In July 2023, Adam Masters, our Managing Director, celebrates ten years with the business. Here he looks back at his time with the company, how the sector has changed over the past decade, and what’s next for Tributes.
My career before Tributes was in a totally different sector – I worked as an Operations Manager overseeing consultants who performed environmental audits on large buildings. These audits supported and guided facility managers to run their buildings in a safe and compliant manner. Having worked in this area for 17 years I hadn’t considered another role. That is until I met my neighbour Richard Bush, founder of Tributes. Through our friendship I learnt a great deal about his interesting business, and in 2012 I floated the idea past him that I should join the team to help grow the company. On 29 July 2013 I joined as Field Sales Manager. My role was to oversee the Customer Care team and visit customers and prospective customers across the UK. I loved it – spending time with customers and growing our base, supported by an amazing team who were committed to looking after each business we worked with. In April 2016 I was promoted to Sales Director, and as the company continued to expand, I developed the Sales department to help deliver growth without sacrificing service.
My proudest achievement is becoming Managing Director in 2020. It’s been incredible to be able to help steer the direction of the company and use my skills to help influence positive change. Other milestones have been seeing our customer base develop – we now work with small, independent Funeral Directors right up to large international corporate groups. And of course, it was a very special moment to serve as President of the FFMA (now the FSA). Ultimately, it’s very rewarding to work with such passionate and caring people across the funeral and pet cremation sectors, and to feel we are helping to make a difference to those who are in grief.
When I became Managing Director, I immediately faced navigating the business through the Covid pandemic, Brexit and then the worldwide shipping crises. Not an easy beginning for any MD! Thankfully the collective experience and commitment of the whole team meant we were able to steer successfully through these events, and I felt enormous support from across the company. Looking back, I feel that it offered us an opportunity to work closely together, communicate well with our customers and come through the past few years with a real sense of what makes a successful team.
A changing sector
The focus in both the pet and human funeral sector has always been to provide a compassionate and caring service and quality products to help families say goodbye to their loved ones – and this hasn’t changed over the years. What has shifted is the variety of choice for funeral products including coffins, caskets, urns and memorials, and the way in which we say goodbye. So individual cremations for pets are now much more mainstream, and there’s more choice of funeral options when celebrating the life of a family member or friend. This of course gives us scope to ensure that families have the opportunity to choose products and memorial items which help them during the funeral, grieving process and beyond – allowing them to look back at their loved one’s life with love and thankfulness.
Tributes would not be Tributes if it weren’t for our people. Our team – many of whom have been with us for many years – have helped shape the excellent customer service philosophy that we’ve so proud of and continue to maintain. We also have a very clear identity of who we are and what we do – echoed in our creative and innovative product range which is made from natural resources. We’re constantly thinking of how we can support positive change within the sectors we serve – there are always new product ideas being worked on and I’m excited by some of the new projects we have in the pipeline.
The next chapter
Over the coming years we have a real focus to improve our environmental and sustainability credentials. As part of this we have some exciting plans to move into a new purpose-built office, factory and warehouse facility. We’ll also remain committed to releasing new industry changing concepts and products into the sectors we serve. And as a successful business we’ll continue to grow our team with like-minded, talented employees – and invest in their careers and future progression.
Suggested readingAdam Masters
Championing the funeral sector through the FSA
Bereavement Training Programme Introduced