30 Nov Staff spotlight: Robert Ritchie
How long have you been working with Gray & Adams?
I’ve been with Gray & Adams for 35 years – it was my first job straight from school. What attracted you to the company initially? It was a big company, even back then, and I had family working here. My dad worked for Gray & Adams as a welder, and I was initially taken on as an apprentice welder, which I loved.
Tell us about your current role and what do you do day-to-day.
I’m Group IT Manager now and I oversee all the systems and equipment for the whole Gray & Adams business across the UK. That includes things like the computers, servers, printers, the management of the network for over 200 users, and checking and upgrading security systems and protection. The latest projects have seen network switches, all wi-fi access points and all time and attendance terminals replaced across the group.
Tell us about the roles you’ve held and how your career has progressed in the business from when you started till now.
I was an apprentice welder initially and did that for a couple of years – I loved it. Then an office-based job came up in the costing department. At the time, we only had one computer to do everything, so I was often handwriting everything. During this time, I began to show an interest in IT and when a couple of people left the business in that department, I did some training and worked hard on my own skills development to learn our systems, eventually becoming the IT Manager.
Tell us about your greatest achievement whilst working for Gray & Adams.
In terms of achievements, I think there have been lots of things I’m proud of. Perhaps starting the first email system – originally just one for the whole business and then implementing this throughout the business for everyone to access. It was an exciting time for technology, and I was proud to have rolled it out for the good of the business.
What current innovation by Gray & Adams impresses you the most and why?
I think the scale and quality of the double deck trailers is amazing – it’s been on the market for many years, but still impresses me now.
If you could do someone else’s job (at Gray & Adams) for the day, whose would it be and why?
I’d be a welder again. I’d love to see if my old skills are still there!
What is the best thing about working for Gray & Adams?
For me, the best thing is that I’m never sure what’s coming next – every day is different. Sometimes, the nature of my role means that I have a plan, but a new or unexpected challenge has presented itself that day, which means we must be agile and go with what is needed in the moment. That keeps things fresh for me. I’d also say we’re well looked after at Gray & Adams. It’s a strong team with good people and it’s a very safe environment too – everything is controlled, and expertise applied to ensure we manage and mitigate risk, safely. It’s a fantastic place to work.