Great friends and great adventures
With circumstances forcing him into premature retirement, Chris Bailey of Business Micros has been looking back at the opportunities the industry has given him over the past 23 years which have shaped his career, the colleagues and customers who have become treasured friends, and the unforgettable experiences that have come his way.
Chris joined software specialist Business Micros in 2002 as a machine technician, progressing by 2012 to sales and installation manager and then broadening his industry experience – first in fabrication and later in machinery sales.
As a technician, he was said to be at the forefront of the industry’s ‘machinery revolution’ and even in his early 20s became something of an expert in the machines and the associated software machine links. He spent much of his time travelling the UK commissioning the machines, with regular trips to Europe, the US and Turkey to meet suppliers and get the inside track on how to help fabricators get the most from their installs.
He said: “It was hard work, especially being away so much, but at many of my customers it was a home from home experience which I loved, and we had some great adventures overseas obviously.”
For a long time, Chris was also one of the driving forces behind the implementation of Business Micros’ EvoNET ERP system, which enabled fabricators to join up processing, planning and production for the very first time.
He explained: “There was always a real willingness in the PVC-U market to embrace factory automation and make the most of the efficiencies we knew EvoNET could deliver. In fact, customer after customer placed such faith in me and the rest of the BM team that they gave us almost free rein to help transform their factories into paperless environments using bar code scanning stations and I’m really proud of what we achieved.
“What has stayed with me ever since is the fact that I could walk into the likes of Lancashire Trade Frames, Keyframe or Fineline any time and be treated as one of their own – and, even after all these years, I know that I still could. Being so young and having that amount of faith put in me by Business Micros and our customers massively boosted my confidence.
“Inevitably, it wasn’t long before I was joining in with the corporate golf days, signing up for the charity bike rides and eventually even driving a classic Ford Capri all the way to Monto Carlo for the 2016 Madi Fundraiser. Over the years, so many of my customers have become my friends, along with plenty of colleagues and competitors. That’s just how this industry works, and I think it’s why so few of us ever want to leave.
“Looking back on my career, there have been so many highlights, but it’s those friendships and the kindness and support that people have shown me – and continue to show me – that stays with me and that’s what I treasure.”