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Meet the Topcon Team: Andy Clifton

Having been part of the Topcon team for nearly 23 years, there’s not much that Senior Support Engineer Andy Clifton doesn’t know. Read our latest Meet the Team blog to see how he started his career as part of Topcon’s direct sales structure in South Wales, and now uses his expertise to help customers get the most out of our technologies.

Hi Andy! Can we start with a little about your journey in the industry and how you arrived at Topcon?

I started my career in the hospitality sector, so it’s been quite the journey! But I soon shifted into a role as a van driver then a sales representative with Topcon, in search of a little more work–life balance. I spent a couple of years running the Cardiff branch of Topcon’s distribution partner, Phoenix Surveying and Safety Equipment, and have always loved being customer-facing, so support is the perfect department for me.

What’s your favourite part of the job? 

Variety is the short answer. No two days are the same – one day I might be talking to a machine operator, the next an archaeologist, then a civil engineer. And every conversation brings with it a different solution to find, a different challenge.  

I’ve also really enjoyed some of the international Topcon projects I’ve had the opportunity to be part of, from joining colleagues in the US for conferences and trade shows to working with our European divisions in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and now more regularly at our fantastic new Training Facility in Concordia, Italy. 

I love that I’ve got the freedom to do what interests me in the business; Topcon really invests in giving people the training they need, and that’s what allowed me to move from sales into support. I wanted to get more into the nuts and bolts of the technology, to challenge myself more, and Topcon supported me every step of the way.  

What does working for Topcon mean to you?  

It’s that sense of family you feel. Everyone is focused on moving forwards together, and that means being on hand to help, and supporting people whatever goal they’re working towards. Everyone has real freedom to do the job however works best for them and is in control of their own destiny. There’s opportunities to move up or sideways in the company – it’s about putting people where they work best.  

That’s why it’s a career as opposed to just a job, because it’s always changing and evolving. Look at my transition from sales to support; I’ve been able to grow into a role that really suits me, and that’s why I and lots of other people have worked here for so long.  

So, what does that attitude of going above and beyond for customers mean in practice?

Just being there is a massive part of it, being contactable when a customer has a challenge or query. It’s a less structured role than a typical role; of course, there’s an element of standard training, but there’s also a bit of firefighting when the 9 to 5 goes out of the window. When customers have a situation or query on site, whatever time it is, they need our help before they can get back to work, and it’s costing a lot of money in the meantime.  

Topcon really understands this as well, and they trust the support team to manage their own diaries, be there when customers need us, but also look after ourselves and our time too. 

What does your life look like outside of work, any hobbies?

As a Welshman, I think I would be disappointing everyone if I didn’t reveal that I’m a bit of a rugby nut. As much as I love playing, age is catching up with me, so I rely on watching the professionals at Cardiff Rugby these days! I’ve also been coaching Old Penarthians RFC women’s team, which is fantastic, very rewarding and means I have significantly less aches and bruises on a Monday morning! 

The rest of the time I can be found walking my two Border Terriers, Bryn and Ruairí, on the hills and coastline around Cardiff and South Wales.  

Keep up to date with everything Andy is up to by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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