Friday, July 19, 2019
Picture of Andrew Boakes

Andrew Boakes

It’s said that it takes 10,000 hours of study or practice to become an expert in a field. That’s around five years of forty-hours of work a week.

Which means our Andrew Boake’s 25+ years of working with Westlock products must make his knowledge truly world-class.

Andrew joined VPS in October 2017 after a 24-year career with Westlock where he rose to Sales and Operations Manager.

“It’s a big step for anyone to change jobs,” he says “but because I am still involved with Westlock products it didn’t actually feel like that much of a change – I’m still working with these amazing and business-critical components.”

Business critical indeed. “The impact of a small box on a multi-million pound process can’t be underestimated”, he says.

Obviously Andrew hit the ground running and he has helped VPS to grow our order book considerably.

“For our customers, rapid lead times are really important, and I’ve been able to make them aware of the breadth of stock we hold in our warehouse and how VPS can step in to supply off-the-shelf or bespoke orders of valves, actuators and switch boxes quickly and reliably,” he says.

And Andrew’s looking forward to the future: “2018 was a great year, hitting and exceeding all our metrics and we have a healthy order book going forward.”

It’s also a big year for Andrew, with a certain half-century milestone birthday approaching in May. Plans are afoot for a Scottish canoeing trip to celebrate.

Surrey-based Andrew is husband to Tanya and a father of two children, Oliver and Madeleine. Andrew and family can be in London in 50 minutes – if the trains are running on time, Brighton in half an hour and, thanks to the Channel Tunnel, be in France in 90 minutes to stock up on wine. Bring us back a bottle or two next time, Andrew.

He’s also a Crystal Palace season ticket holder, plays golf “very badly but I enjoy it” and tries to get to the gym two or three times a week.

It all began with a Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship. Then “I realised that working on a lathe or mill wasn’t for me and switched to the CAD and design side,” he says. “There’s a great career to be made in the engineering industry, the opportunities are there.” Andrew’s certainly made the most of them.

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