When Alistair Forsyth left the military in 2003, he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to do with himself. Then, by chance, he was offered a job with the Terex-branded company Powerscreen. Forsyth took the job – if only to give himself some time to consider his options. He had no idea he was taking the first step on a career path that would change his life.
“Honestly, I initially took the job as a stopgap whilst I considered what I wanted to do with myself and quickly fell in love with the industry and people within it,” he said.
During his two years with Powerscreen, Forsyth had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions, gaining knowledge, experience and connections that would become extremely valuable in his life’s next chapter.
“I was fortunate that during my time in Powerscreen I was able to work in a number of different departments that offered me the opportunity to get firsthand knowledge and experience managing the processes within a multi-million-dollar international equipment company,” he said. “I already had extensive experience in managing men in challenging and international environments from the military, but Powerscreen allowed me to develop my knowledge, experience and connections both domestically and internationally within the heavy equipment manufacturing environment.”
Powerscreen is also where Forsyth met his longtime business partner Martin Quinn. In 2005, the two founded the subcontract manufacturing company Quality Fabrications Ltd. in a small rural village in Northern Ireland.
Four years later, the company rebranded as Anaconda Equipment International Ltd. and launched its signature Anaconda line of compact contractor-focused scalping, screening, recycling and conveying equipment designed to hydraulically fold down for easier distribution. Then, in 2011, Forsyth and Quinn launched Anaconda Equipment’s sister company, Anaconda USA, in Bellingham, Massachusetts, to meet the needs of customers in the American and Canadian markets.
“I have worked for government and huge corporate entities, and what I love most about a small independent company is that we get to put a face and a name at the front for all of our customers,” Forsyth said. “Anaconda wants to transform the stereotypes around heavy machinery companies and create something different. For us, it’s not simply about supplying a product, it’s about creating long-standing partnerships with distributors and customers. It’s about us being a center of excellence for product information, sales support, technical support and after-sales service.”
In his roles as CEO and group managing director for Anaconda Equipment International Ltd. and Anaconda USA Inc., Forsyth directly manages sales and marketing personnel and functions across both companies, as well as the accounts, service and after-sales functions and personnel, and a large portion of the dealer network covering the Americas, Canada and Asia Pacific. He splits his time between Ireland and the United States – spending most of it at his home in Boston – while Quinn looks after the manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland.
“The people, the customers, the distributors and the operators within the heavy equipment industry are the backbone of the American economy,” Forsyth said. “They are some of the most hardworking, honest people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet in my life, traveling all over this world, and, whilst this is an ever-challenging and hard industry to be in at times, it is the interaction with people like that and the opportunity to help develop solutions for the ‘men on the ground’ that will forever be my favorite thing about this industry.”
Forsyth – and Anaconda – have come a long way in the heavy equipment industry. Today the Anaconda brand boasts more than 1,000 machines, which are shipped to more than 50 countries spread across six continents, via a growing network of more than 40 dealers worldwide. And next year Anaconda Equipment International Ltd. will break ground on a new manufacturing facility in Northern Ireland that, once completed, will allow the company to triple its manufacturing capacity.
“We have matured so much as an organization over the last few years and we continue to improve our support, products and processes,” said Forsyth. “We are commissioning a new facility over in Ireland in the coming year and are expanding into new markets – the company has a buzz surrounding it.”
To those considering a career in the heavy equipment industry, Forsyth has this advice: “Stay focused on what matters: the people, the products and the passion. The minute you lose focus on what actually matters, you lose traction.”
To learn more about Anaconda Equipment International, call the company’s USA and Canada division at 800-285-5721, email email@example.com or visit www.anacondaequipment.com. Anaconda Equipment International is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.