He talks about the appeal of working for the company and the team effort that makes a difference.
How long have you worked for VAS?
I joined in 2015 in the stores and goods in, before progressing to After Market Sales Manager. Since 2021, I have been Head of Atmosphere Products.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
I lead sales on the atmosphere side of the business, which includes air ovens and atmosphere furnaces plus the spare parts. The other areas I cover include burner systems and seal quench furnaces. Most of our work is in the UK and we are partner agents for Ipsen.
Who do you work with directly in the VAS team?
I work directly with Head of Vacuum Products Aaron Long, Head of New Business Mike Oldham and Adam Walker, my younger brother, who is responsible for after market spares.
What training do you draw upon in the role?
I have been on a management training course through Black Country Chamber of Commerce, in addition to full on the job training. I’ve also been to Ipsen in Germany three times to better understand their business. Dealing with the spare parts side of the business for six years has given me great insight for the business.
What jobs did you have before you joined VAS?
I worked for an electrical wholesaler in Birmingham, where I went on to become trade counter sales manager.
What do you enjoy about working for VAS?
The enjoyment comes from the ambition of the business to be better. We all know that if we do better for VAS and ourselves, putting in the effort, there are no limits to what we can do.
What is a typical day like in your role?
It is always hectic. If I’m in the office I collate the information from the sales visits and organise quotes for customers. If I am on the road, I will do three or four customer visits depending on where I am in the country.
What is the work-related accomplishment in your career to date that you are most proud of?
I helped grow the stores side of VAS from a small unit upwards. My job was to organise the stores and progress that side of the business, which we had some success in doing. Our spare parts side has progressed and become one of the busiest sides of the business. We have built a reputation for sending out parts to customer as early as possible, normally within 24 hours.
What is the best bit of advice you would give somebody starting at VAS?
In heat treatment you will learn something new every day. You will see a different furnace, modification or part every day. You can never know it all. If you work for our company for five years you will keep learning something new.
What would you say to a young person considering a career in your industry?
When you look at our industry, whether it is our customers or competitors, many have staff of a certain age. We seem to be the only company that has invested in youth. When people come in and see the younger faces of people in their 20s and 30s, they realise that these are people who have been given opportunities to learn. People can see there is progression for bigger and better roles here. We put a lot of time into supporting our apprentices as we recognise their importance to our future.
What are your interests outside of work?
When I am not with my family, I help run a football team in Sutton Coldfield called Sutton United. I am assistant manager and we achieved promotion in our first season under this management team. I like going to the gym regularly.