Category Archives: People

Derek’s Logistex Adventure

In the last of our special edition anniversary blog posts from our longest serving employees, Derek Kay, Business Development Director, tells us why he has stuck around for so long!

“It was 1991 when I joined Io Systems (Io as in Jupiter’s moon), at that time Io and Cleco were separate private companies prior to the merge and later sale to FKI and the formation of Logistex. I started out as a Software Engineer, brought in at the time to begin the transition from Fortran and VMS to C and Unix. After about 3 more years of working on Fortran and VMS, we started our first projects in C!

Some of the sites I wrote software for are still out there, DHL – Mataro and WH Smith for example, and occasionally I still get an email from the hotline asking if I remember why something was written in the way it was. (I never can).

I’ve been a Software Engineer, Software Team Leader, Project Manager, Resource Manager, Head of Systems and now Business Development Director, all with Logistex, albeit under its earlier incarnations.

I’ve had the opportunity to develop my career and change focus so I’ve never felt the need to look outside of the company and to be honest I’ve worked with such a great group of people over the years I’ve never wanted to.
I can honestly say that I’ve met some of my closest friends here at Logistex and as much as anything they’re the ones who’ve made it enjoyable.”

You can read the story of Logistex’s journey here.

Calvin Davies (Systems Architect) looks back on his time with Logistex

Back to our anniversary blog posts! Calvin Davies looks back on his time with Logistex:

“I have been with the the company for 23 years, although it was a bit different when I joined- I think I was employee number 12 in the family-run IO Systems, in two knocked-together houses in Dunstable, and Cleco was just our biggest customer. Projects were a bit different then, with weeks or months spent on site (Mars and BT stand out for me) – great for building team spirit and camaraderie, not so good for family life. We have it so easy now!

I did once try to leave, in 2001 when my wife got a 2 year job in Chicago, but my boss at the time suggested I had a go at teleworking. Many of us work from home, at least some of the time now (though rarely from 4,000 miles away), but I felt like a bit of a pioneer back then. Hats off to the Cleco IT Department for making it work.

I’ve stuck around since then because Logistex are good people to work with and for. There’s a lot more than 12 of us now, but it still feels like it’s run by people who know what’s going on.”

Read the full story behind Logistex’s growth and success here.

Christmas Jumper Day

Employees at the Kettering Head Office sported their favourite festive knits on Christmas Jumper Day to raise money for Save the Children. Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day raises money to bring essential healthcare, education, protection and food to millions of children around the world who are missing out on these basics.

Here’s a few snaps of our festivities!

Christmas Jumper Competition Winner: Jonathan Skelly (Solutions Design Engineer)

Kev Bradley (Systems Upgrades & Enhancements Manager) shares the highs and lows of his Logistex journey

“Day one, I arrive at the offices of Io Systems to be greeted by John & Jenny (the directors), Pat the receptionist, Graham Webb (another former employee) and Sam the dog. This is clearly a different environment to my previous job at Citibank, but thankfully much more intimate and friendly.

On day 2 I was taken by John to WM Lighting (latterly GE Lighting). John was in possession of his new-fangled technological marvel, his mobile car phone. This was an early model and weighed approximately two kilos, took a week to recharge, fifteen minutes to discharge and was roughly the side of a breeze block….   Read more

Andy Branch (Engineering Director) tells the story of his journey with Logistex

In the third of our special edition blog posts to celebrate 80 years of technical innovation, Andy Branch reflects on his journey with Logistex:

“I landed at Cleco during a significant period of change. The business was just diversifying from battery powered heavy duty manual truck manufacture into large scale automation projects. There was a general view that automation couldn’t be that difficult, could it? It’s safe to say that the business went through a significant learning curve over the following years. For me this meant opportunity, allowing me to set up a controls team before moving on to running the crane manufacturing team.

Subsequently, FKI purchased Cleco and I took on the challenge of running the Gainsborough conveyor business as well as crane manufacturing. Within FKI Logistex I worked with colleagues in America, Denmark and China, including setting up a joint venture manufacturing facility in Shanghai.

Of course, there were some difficult times towards the end of the FKI era but I stuck with it and am extremely proud of what we have all made of the business in the last seven years.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have been with Logistex for a long time but it does not feel like it. It is never stale and there is always another challenge around the corner. Long may it continue.”

Barry Searcy (Field Service Controller) reminisces on his favourite memories of working with Logistex

In the second of our special edition anniversary posts by our longest serving employees, Barry Searcy, who joined the company in 1985, shares his fondest memories of his career so far:

One of my nicest memories of being with the company was travelling out to Holland with Chris Stevenson to install 2 Condor machines in Eindhoven in 1994. When we were removing the tarpaulins from the machines on the back of the lorry trailer, a huge sign with ‘HAPPY 40TH BARRY’ was revealed. This had been placed there by the guys who were loading back at the factory in Market Harborough, in recognition of my 40th birthday.

Working for Logistex has brought me into contact with lots of interesting and friendly colleagues and customers, and over the years this has built into many long term friendships. I have traveled all over the UK and parts of Europe and found the work both varying and interesting.

My first job on the road as a Field Service Engineer, when I joined Cleco in 1985 was a visit to John Lewis in Sheffield, an overnight stop in Sandbach and then a visit to Banbury Tea warehouse in Crewe. I was working and travelling with Neil Chambers on both jobs and I am still working with Neil after all these years.

Happy Anniversary Logistex!

Logistex is celebrating its 80th anniversary this month (read the story of our journey here) and so, to mark the occasion, over the coming weeks we will be posting a few snippets written by our longest serving employees, recalling their favourite memories with the company, how times have changed, and why they have stayed with Logistex for so long!

First up, Dave Acton, Director – Engineering Support Services, who has been with the company for 20 years, tells us what he likes most about the culture of Logistex:

Having been with Logistex since the Cleco days I have seen lot of change over the years. The one thing that has been consistent over the years is the “we are one“attitude of the people in the company.  We are fortunate in that we work in an exciting and interesting sector that is without a doubt challenging at times.  When the chips are down the company really pulls together, many people willingly support each other and that makes such a difference.  So I suppose the reason I am still here is the people involved and as I see it, it’s true “we are one”.

80 years of technical innovation