Ted Harris retired in July 2011 at the age of 81 years from Labelnet, the label print specialist. He began working in the print industry in1964, retiring for the first time in 1999. Within a month he joined Neil Southgate when he set up Labelnet Ltd in High Ongar. For 11 years Ted has used his knowledge and good customer relations within the company.
Ted remembers the changes over his working life, the increasing use of software and computers, the different noise levels in the printshop and the introduction of Health and Safety requirements and Quality systems. Although the travelling is remembered as something he enjoyed, he believes the volume of traffic is a challenge for Sales representatives today. His creed throughout his working life has been quality and service to customers, and his highlights are the relationships he developed with them. He remembers how self adhesive revolutionised the industry and the eagerness of companies to adopt the new technology.
“It was a delight to bring such products to customers and to see their reactions” he says.
He started his career in Dalston as a packer and driver with a company specialising in the pre printed tickets used widely at that time in cinemas, on buses and trams and for car parks. An associate company established in 1958 developed the new field of self adhesive labels with trials at Antony Jacksons Foodfair,now part of Tesco. During 1968 the company objective was to serve the rapidly expanding market for self adhesive materials, used by printers and display producers.
From 1971 Ted was Packing and Dispatch Manager based in Dagenham. It was that same year that decimilisation created an opportunity for the company. Working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, the company production exceeded millions of labels per day. Under his management, a team of 20 was responsible for the packing, dispatch and delivery of over 2 billion price labels.The labels were created and delivered on customer demand promptly and efficiently.
Ted remembers those days as noisy and busy and he enjoyed the friendships and challenges of the new job. His says he was lucky to have worked throughout the whole of his career with hard working, dedicated people.
In 1978 Ted was appointed sales representative for the growing graphics division where he later progressed to become sales manager.It was this role that Ted enjoyed the most, he travelled extensively to develop the new markets that were emerging. In 1988 an expansion programme was begun including the installation of a new five colour Nilpeter press, offices, a showroom, platemaking dept., and computerisation for accounting, quote generation, order processing and machine planning. Service and innovation were at the heart of the company philosophy under Howard Southgate.
Ted believed then and still believes that his relationship with customers was the most important part of the job, whether introducing new ideas or providing the best possible solutions. He continued to be based in the South East as a Product Sales Manager until 1999.
He regrets no longer working, it is the people he will miss most, but his work colleagues loss will be his family and friends gain, we wish Ted health and happiness in the future. We hope his golf handicap will improve and that Arsenal, where he has long been a season ticket holder, continues to enthral.