Made with pride and sold with passion. In the latest “Meet the Team” blog, we caught up with Graham Munro, Technical Support Team Leader for Starrett UK, to learn more about himself, his experience at Starrett and why he believes our products are the best on the market.
Graham, tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised on a farm near the village of Ancrum, in the Scottish Borders and the youngest of four sons. I attended Ancrum Primary School, before moving to Jedburgh Primary and then onto the town’s grammar school. I enjoyed school but was not the brightest, however I ended up coming away with a mixture of O Levels.
I’ve been married to my wife Audrey for 30 years and we have two sons, Euan, who is a Service Manager with the local Thomas Sherriff John Deere dealer and Cameron, who over the years has travelled extensively adventuring and now, whilst at home, works for Edinburgh Leisure.
Outside of work, I like to go walking with our dog and do a little bit of leisure cycling - that means slowly, with coffee and refreshment stops regularly - and spending time with our granddaughter Ella, which is an exciting and fun time for us all.
Can you tell us about your job and what your role involves?
My job in the Technical Support department is varied and unpredictable, each day brings new challenges and a variety of tasks. As part of a small team we give technical support on the bandsaw and power tool accessory product lines to our very busy team in customer services, and support to the Area Sales Managers team in the field on technical enquiries. We also field direct calls from end users, which has with it challenges to solve so our end users can gain optimum benefit from our product range.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
The best part of my job is contact in the field with the people who sell and use our product range. Not only do we learn from them as to what is required, but we build relationships that are good for the company.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Problem solving, when something goes wrong, we must find a way to solve the issue, but this can also be very rewarding when we can turn a situation around.
Have you always worked in Tech Support - can you tell us about your career path in Starrett?
When I started in the company I was a general labourer in the bandsaw department, before moving into the Hole Saw production line, hacksaw production line, painting production line and a few other bits in between. I finally came to rest in the Technical Support department working for Bob Hewie and with Iain Livingstone. As Iain was a first class engineer and I had the production knowledge, we bounced well of each other and both learned a huge amount en route. When I was given the team leader position, I found the transition tough but enjoyable at the same time.
What changes have you seen in the company since joining?
Many changes over the years, such as new technology which enabled slicker production; new products being launched online in response to customer demand; and re-structuring between the factories in USA/Brazil and Scotland, making the product flow much sleeker and more economic.
As part of your role, you travel a fair bit – can you tell us about the most exciting trip you’ve been on over the years?
Sounds a bit twee, but all the trips were exciting. Each brought a different challenge and interaction and I’ve learned a lot about different cultures. In meeting so many customers and partners, I can honestly say they have become good long-term friends.
However, if I had to choose somewhere that sticks out, it would be India and Asia, as it is so diverse and different on all levels. It’s difficult to describe but you get hooked on the countries, the food is totally amazing, and the opportunities are endless.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
It’s difficult to answer this one as there has been so many highlights, but one that sticks in my mind was being asked to go to Chicago with an amazing guy called Charlie Day, from Starrett USA. We were pitching to the Grainger Group and I found myself having to step it up a few levels and pushing out of my comfort zone to get the job done. I learned so much from Charlie on that visit.
Typically, what are your most frequently asked questions?
How long does it last?
What do you have that is better than?
Are they really made in the UK?
How do we do this and what do you have to do it?
Plus many questions along the route that just make you smile!
What’s your favourite Starrett product and why?
Versatix bandsaw blades as they are not indestructible but when used correctly, they’re not far from it! Plus, our Fast Cut holes saws are a quality product that never lets you down when used properly.
What do you love about the Starrett brand and why do you think our products are the best on the market?
For me the Starrett brand is a big mixture of many things, but they are made with pride and sold with passion, from everyone on the production floor to sales team and everyone en route. Combine that with having the best products on the market (which in the field we are constantly told by many, many users), when we get it right no one can touch us.