111022 - Steve Richardson

Steve Richardson, founder of Direct Tyre Management (DTM) has announced his retirement, following a career spanning 45 years.

Richardson started out as a tyre fitter for Central Tyres in 1977 and earned rapid promotion to become the youngest centre manager in Central Tyres’ history at 22 years old.

In 1992, having progressed through the ranks to operations director for the North and Midlands region, Richardson joined Motorway Tyres as the regional director responsible for 35 operating centres and was later promoted to national sales director, with a move to Reading in Berkshire.

By 1996, Richardson joined ATS Euromaster as regional sales manager, and then group sales and customer service director.

Whilst at ATS Euromaster, Richardson decided to set up his own tyre management business with the aim of providing customers with greater insight into how to use of fleet tyres more efficiently, reduce costs year on year and cut environmental impact. This resulted in the launch of Direct Tyre Management (DTM) in 2004.

Richardson said: “When I first set up the business, the 24/7/365 telephone line was answered by me, and the phone was literally by the side of the bed at night ensuring that we were always there for our customers.

“The first Christmas, I didn’t go home from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. I cannot thank my wife Karen enough for the part that she has played in the success of the business and her support and understanding since the beginning.”

Amalgamated with the NRG Group in 2013, DTM has a £50m turnover, and employs 80 people across the UK, including a customer services team of 47, based at its HQ in Blackpool.

Martyn Wolfe, former group fleet engineer at Biffa, a DTM client, said: “The foundations of DTM are built on good people. Steve is very good with his employees, encouraging and motivating them and as a result, they do a great job for him.

“Steve and the team know what products and prices customers need and they deliver them with the added benefit of excellent customer service – it’s a great company."

Richardson added: “It’s been really terrific, I’ve worked with the most fantastic people, suppliers, customers and colleagues and many of them have become close personal friends."

He added that he will continue in a consultative capacity, for some months, post-retirement.

Leigh Goodland, chief executive of DTM, said: “Steve has been an exceptional leader to work with. His dedication to people and to the industry has made DTM a huge success and we will continue with these high standards in the next chapter of DTM’s growth.”