Could you tell us a little about your maritime background and experience in the industry?
My maritime experience goes back to when I first left university. I joined Kelvin Hughes, a maritime engineering company that manufactured radar equipment for private, commercial, and military vessels.
After a couple of years there I decided to go back to university and study for an MSc in Marketing.
Fast forward several years, and a few marketing and sales jobs in places like AXA PPP Healthcare, and I joined the Hyster Yale Group. At Hyster, I’ve spent the last five years working on reach stackers, empty container handlers, and forklift trucks used in port and terminals. During this time I became the Industry Manager for Ports and Terminals.
What made you want to join us?
Midstream is a company that’s already achieved so much, in just ten years. It’s a dynamic and innovative team that’s totally focused on customers and solving their needs. I want to be part of the next chapter in the Midstream story and help shape the future of the business. The energy in the office is amazing too. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?
What will your new role at Midstream be? And what regions will you be looking after?
I’m going to be responsible for growing the business within ports and terminals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is a large area, but thanks to the partner network we’re developing, I’m confident we’ll be able to win and service customers from all parts of the region.
You’re used to working closely with partners, dealers, distributors. How do you plan to use this experience to help Midstream grow?
I’ve been working with dealers for over seven years now and I’ve picked up many tips along the way! One of the most important being that you need to build relationships through respect, honesty, trust, and shared success.
Partners need to be treated as true partners and not merchants. That’s key to creating teams who can work together and put the needs of customers first above anything else.
And you need to treat customers the way you’d like to be treated if you were them.
You’ve always been focused on driving operational efficiencies to the ports and terminals you worked with. Now with a focus on LED lighting how will this help efficiencies?
Reliability is everything for ports and terminals. Our customers need to have solutions they can trust. Having an operation that’s capable of working 24/7 is critical to their success.
Efficiency isn’t just measured by the boxes moved though. It’s also about the number of lights used to achieve the required levels and the amount of energy spent to do it. In both cases LED lighting is light years ahead of metal halide and high-pressure sodium systems. LED lighting requires much less maintenance too – another big plus point in its favour.
You’ve worked all over the world. What’s been the most memorable project you have worked on?
That’s a great question and for me it’s an easy one to answer, because I came up with it and championed it from the beginning to end.
In 2018 Hyster made history by being the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to sail up and down the Rhine on a barge laden with over £1m of materials handling equipment to showcase to ports along the river.
Over four weeks we sailed the barge from the Netherlands, through Germany, France, and down to Switzerland. And we stopped off in each country to do four massive live events, as well as a number of smaller, more personalised, stops along the way. If you can imagine the complexity of such a project and then double it, still you wouldn’t be there.
The whole event was a massive success. We smashed our return on investment targets. We won a number of very high-value new customers. We all came away with some wonderful memories. And I got to experience living on a barge for weeks. All in all – amazing.
How does Midstream differentiate itself from the competition?
Midstream is unique in the market. From design to delivery and installation, the whole process is handled in-house. This means our customers get the benefit of the team’s experience, innovation, and focus from start to finish. We’re not a ‘generalist’ company either. We work in our four sectors only – Maritime, Aviation, Sports, and Horticulture – so our research and development is centred on just these customers. And our solutions stand out head and shoulders above the competition because of that.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love the idea of having spare time! My wife and I are very lucky to have two boys, aged seven and four. So, any time not working is spent with the boys bike riding, playing rugby, and football. I do love to read though, and my guilty pleasure is 20-30 minutes with a good book before bed.
And finally, for a little fun, tell us something about yourself we don’t already know?
I’ll tell you a couple.
Firstly, I’ve got a greenhouse where I grow all sorts of weird and wonderful chillies, ranging from the exotic to the just downright dangerous.
Secondly, when the stars align and I do get a few hours for myself, I love to go out to my local lake and do a little fly fishing. I’m still only learning, so whether I bring home that evening’s supper is still a bit hit and miss. But I love the peace and quiet that being on the water’s edge gives. I’d recommend it to anyone.