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Simon Cole celebrates an amazing 40 years' service with Atlas Copco

On 13th August Simon Cole celebrates an amazing 40 years’ service with Atlas Copco. Here we are catching up with him to discuss some of his experiences whilst working with us.

Simon Cole

Simon Cole

What made you join Atlas Copco
At age 16 I applied to be an Apprentice in Manufacturing and was offered a place at Atlas Copco and Dexion, both companies had manufacturing plants on Maylands Avenue at that time. I chose to join Atlas Copco because it was a more technical apprenticeship. I passed my 4-year course with an HNC in mechanical and production engineering.
How did you get your job with Atlas Copco?
I remember the interview. The training officer told me afterwards the reason I had secured the position was that I impressed him by showing him a fishing reel that I had made at school.
What was your first job with Atlas Copco?
At the end of my apprenticeship, I went to Sweden for three weeks living with a family of another Atlas employee. Not only was this a great work experience touring the different divisions learning about the broader Atlas Copco group but also a great cultural experience, including learning how to make illegal schnapps!
I moved from Manufacturing to Assembly Systems in Viking House.
I have had 11 jobs within the group within four different divisions, Manufacturing, Compressors Tools, and Assembly Systems. I worked in Internal sales and technical support before going out on the road with distribution and conducting general sales. I have been in my current Key Account Manager role now for a long time, working with Ford and Jaguar Landrover Power Train.
What have you most enjoyed?
Getting involved with projects and big orders. I enjoy having the big carrot to aim for, the chase; lots of technical discussions and commercial wrangling’s. The opportunities to travel with Atlas have taken me to 3 continents and 15 countries. I enjoy working with colleagues from different countries and cultures and always find the Atlas Copco shared values within them.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career?
One that stands out is the contract we won for a new vehicle line for Ford AutoEuropa in Portugal. We co-ordinated between Atlas Copco Portugal and the Ford technical team here. We didn’t have Project managers in those days, so I had to go back and forth to Portugal in 2-week stints to be able to manage the installation. It was the first BIG new line we won at Ford!
Why do you think you have stayed here so long and how have things changed?
Atlas used to be one company, with Compressors, Mining and Tools sharing the same GM.
The company is almost unrecognisable from the small pneumatic tool company that had very little market share and brand value to what it is today as a market leader, selling DC electric tools and software products. I have worked in three different buildings both the other two are no longer there!
Atlas Copco is a strong and stable company that has given me many opportunities to learn and travel.
The constant changes in technology and expansion have kept me interested and motivated.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take all of the opportunities that come your way and enjoy them!

Atlas Copco Industrial Tools & Solutions Coporate People