You can always tell when someone likes their job … they do the same stuff at home on their own time. That’s the way it is with Patrick Clarke, Sure Flow Equipment’s International Technical Sales CSR.
Patrick spends his days finding technical solutions to his customer’s challenges, and then works on personal engineering projects when he gets home. They may not exactly be “rocket science” but there is an element of jet propulsion which often isn’t closely associated with the industrial valves and strainers he works with at Sure Flow Equipment.
As a Certified Engineering Technologist Patrick is well qualified to help Sure Flow customers find the best solution for challenges. Patrick had spent many years working on the back end of engineering projects, in charge of scoping out and installing various electrical and mechanical projects. As he spent more and more time liaising with the sales people in some of his projects he realized that he enjoyed the people element of the work, as well as the technical aspects.
Which ultimately led him to helping Sure Flow Equipment customers get the right product for their application.
“It’s always great working on an engineering solution but before I started working with customers on the sales end I didn’t get the same feeling of satisfaction on a project. I’m just one of those ‘people person’ engineers!”
With a product line as wide and diverse as Sure Flow’s, and his customer’s broad range of processes that the products end up in, Patrick’s background is put to the test every day. He seems to really enjoy the ‘multi-tasking’ nature of the job. “You are juggling a whole bunch of projects at various stages all at the same time. There is never a dull moment in my line of work.”
Challenges are par for the course for a guy who doesn’t spend any time golfing. With so many variables and markets constantly in a state of change, end points can seem like a moving target. He recently quoted a project with a lot of stainless steel. By the time the customer was ready to move forward with the order the price of stainless had almost doubled. Needless to say, this requires a delicate touch. The ‘international’ component of his job also often involves finessing. Getting product to countries around the world just adds another factor in the equation. But Patrick is always up to the challenge. “You just have to be honest to make sure you set realistic expectations. Then you should have confidence that your team is behind you to get the product where it has to go, and people at Sure Flow are top notch.”
While many people would leave these kinds of mental challenges behind as they walked out the door at the end of the day, Patrick brings his interest in engineering home from work. His love of science fiction adds another component to some of the projects he spends his down time working on. His interest in flying lead to wanting to learn more about propulsion, and ultimately a small rotary engine that could be adapted to a small vehicle, in the ‘go kart’ range for now.
“Some people are interested in music, some people have hobbies or do artwork, but I just find that tinkering with an engine and figuring out ways to find work-arounds to some of the problems presented in applying certain engineering limitations is just a great way to relax in my spare time.”
While you may not be racing around in a vehicle powered by one of Patrick’s prototypes too soon, you can benefit from his skill and knowledge any time you have a unique situation in your business. Patrick will try and help you solve the challenge, and best of all he’ll enjoy his time working it through! Patrick is breath of fresh air in an industry that can often seem routine and humorless. Give him a call. Let him put that enthusiasm to work for you!