Shaun Graham’s 15 year work anniversary at Advance

Shaun Graham is Advance Automation’s sales & marketing manager. As he passes his 15th work anniversary at the firm, we caught up with him to ask some questions on his career to-date.

What did you do work wise prior to joining Advance?

Prior to joining Advance I had been to Teesside University to study Business. Following graduation I spent a little time travelling in the US before getting a short term job at a call centre. I was about to start at the call centre full time when the opportunity at Advance came up. I definitely made the right decision, the call centre closed a few months later.

What was your first position at the company and tell us about your promotional journey?

When I first started, my position was mainly as administrative help for the 3 directors. It involved logging invoices, raising purchase orders and general administration tasks. The company was much smaller back then. I since worked in a number of positions in the early years, including learning AutoCAD basics to produce conveyor drawings. I settled into a sales role under the then sales director. When the sales director moved on I moved into the sales & marketing manager role.

How have your responsibilities have changed?

Things have changed massively from the early years, where i was just responsible for ensuring records were kept up to date, to moving into sales and being responsible for ensuring my proposals went out on time. I now have overall responsibility for the sales and marketing of the company.

How has the business changed?

When I first started there were the 3 directors and 1 other employee in a small unit in Spennymoor. At that time we were building small belt conveyors and relatively simple roller conveyors. Fast forward a few years and we started picking up some larger contracts for conveyor systems to where we are now, regularly looking at large turnkey projects for some of the largest companies in the UK.

What are your memorable moments from your 15 years?

The company getting that first “large” project back in 2005, seeing the impact that had on the business. And moving factory twice to cope with the expansion of the business.

Funniest thing that has happened in the 15 years?

The most bizarre project we have probably worked on was a conveyor to carry people through a shower unit that was being taken to Leeds and Reading festivals. We have had some pretty oddball requests over the years such as a treadmill conveyor for a racehorse or a cigarette dispensing machine for airports (which we actually built a prototype for).

To connect and read more about Shaun visit his LinkedIn profile at

Published: 5th April 2019

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