“Delivering a quality product and service to our customers inspires me.”
We recently chatted with James Buchanan, Director of Aftermarket with WLS. James joined WLS in 2022.
What is a day in your life as a Director of Aftermarket like?
Every day is different! Most of my time is focused on making sure that our customers’ needs are addressed. I have a great team who make sure that customers’ requirements are met, whether that be service visits, parts quoted and delivered, or machine upgrades taken care of. Customer emergencies and machine down events always make things more interesting, taking precedence over everyday tasks to resolve the issue and get the equipment running again. Aside from the customer interactions, I am responsible for the performance and growth of the Aftermarket business, ensuring that we continue to be successful.
What inspires you to succeed every day?
Delivering a quality product and service to our customers inspires me. Our customers will be successful in their businesses if the team at WLS excels every day. It is then that we can collectively reap the rewards of loyal customers and a reputation for upholding the values that the business is founded on.
What is the most meaningful part of your day?
Building relationships and solving problems. I enjoy collaborating with others, whether colleagues or customers to come up with solutions that will resolve whatever issues they are facing. Teamwork is extremely important in every aspect of life and being able to share the successes and learnings together makes us all stronger for the next challenge that comes along.
Why did you select WLS/ProMach as opposed to another company?
ProMach and WLS presented me with a great opportunity to work for a well-established but aggressively growing company whose brand values closely aligned with my own. Early in the hiring process I was very impressed with the people I met, and with the history and vision of the company, it was an easy decision to join. The team, the culture, and the atmosphere in WLS are unique and I am excited to be able to be part of that.
Your work experience prior to coming to WLS/ProMach was not in the packaging industry. How did you adjust?
For most of my career, I have been involved at some level with ensuring that customers receive quality service and the results that they expect. Prior to joining WLS, I worked as the Customer Service Manager for another custom equipment manufacturer in a different industry. Understanding the custom aspects of our equipment was not a difficult transition, however the Pharma industry is very different to my previous experience. The biggest adjustment from the customer aspect is learning the requirements and paper trail that is required. I have really enjoyed learning the WLS business and am enjoying the challenge of being responsible for the growth and development of strategy of the Aftermarket business here.
You moved here from Northern Ireland. Tells us about that…
It’s funny, after nearly 10 years here in the states I still get the reaction that “you’re not from here”! I moved here with my family, my wife and two girls, in July 2013 having been given the opportunity by the company I was working with in Northern Ireland. It has been a great experience and we certainly have no regrets. There are many differences, the pace of life here on the East Coast is certainly a lot faster than what I was used to and was likely the biggest change (apart from the food and the driving in New Jersey!). Obviously, the US is much bigger than Ireland and the opportunities are greater, but for me the mixture of cultures and backgrounds that abound here has been one of the greatest educational opportunities, it sometimes makes me wish I had paid more attention in my Spanish and geography classes at school!
If someone new were joining the team, what one piece of advice do you think they should know?
WLS is an amazing place to work. It has maintained a tight knit, family culture while being part of a large organization. All the employees are highly motivated to ensure the company is successful and are willing go the extra mile to make sure that happens. It won’t always be easy, but if you put in the work, and contribute positively to the team, you will be rewarded and be successful here.
What keeps you motivated and coming to work every day?
Having two teenage daughters at home is plenty of motivation for anyone! All joking aside, I love the variety that is involved in my role. I’ve always needed variety and opportunity to have a positive impact on the business is exciting.
Thanks for speaking with us, James!