A DIGITAL technology specialist with a gaming industry background in London has joined Oldham furniture industry doors, boards and fittings supplier Hill’s Panel Products (HPP), which is expanding its website, video and creative team.
Henley Bailey, aged 38, has previously worked for Sci Games, Eidos Interactive and Electronic Arts (EA), which publishes well-known action games such as Battlefield and sports games including FIFA, PGA and UFC.
Henley studied computer design and engineering in Surrey, where he grew up. His first job was designing touchscreens and programming computers and software for a building company. He then went into the games industry in London. Later with a digital industry friend, he developed a game called Rock 24, which was featured in games magazines. He also designed an app for making the best coffee.
He and his wife later moved to Devon where they ran a web design agency and commercial photography business for 10 years. His photography work included covering River Cottage TV celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Prince Charles visiting the West Country.
Speaking about his new role in Greater Manchester, Henley said: “With HPP I’m helping to develop the website, so customers will have a more streamlined experience. My work includes using the C-Sharp (C#) and .NET programming languages. I will also produce more video and photography content. Video is increasingly important to explain and highlight the latest products, technical details and installation techniques to trade customers and installers in the furniture industry.”
He added: “It’s an exciting time to be joining HPP. I’ve always kept an open mind about the sectors I’d work in and it’s fascinating to be working in IT for the furniture industry. Working for a manufacturer which is growing rapidly and really on-the-ball is great. HPP is investing across the business, from extra manufacturing capacity and warehousing to digital, marketing and customer services. So, it’s great to be part of this growth.”
Away from work, Henley enjoys climbing and mountain biking, and is enjoying discovering the Pennine countryside around Oldham and Greater Manchester. He lives near Rochdale.
HPP marketing manager Dan Mounsey said: “In addition to HPP’s manufacturing expansion, we have increased our range of marketing materials for trade installers, showrooms and home consumers, and our online ordering and support services.
“Our marketing department now includes three website developers and a new photography and video studio. This range of marketing support for our trade customers makes us quite unique for a manufacturer of our size in this sector – as is our one-stop-shop service.”
HPP, based in Oldham and Sheffield, has over 2,000 UK trade customers and 200 staff across its sites. The company serves the national KBB (kitchen and bedroom) fitting industry. It is headed by brothers Martin and Stephen Hill and managing director Keith Wardrope.
Earlier this year, HPP was a finalist in the Made In The North West Awards for the Manufacturer of the Year, organised by Insider business magazine. More recently, it was a finalist in the 2018 Manchester Evening News (MEN) Business Awards in the category of Business of the Year (turnover £25m to £50m).
PICTURE: Digital developer Henley Bailey, left, and Dan Mounsey, marketing manager of Hills Panel Products (HPP)