Harrowden Turf’s Managing Director, Stuart Ridd-Jones recently said that “It takes a slick machine to deliver the right turf, to the right place, at the right time, every time and this is what we are trying to achieve.”
In practical terms, that calls for efficient operations in the production, harvest, haulage and customer services departments. More importantly than that, it requires clear communication between the teams and the right technology to support them.
That’s where Lee Andrew comes in. If each department of Harrowden Turf Ltd is a spoke in Harrowden’s wheel, Lee is the hub. As Group Operation’s Manager, Lee’s role is oversee the customer services department and to ensure the smooth and speedy exchange of information between departments.
Lee’s first ambition was to work with technology. He trained and qualified as an electronic engineer. Weekends and holidays were spent mowing and harvesting turf for the nearby Cannon’s Turf. It started off as a way to pay his way through college but ended up as a career. Lee loved his electronics but found that working outside and being involved with turf farming was an even more compelling career.
In 2006, Cannons Turf was sold and proprietor Tim Cannon moved south to work for Spearhead Turf. Lee was offered a position working alongside him. Within 2 years Lee became Operations Manager for Spearhead Turf. In 2016, shortly after Spearhead Turf merged with Harrowden Turf, Lee was promoted to Group Operations Manager and the rest, as they say is (recent) history.
I asked Lee which aspects of his job were his favourite – his answer is quite long – this guy really loves his work! This is what he told me….
“Every day brings a new challenge. I work with many different people in the business across several different sites and many different departments. No two days are the same and you never know quite what challenges you are going to face. Being part of the management team is exciting as I get to help grow and shape the business. I find seeing ideas come to fruition incredibly satisfying.”
“I love that I can bring my passion for technology to work with me and apply my knowledge to help everyone work smarter.”
“The very best part of my job though, is working with such an awesome team of people. “
“Letting a customer down. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it hurts. I think the important thing is that when something goes wrong we learn from this and improve.”
I suppose it’s only natural that someone who appreciates a direct approach, accuracy and a need to hit targets at work, should enjoy those same things outside of work. Lee shares a love of shooting with Harvest Field Manager Harry Seal. Unlike Harry, who competes in clay pigeon shooting tournaments, Lee has a talent for target shooting.
“I’m a member of a target shooting range in Northampton and try to go 2-3 times a month to improve my skills. This year I intend to take up FT (Field Target). Rather than paper targets on a fixed range, this is a more natural sport which takes place in woodland with knock down targets placed at varying distances. I do like to challenge myself.”