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Pete Williamson Celebrates 25 Years with Daniels
It’s not often in today’s modern world that you get to hear of an employee staying with the same company for 25 years. It’s a huge milestone and an accomplishment to be celebrated!
To acknowledge this landmark moment, I spent some time chatting with Pete Williamson, our Clinical and Sales Support Manager (UK & Europe), to reminisce about the last quarter of a century working at Daniels Healthcare. I wonder if he’s aiming to beat Frank Stevens’ record of 35 years, before he retired at 80 years old from Daniels in 2013!
He shared how things have changed, the lessons he’s learnt, and some interesting anecdotes.
Where it all started…
Pete joined us in 1997, when petrol was a mere 57.9p per litre, beer was £1.80 a pint, Pete Sampras won his 10th Grand Slam Men’s Title at Wimbledon and Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister.
Our then Managing Director, Howard Simler, spotted a “cheerful chap” at a healthcare exhibition in Dublin. In standard Pete style, he’d arrived to set up before anyone else, that’s when Howard knew he wanted him as part of the Daniels team and so started Pete’s journey with us.
His first role was as a sales representative covering the North-West of England and Wales. He quickly demonstrated his leadership skills and was rewarded with an area closer to home (if you’ve ever spoken to him, you’ll recognise the “brummie” accent) and with leading the Northern sales team.
How hospitals have changed
If you ever get to buy Pete a pint of beer and have a chat, it is fascinating to hear from someone who has seen so much change in his time working for and in hospitals.
Pete shared with me that one of the biggest things he has witnessed is the way in which sharps and clinical waste containers are used, and how training and awareness has evolved into a more technical and complex topic.
He says that: “The operational way in which hospitals are run has changed from years in the past. Theatre operations and procedures are quicker, recovery times are reduced, and this means more and more patients are being treated.”
This had made training, one of Pete’s passion projects, flex and change over time, to make sure everyone is getting the education and awareness they need to safely handle sharps and use our containers.
How Daniels has changed
Looking internally at our operation here at Daniels: Pete also highlighted how our factory has evolved through the years following the introduction of more detailed regulatory guidance on correct waste segregation. This has meant that, in essence, fewer containers are being used and that waste being treated correctly depends on its level of hazard.
This has had an impact on widening the training we do with customers, as well as driving our innovation to use more sustainable materials to help the environment by making resources go further.
Did you know: there used to be just 2 lid colours for sharps containers.
A red lid for sharps and a black lid for sharps contaminated with cyto-toxic and cyto-static medicines. Pete was one of the team implementing and educating hospitals when the waste streams introduced three lid colours for sharps; orange, yellow and purple.
How customers have changed
Pete was pleased to note that, compared to his early days, our customers have become far more invested in understanding the safe handling of sharps and are also keen to keep their teams up to date with their sharps awareness.
He says: “Today, customers ask more questions. They want to know why things are done certain ways, and they challenge us to think differently.”
During his 25 years, Pete has always loved (and still does) being in front of customers, listening to their needs and finding solutions to help them.
Pete’s advice, after a quarter of a century’s worth of experience
Pete’s knowledge as a Registered Nurse in the Royal Navy went some way to helping him in his role, however he says:
“It really comes down to listening – even when I was a nurse. I listen to my customers – I want to understand what they need, then my joy is in working to fulfil their needs. I have never, in 25 years, set out to sell them anything. Someone once told me: ‘selling is telling, and you don’t want to tell your customers’. Ultimately, it was that advice that served me well over the years.”
And he adds:
“I will also say that that respect is another key component to my success. My ethos has always been: if I respect my customers, they will respect me”.
I can safely say Pete’s success has been reflected in the relationships that he’s cultivated over the years – with many customers becoming close friends, being invited to their weddings, christenings and sadly also some funerals.
His final bit of advice, as we drew our conversation to a close is to “look after your mental health”. Pete always been a solid support for the team at Daniels and his recent Mental Health first aider course opened his eyes to new perspectives and new ways he can help his friends and colleagues.
Thanking friends and colleagues old and new
The trip down memory lane made Pete thankful for the people he’s worked with over the years, reflecting that he wouldn’t be here today without the trust and support through the years and ongoing. Here are some personal thank-yous:
|Howard Simler||for taking a chance on someone who “looked so happy”|
|Val Ives||for seeing my potential and trusting me to be Team Leader of the Northern sales team|
|Eric Lanyon||for valuing my knowledge and advice and bringing me into the management team|
|Kevin Cundy||for promoting my clinical background to apply my expertise to the European markets|
|Daniels Team||for banding together to get things done for our customers|
|Customers||for welcoming me into your teams, for growing through your careers with me, for becoming close friends, and making my role a passion, not a ‘job’|
Celebrating this milestone, and hopeful for many more
It’s a huge milestone and a testament to the company that Pete has been with us for so long.
The company’s flourishing success, is thanks to the passion and vision of members of our team like Pete. Since joining us 25 years ago, Daniels has grown from a new market entrant to the UK’s leading sharps and clinical waste container supplier that you now know and trust today.
The company couldn’t be without him, and I certainly rely on his wisdom, expertise and mastery of spreadsheets.
Congratulations on the last 25 years Pete! We look forward to 25 more.
Many of you will have been in touch with Pete over the year, I’d love to hear your stories from working with him.