Person Behind the Face – Andy Sims – AJS Technical Services
How I got into this industry…I started working life as an engineering apprentice in the Midlands, geographically as far from the sea as is possible in the UK, with little knowledge of ‘marine’ apart from a ferry trip when I was ten. I ended up at Cooney Marine which became the premier marine fabrication supplier, subsequently leaving after many years to set up my own business, AJS.
Best advice I ever received…More a quote than advice, but I live by the saying ‘Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out and meet the bl**** thing’.
You should really read…South by Ernest Shackleton or any issue of the Beano...
One thing the industry needs less of is…Layers of delay. We have a great industry, it’s small in employee numbers comparatively but highly visible and productive. I say it’s as if we work in the toy industry, in reality no one actually needs what we do, they WANT what we do. So cut the layers, cut the time it takes to create action and get on enjoying what we are part of. Build inclusive networks and stop doing the ‘same old, same old’.
Most hated buzzword or workplace expression…The comment ‘let’s look into that’. It kills action; do it, try it, learn from it. Now more than ever, we need to be proactive not reactive.
Best place I have been…I would say Italy generally and Tuscany in particular.
Don’t worry about…Anything. It’s going to happen and nothing you do will alter that. It’s how you react and deal with worries that matters. Remember that stress is a hidden killer. Worrying stokes stress, so reduce your worries and your path becomes clear.
Favourite meal…Sausage meat plait with chips and beans. As a kid from the back streets of the Midlands that was (and still is) a delicacy to behold.
How I cope with stress…A wise person once told me action relieves angst, so I tinker on and curse my boat (while secretly loving that a kid from the back streets has one) and play on my motorbikes. If things get really bad then it’s out with the dark chocolate and pint of bitter, which probably explains my physique...
Something about you that people might be surprised by…I am an open and direct person so I’m sorry, but there are no surprises.
Andy Sims is MD of AJS Technical Services (UK)
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