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Exclusive: Andrew Yates, European sales manager, on UK economic volatility

Keeping it in the family – Endoline Machinery descendant talks about his grandfather’s business

By Jenny Eagle+

23-Jul-2014
Last updated on 23-Jul-2014 at 11:29 GMT

Ron Yates, centre, with his family including Andrew, second left.
Ron Yates, centre, with his family including Andrew, second left.

The founder of Endoline Machinery, Ronald Yates, died aged 86 in February this year and his grandson, Andrew Yates, continues to work as European sales manager for the firm.

Endoline  is a manufacturer of case erecting, loading and sealing equipment. Yates is responsible for all machinery sales in the UK and Ireland and told FoodProductionDaily as a UK manufacturer the company is still very successful given the recent problems with the economy and the challenges that come with that.

Andrew Yates

Family business

Endoline Machinery is my family’s business. My grandfather was an engineer and he set the company up approximately 30 years ago. My father, Alan, joined the business shortly after to run the business side of things and they worked together for a number of years until my grandfather retired,” said Yates.

I joined in 1997 to start an engineering apprentice to learn about the products and the industry. After five years I left the company to explore different roles and worked in IT project management.

I then re-joined the business in 2009 as part of the sales team and I have been there ever since. Both my brothers work in the business as operations manager and quality and service manager.”

Ron Yates started his working life as an apprentice on the London Underground and following military service during the war he became a chartered mechanical engineer.

Much of his time was spent designing machinery for the packaging industry and at the age of 53, together with two colleagues, he founded Endoline Machinery. The company remains in family ownership and employs one of his sons and three grandsons. Ron is survived by three sons, David, Alan and Steven, five grandsons and 11 great grandchildren.

The next generation of Yates’ now work at the company as Alan’s sons Richard, Andrew and Christopher run the production, quality, sales and customer services departments. 

Entering European markets

Currently, Endoline is represented in 14 European countries so I am working on setting up agents and selling into new European markets. I am also still responsible for the UK sales team,” said Yates.

Being a family business I am passionate about selling a high quality product and proud that a UK manufacturer is still very successful given all the recent problems with the economy and challenges we have had to overcome.

The hardest thing about my job is it is a competitive industry which makes it challenging. We have to ensure we continue to grow our product portfolio and make our machinery more advanced and better than the competition. Also customers’ expectations and demands are very high and Endoline as a business has to work extremely hard to meet these.”

Yates added the next top trend in five years’ time in terms of its products is for faster more flexible equipment that requires as little operator intervention as possible. ‘Flexibility is a massive benefit’.

Make sure you are passionate about the product you sell and you understand it well. If you don’t, you will struggle,” he added.

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