Stephen has been with Rapidrop Global Ltd almost as along as Rapidrop has and he's been instrumental in our product development over the years.
In 19 years, Stephen has tried his hand at various roles throughout the business and has been involved in both IFI and Rapidrop products.
See what Stephen has to say about his experience with the company below...
Can you tell us a little about your role/history with the company?
I started in 2004, initially as product technical supporting the engineering team to develop product & supplier relationships & internal satisfaction reporting. Focusing largely on, but not restricted to, the Yale multipoint lock & keep configurations. This role developed itself to include internal training and warehouse operators, which in turn led to a more focused warehousing and site role, establishing distribution and warehousing.
It ought to be remembered that way back in ‘circa 2004’, our location consisted of 1 and a half warehouse units, both of which carried the remanence of telecommunications and were empty shelves aside for some racking. The big drive then was getting the infrastructure in place so our head office became what you see today.
Fast forward to 2012, during which time I had spent a couple of years on the internal sales desk, the head office was established with all other UK locations merged. It was roughly around this time that America house acquired, at which point I went over to Sprinkler Production to help develop the infrastructure and support development of the production process and approval requirements, and in turn begin the process of relocation and development of the valve production units.
Around 2018 I applied for a role in the Engineering department and started working on sprinkler production automation/maintenance, the development of new sprinklers and the general Engineering daily support functions that go into maintaining/gaining approval status.
What’s one of your favorite memories while working here?
There are lots, off the cuff I would say; sheer volume of work load in the early days, closing one distribution hub and still operating a normal day through the new one teaches you a few things. Working on Sprinkler Production development and seeing things develop from a few hundred units a day to a semi-automated 25k plus day, also teaches you a few things. Moving into Engineering and learning the CAD software platforms, designing equipment /product, was also a learning experience.
When have you felt the proudest at work and why?
Installing sprinkler production integrated pressure testers and flex link conveyor belts 2021 & 2023, because it was a giant leap from single piece production workflow that I started with and I enjoyed the process of all the build programs, project folders and procedure changes preceding the installation.
K115 CUP, because it’s an addition to the range and I was able to go from start to finish on the design, testing and approval processes, culminating external testing being passed and the eventual product release.
What do you enjoy most about working at Rapidrop Global?
The people around me, you have to have lots of bad days in order to benefit and grow from the good days and if it was not for the people around us, we would all move onto to something easier.
With IFI reaching 40 years of trading and Rapidrop reaching 20 years, do you have any words of wisdom or special memories you would like to share?
Watching the growth and change of our head office, having known the buildings from the ground floor and empty shells, having the opportunity to be hands on in helping evolve them as the business grows and the space, we occupy adapts to meet its needs.
It has also been great to see colleagues excel and moving up through the business too.
Words of wisdom:
- Only look down on someone if you are going to help them up.
- Be yourself & have fun in what you do.
- Accept that you learn more from things going wrong.
- Question everything that goes right first time or without a hitch.
- Ask for help when you need it.