On: Tue, Mar 15th, 2022

Steve Hudson Managing Director at Alutech Systems

Facts and Figures

First Job: I started out as a trainee scaffolder, then I got the chance to go to college to learn all the practical aspects of civil engineering, which was more my thing. Scaffolding was too much like hard work!
When did you set up current company: I bought JDUK (LTD) in 2013, which supplies Alutech sectional garage doors and roller door components to installers and manufacturers. Then in 2016, the owner of Alutech in Belarus challenged me to introduce their aluminium systems for doors and windows into the UK, and Alutech Systems was born.
Most useful/favourite gadget: My brand-new gadget is a reMarkable electronic notebook and it’s revolutionising my organisation skills. It’s now impossible for me to lose any meeting notes, which I used to do a lot! It really is good.
Favourite/most useful website: Hate to say it but Amazon, it’s just sooo easy! Mind you, for everything else we redeem ourselves and always buy locally, especially fresh produce from the local farm shop. It costs twice as much as the supermarket but worth every penny.
Business person you admire: Anybody that is successful but is equally understated, there are too many that shout about their achievements, most people are really not that interested.
What lesson have you learnt about business over the last 12 months: To be more relaxed and have confidence in the structure of the business. After that, the people around you tend to take the lead from how you are. We’ve got to better conclusions by being this way.
What has helped you during lockdown: Having a loving family around me to offer help and advice. My motto is that it really will be ok in the end.
Best business decision: Taking the leap in 2013 and buying JDUK (LTD), which has led me and my colleagues down so many different paths that would not have been open to us otherwise.
Other interests: I love the outdoors! We’ve an old campervan that takes us to some lovely places around the UK with our two Bordoodle dogs running amok around somewhere or another!

Working Day

Whether I’m working from home or commuting to the offices in West Yorkshire, I always begin my day by taking a moment to enjoy a coffee, while I plan what I need to do that day. Then I’d normally spend most of the day on the phone, liaising with my incredibly talented team. I’m always at the end of the phone for guidance and have regular update meetings with them, but I’ve built a team of people who excel in their specific field, so they’re better than me at what they do. My role is to empower them to do what they do best. Mine is the best job in the world because it doesn’t feel like work at all, more a case of surrounding myself with likeminded people, helping them to thrive and enjoying our shared success, which is an absolute joy to see.

Working Location

I don’t actually have an office as such at our West Yorkshire premises. We operate across 3 buildings so I tend to pop in and out of each and meet with colleagues in their workspace or a meeting room. If it’s a client, we usually meet in the showroom. At home on the other hand, I have a converted stable in the garden that I use as an office, mainly to escape the hustle and bustle that comes with living with 2 teenagers!


Looking back to March 2020, and I was ready to set off on my 2CV challenge, driving a vintage Citroen 2CV round France while completing a series of dares to raise money for Dementia UK. With £20k already raised and another £20k promised, we were hopeful to reach £50k by the end of the challenge. A mate of mine kept saying, ‘What about Covid? How will that affect your challenge?’ I kept saying, ‘Oh it’ll be ok, it’s only a bit of a cold, we’ll be fine’… How wrong I was?! We finally decided to postpone, just days before we went into first lockdown. It was a sad decision but with no other option. Then, like many other business owners, I spent days staring into the abyss during the initial lockdown, wondering and planning how long we could survive with the business shut down for an unspecified amount of time! Thankfully, only a few short weeks passed before we started slowly coming back to work, supporting those companies that were providing products to key workers.

During that we all had to be resourceful, which drove us to innovate and improve the way we did things, to the continued benefit of our customers. We thought it might be useful to create some virtual training that could be accessed remotely, to supplement the in-house training we’d usually offer, for those fabricators that were planned to come to us for training to get a head start and for those considering a new supplier of aluminium systems to truly appreciate the ease of fabrication. We had a great response to the series of 8 fabrication videos on our YouTube channel, which continues to gain new subscribers daily. The penultimate video in the series, and by far the most popular video on our channel, sees our Technical Manager complete the fabrication of a 3-pane aluminium bifold door sample by installing the sashes into the frame and has enjoyed over 4,000 views!

Fast forward on to the summer of that year and our volumes were up by 50% across all businesses. To accommodate this rapid growth, we implemented night shifts with staff in 7 days a week and hired extra vehicles, until we were able to recruit additional staff and buy more vehicles. In typical British fashion, and in line with our company values of always going the extra mile, everyone stepped up to the challenge and did a sterling job in supporting our clients’ needs during such an unprecedented time.

If only I’d had a crystal ball, I’d have acquired another warehouse back then, which we had since done, and filled it with enough product to fill several stadiums! Due to such unusually high demand, we suffered with stock outs and delays like many others. Fortunately though, we were unaffected by the untimely impact of Brexit during what was already a difficult period, due to the fact we import from outside the EU. And one of our biggest USPs, in addition to customer support, has always been our ability to hold huge amounts of stock in the UK. This, and our own fleet of delivery vehicles, is what allows us to offer industry-leading delivery on stocked product. So, we were able to pick up new clients who were struggling to get product and have since retained these on account of the customer support we offer.

As a result, in March this year, we were able to add an additional 17,000 ft2 of warehousing to our premises, taking our facilities to 62,000 ft2 for both aluminium systems and garage door supplies. The new 17,000 ft2 facility has aided all parts of the business to further our expansion, specifically housing sectional garage doors and garage door automation. Thus, allowing aluminium profile systems and roller garage door components to further grow into the existing space, particularly as new products are launched over the coming year, such as our new curved sash and the hotly anticipated new window system.

We launched our new rounded sash in July this year. The curved edge of the external facing sash gives the illusion of even slimmer sightlines, which are already slimmer than 68% of the market. It’s proving a big hit with trend-setting homeowners that want something different for their property to stand out from the rest of the street and it perfectly complements most existing windows, which tend to be curved too. We’re always looking for ways to help our customers stand out from their competition and make more money and the curved sash offers fabricators the chance of more margin per door leaf as a premium upgrade but at the same trade price as our ever-popular BF73 system. The beauty of this systems lies in its versatility. Whether the project is a single door, French door or bi-folding door, they can all be fabricated from the same BF73 system, taking away the headache of having to stock multiple systems by using one for all.

However, the thing our customers want most from us now is a residential aluminium system to complement our door range. We’ve listened to feedback and worked closely with Alutech in Belarus to develop a product that will be launched imminently. The launch had previously been planned for FIT Show 2021, but in light of it being post-postponed, we’ve decided to revamp our showroom instead. All being well, the grand re-opening will be the launch platform for the new window system and we’re looking forward to welcoming customers old and new to come and see what we can do.