Get involved; go with the changes; have passion in your work and the rest will follow.

Today, we say hello to Ralph Prise, Managing Director at SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL.

Ralph joined us in 1993 and has a central role in product innovation and enhancing processes. Plus, he shares his passion for going even further with environmentally sustainable initiatives.

Q: How did you get into the industry?

RP: In the late ‘80s, I started working offshore as a Wireline Service Hand. I experienced some of the anti-slip problems, such as slips and trips hazards, in workplaces like drilling rigs and platforms. Later, I got an opportunity to join SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL which was a big career change for me from being offshore. I took the opportunity and embraced a career change at 23.

Q: What do you enjoy about the work you do at SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL?

RP: Innovation. Currently, I’m focussed on innovation at SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL, it comes naturally to me, I enjoy the process of using my imagination and getting some sketches done. Then I go to the CAD drawings, a bit more technical, 3D printing, moulding and then production. That’s my strong point and where my enjoyment comes out of it. Seeing things from nothing; generating from imagination through to a finished product.

We’re at that stage right now; we’ve gone through all the previous processes and we’ve got a full product range coming out. It's very different and we're looking forward to launching the new product range soon. We’re just waiting for the perfect moment to do it.

Q: Which product are you most proud of and why?

RP: I don’t have a specific favourite. I think because of the range of products we manufacture, and customers use, they all prevent potential hazards or accidents from happening. So, I think they’re all important.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work?

RP: I think innovation and problem solving. We’re given problems by customers to come up with a solution. So, we’ve got to quickly get something together; get it for a test and get it approved. Then we’ve got a new product. So, that’s happened multiple times and we embrace the challenge of creating bespoke solutions.

Q: What is a typical working day like for you?

RP: I’m kind of quite annoying to my colleagues because I tend to revisit things and continually innovate. I tweak processes, monitor the changes and revisit it. So, as people are getting settled into the new process, I come in and say: ‘Yeah, we need to change this; I’ve got a better idea!’

It sounds like a process of constant improvement and evolution.

RP: It is and efficiency as well. In this day and age, everyone is more focussed on the environment and, I think, if we can do small changes then it can make quite a big difference with volume work. So, small changes to design; to thickness of product; how it’s connected; how it’s fitted all these things help. Environmental is a key word here. We try, as much as we can, to aim for zero waste. It was a given, many years ago, when waste was a byproduct of what we did. But nowadays I start the process of imagination with: how do we get it to zero waste? So, immediately from day one we’re focussed on that. We are very environmentally conscious.

Q: What advice do you have for the next generation who aspire to work in the industry?

RP: I would say: get involved. Any new opportunities that arise, really get involved in them. Always be open to change. Change happens so quickly these days. It’s not like when I was starting out and things took a bit longer or acceptable for longer. Things are changing all the time. So, really get involved; go with the changes; have passion in your work and the rest will follow.

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

RP: Well, everyday is a work day at SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL first of all. I’m always involved but I do try and switch off. I enjoy spending time with my family; a bit of gardening and some DIY.

Q: Are there any particular goals that SCOTGRIP® INTERNATIONAL has set for the next few years?

RP: This year, we achieved carbon neutral status which was really great to get. We reviewed processes to get that as well and it’s not about getting it; it’s all about maintaining it and improving from that point.

So, specific goals… we always have goals in-house and we do achieve most of them. We’ve got a variety of new products coming soon. Plus, focussing on zero waste, diversification and growth.

It’s great the company achieved carbon neutral status this year.

RP: For me, it’s about maintaining it and improving on it… because if you get the mindset right, we can go much further. And, I know now, we can go much further.

Q: Do you have any tips that you would give yourself for when you first started in business?

RP: I think, as others will confirm, I’m not good at administration… I would say to myself: get some training in documentation, software and spreadsheets and my life would be easier!


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