Piroto People: Andy Clarke

Andy Clarke Piroto Sales ManagerThe story of Andy’s career at Piroto has three distinct chapters; each with a story of its own.

Andy joined Piroto at the start of the new millennium. At that time Leigh, our current owner/Managing Director, had been handed more responsibility and so needed to build up the Piroto sales team. Andy described himself as ‘a bit rough around the edges’, but Leigh clearly saw his potential.

As Andy learnt the business from the ground up, just as Leigh had done 10 years earlier, he was faced with difficult market conditions resulting in a number of key customers going bust. He acknowledges that he had some tough lessons to learn during that first 12 months with Piroto. With Leigh’s help however, he built up his own expertise in traceability labelling in the food sector. Andy’s easygoing nature and genuine interest in his customers’ businesses meant he was invited on-site at many food factories throughout the country and so gained an in depth understanding of food processing.

After four years at Piroto, and with sales having doubled over that time, Andy decided to make a career move. After just 18 months in his new role outside of Piroto however, Andy became disillusioned with the ethos and values of his new employer. In 2006 he was welcomed back into a growing Piroto sales team.

During the second chapter of Andy’s story he was tasked with developing Piroto’s business in the pharmaceutical sector. Over the next five years Andy was again focused on learning how his customers operated and what their needs were. This led Piroto to develop a secure finishing unit, including a print inspection bay to give healthcare customers total peace of mind around label quality.

Andy was also credited with developing a unique fold-over flag label which solved an issue faced by the pharma sector, that is, conveying a lot of information in a very small space.

As well as building knowledge in pharmaceutical labelling, Andy’s expertise in the food sector was put to good use. Andy spotted the potential for the use of water dispersible materials in food manufacture and retailing. Coupled with Piroto’s superior label material buying power, this meant Andy landed a sizeable order from a major food retailer who loved his idea of using water dispersible tracking labels on their reusable trays. Forged in 2008, Piroto’s relationship with that customer remains strong today.

2012 saw an opportunity for Andy to realise a life-long dream, and he left Piroto to open a restaurant with his wife Debbie. After three years of fun, and immense hard work, it was time to get his career aspirations back on track, and Andy joined Piroto once again.

After settling back into the business Andy was promoted to Sales Manager in 2016. With his extended role Andy was, in time, able to build and develop his own team.

Whilst it has not all been plain sailing for Andy and the team, they have gone from strength to strength; growing sales year on year despite the Covid pandemic, supply chain issues and raw material shortages.

Reflecting on his three chapters at Piroto Andy said ‘I’ve learnt so much through my career. Piroto is a great fit for me, and I think I’m a good fit for them. Of all the Piroto values it’s the ingrained integrity that has kept me coming back.’