Graeme Thomas, key account director at Engineering Technology Group (ETG), has been named as The Manufacturer’s Employee of the Month February 2017.
What is your role and what are your main responsibilities?
Everything I do involves looking after our key customers – from hosting project briefings and securing new sales, to advising our technical teams and arranging service requirements. We have 30 key accounts, spanning automotive, aerospace and precision engineering, predominantly at first tier or OEM level.
It’s my responsibility to maintain these crucial business partnerships – the days of just selling your products, or in our case engineering solutions have long gone.
My role is extremely fluid and starts with gaining an understanding of the client, what they want and how we can support them. Then I bring in our experts and monitor the project to ensure everything is going to plan.
What are the key technical skills you use?
I’m a time-served mechanical engineer; I did my apprenticeship with SIP. They taught me to ‘find a micron’ and it is this attention to detail that I still use every day when working with our key accounts. It really helps getting new clients onside because they can see that I understand the technical details.
What personal characteristics help you in your role?
Good communication is vital, both when dealing with the customer and managing the internal teams at ETG. I also have an eye for detail and can spot the additional piece of ancillary equipment that may need adding to a machine, or a slight enhancement to the service plan.
What’s your biggest personal success at the company so far?
I’ve had two spells at ETG, and during the first one I managed to secure the ‘Sales Person of the Year’ title. Since returning in 2010, I’ve worked as part of the senior management team to rebuild the company following the recession.
We’ve successfully grown sales from £7m to nearly £35m at the close of 2016. We are now seen as the UK’s leading independent supplier of high technology machine tools, and this is something we are keen to build on.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
For a company that specialises in supplying machine tool technology, you’ll probably be surprised when I say that our greatest strength is our people and our team ethos. This, for me, is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.
I get to coordinate our approach to customer requirements and this means identifying the right people to carry out the right tasks at the right time. It’s a fantastic feeling when it all comes together to deliver a project on time and to budget.
Do you have a career ambition?
2017 will see me turn 50, so a big year personally. I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer the business and want to continue to play a role in the growth of ETG.