As we celebrate Laser Lines’ 40th Birthday this month, our Marketing and Administration Manager Jeryl Adcock shares some of the best bits from her 38 years here. As the longest serving member of Laser Lines staff, Jeryl has quite a few stories to tell.
Initially employed as a secretary, responsible for broad administrative duties, Jeryl joined Laser Lines on 4th April 1977 and quickly found her feet as just one of five employees the organisation had at the time. She tells us here of some of the highlights:
– Tell us about when you first started at Laser Lines.
“I was sure I wouldn’t get the job when I applied for it; I was convinced they wanted somebody older than me. I was just 19 and although I had all the qualifications the role required, as a small organisation, I thought they’d want somebody who had more age behind them.”
“At the time, the only employees were the founders, Ted & Marie, a technical sales manager and a part time secretary, so it was a really exciting time to be joining the ranks. The first three months were terrifying. Everything was so scientific and getting my head around the technical jargon was a job in itself. To that point, the only laser I’d ever heard of was in James Bond!”
“From the start, even though understanding everything was a bit of a minefield for me, it was clear that everybody at Laser Lines had this huge determination to succeed; there was no such thing as ‘can’t be done’ and everybody went above and beyond to break sales and order records. No easy feat for such a small team.”
– How has that changed over the 38 years?
“That same determination still stands today. As the organisation has grown, the Laser Lines family has grown too and at the heart of it all, there’s the energy, enthusiasm and great sense of humour that have been fundamental to the culture here at Laser Lines since the start.”
“I used to be responsible for typing everything from letters to quotations, orders to acknowledgements and invoices but as the employee base has grown, my role has changed and gradually become more focused on the creative functions of the organisation; I look after marketing and PR – including responsibility for the websites and exhibitions – and have had more corporate administrative responsibilities since Marie retired in 2004 too.”
“From an organisational standpoint, the biggest change in that time has been that for the first 20 years of Laser Lines’ existence, the core business had always been lasers. As technologies and applications for lasers started to grow, more and more organisations created complimentary products for laser solutions. One such product around 20 years ago was a 3D printing solution that utilised lasers as part of its production mechanism. It’s really how Laser Lines got involved in the 3D printing world.”
“It’s taken 20 years for the level of awareness around 3D printing to establish itself in its current form but back then, it was really revolutionary and few people had ever heard of such technology. Over those 20 years it’s become the bigger side of our organisation in terms of commercial output. A testament to Ted’s vision really.”
“Our founders Marie and Ted retired in 2004 and 2005 respectively as part of a management buy-out and although a shift in the operational side of the organisation, the culture they developed, and the ethos that has been integral to Laser Lines’ success to date, remains. Ted’s still our landlord so we all still see them both frequently!”
– What period of time has been your favourite over the last 38 years?
“It’s a difficult one to call; I actually met my husband at Laser Lines so I should probably say that but from a work perspective, there are two key points in time that I hold in the highest regard – and they just happen to be 20 years apart!”
“In the early days when the UK’s requirement for lasers was emerging, it was a really exciting to be a part of a cutting edge organisation like Laser Lines; growth always produces that thrill and that was replicated 20 years later with the new focus in the 3D printing industry.”
“With continual advancements in technology and new products coming down the line, we have to be able to respond to that; be that new customers, a new marketing approach or sales strategy; it keeps things fresh and the challenge keeps everybody on their toes.”
“I do have so many fond memories of the last 38 years though, mainly focused around the people here. It really is like an extended family, everybody pulls together, looks out for each other and gets along.”
– If you could do the last 38 years all over again, what would you do differently?
“I wouldn’t – for the simple reason I really love what I do and love what the company does; and to change something that would change that. When you are happy where you are, you don’t need to change anything!”
– What do you tell other people about what’s kept you at Laser Lines for so long?
“It is like Marmite! For those who love it, be prepared to stay around for the long haul. I love it – and still feel the same enthusiasm for Laser Lines that I did all those years ago when I first started.”
To find out more about Laser Lines, contact Jeryl and the team on 01295 672 588 or firstname.lastname@example.org