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A Special Piping Materials Interview with Michael Harrison

Michael Harrison has worked with Special Piping Materials for five years, working in the sales team in the Perth office in Western Australia.

He has spent more than 16 years working in the piping industry and is very knowledgeable about the industry, the various material grades and their applications.

A Special Piping Materials Interview with Michael Harrison

Michael works under Director Mark Davey who is in charge of the office and 50,000 sq. ft warehouse that serves the Australian region.

The team in Perth is particularly involved in the LNG industry, which has been booming in Australia for many years. The country was named as the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG) in 2019 and a succession of new LNG projects have blossomed across Australia in recent years, with the demand being driven predominantly by LNG-hungry Asia.

Read on to find out more about Michael Harrison’s work and role within the Special Piping Materials team.

  1. What role are you currently in?

I am the Account Manager here in Perth, ensuring existing & new client relationships are maintained internally & externally.

  1. What’s your favourite (and least favourite) day-to-day task?

Processing orders, at the end of the day – It’s why we quote & engage with our clients. There is nothing better when you see that email come through with the order number as you know it means that you’ve provided the client with the information and products they need.

My least favourite job is asking the warehouse team to pack an urgent order for me as I know how busy they are, and I don’t like to interrupt their flow! These things have to be done sometimes though!

  1. What made you want to work for SPM?

Before working with SPM, I had previously worked with them on a professional basis. From the outside looking in I could see it was a piping company that would be good to work for so when given an opportunity I jumped in.

  1. What is your focus at the moment in your role?

At the moment, like everyone, I’m purely trying to get through the strange COVID-laden season finale of 2020! On the upside there does seem to be some positivity for our market next year, especially in industries outside the norm of oil & gas, so of course I am focused & excited about that.

  1. What are the challenges at the moment in your role?

It’s been a year of challenges for everyone, I probably have too many to list, but we have got through them and that’s the most important thing!

Right now, my challenge is to help our clients who have had packages / projects on hold and need their materials quickly and efficiently.

  1. Where do you think are the sales opportunities for the Perth office at the moment?

I think that good old Perth always will rely heavily on the oil & gas and mining markets; however, the last few years has been super interesting with Desalination, Lithium & Green Energy projects coming up. These markets are continuing to grow so there are plenty of opportunities to follow.

  1. What do you think the future holds for the piping world?

In stainless, duplex & exotics I think the future is like the grade of the material – both shiny and bright!

There does seems to be new alternatives presenting themselves through technological advancement, which I am looking forward to seeing more of in coming years.

Regardless of how we make the process flow moving forward, I am certain that Mike Harrison will still need to sell you that length of 50NB SCH40s in 10/20 years’ time!

  1. What keeps you motivated at work each day?

My number one motivation for anything is my family, I love my work but ultimately, I do this for them.

I lost my Father 1 year ago and he is responsible for getting me into this niche world, he was a pipe fitter welder mainly for stainless products and so the motivation is just naturally there when piping runs through a family’s blood.

  1. How do you relax after a hard day’s work in the office?

I have two kids under five, there is no relaxing haha! When I do get five minutes to myself, I work on my EPL fantasy team trying to beat my colleagues in the UK.

  1. If you had to choose another office around the world to work in, which would it be and why?

Manchester! I actually have heaps of family there which I have not seen since forever and of course, it is home to not only SPM’s head office but also the greatest soccer team of all time… the red one that makes us all United! 🙂

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