Meet Andrea Ackley. She’s the Commercial and Sales Support Specialist at ABC Actini. They have an office in Alloy 26 (on the way to the kitchen). You can catch her busy at work with her headset in speaking with customers and typing away on her computer.
We chatted with Andrea at our last happy hour (Beer & Tacos) and pitched our idea of starting an influencer blog series. She was excited to share her journey with ABC Actini with us. For those of you (like us originally) who don’t know what ABC Actini does, here’s some background.
ABC Actini is a joint venture formed by Allegheny Bradford Corporation of Lewis Run, PA and Actini SA of Evian, France. According to their website, ABC Actini is today’s leader in supplying decontamination systems for labs and large biofacilities for contained environments BSL1, BSL2, BSL3, BSL4. In addition, ABC Actini decontamination solutions have been studied to ensure not only the function of decontamination but also to enable our customers to benefit from many advantages in terms of productivity and efficiency in the daily use of their systems.
It just so happens that this year celebrates their 10th Anniversary as a Joint Venture company with their manufacturing firm in Bradford, PA – which is huge! To recognize their 10-year anniversary, ABC Actini will be holding special customer appreciation days as well as celebrations throughout the company to commemorate their current successes.
Andrea is looking forward to continuing to help ABC Actini strive to be the best in the business. On the topic of ABC Actini’s 10th Anniversary, Andrea said, “We build locally for an impact globally. We have several trade shows and customer visits coming up that will ensure our position in the market as well as continue to set a higher standard across the board for years to come. We would like to be the industry leader that others can set their parameters and goals to as well as surpass our own.”
Learn more about Andrea with our Q&A below!
Q: How did you find out about ABC Actini and start your position?:
A: I had gone through several temp agencies throughout Pittsburgh, however, I felt like none of them were finding jobs that fit my skill set and true passions. I started doing research and found a company that was 100% women owned in Pittsburgh. I went and met with the recruiter and while I was waiting to hear what they had available, the owner pulled me aside and advised me about a job that they were recruiting for but had not yet found the right fit. I have a diverse professional background, and it ended up benefitting me greatly, as I had experience in a few of the industries that tied perfectly into this particular position. Within a week, I was interviewing and I knew that this was the job I wanted to do and I was potentially shaped to do with my past experiences. The company had never had someone in this particular position in the USA and I knew that I could tailor it to what it was supposed to be while improving the process with my experience in customer service, sales, and bio-pharmaceuticals.
Q: What does a typical day look like? Can you describe what you do as if I knew nothing about it or the market?
A: The simplest explanation I can give is this – we manufacture effluent decontamination machines for the bio-pharma industry. There really is no typical day in my industry. Because of the specialty of the machines we manufacture and sell, every day is very different. We also do aftermarket parts for those machines already in place at various companies, universities, etc. Sometimes, there is a need for just ordering parts for existing machines and sometimes companies need a machine built to their specifications based on the kind of lab or research facility they will be placed in. Although our lead times are sometimes extensive, as we are literally building a machine from the ground up, it is an exciting process to deal with the customer throughout and see that through to completion. I greatly enjoy my interaction with our customers and making them exceedingly productive by delivering a product that they need. Additionally, providing them with something they never knew they needed that can make their process more streamlined and improve functionality is one of the best parts of the job.
Q: What has been your biggest customer success story or company success story?
A: We have so many because we have done groundbreaking work in this industry, however, we work with some of the largest bio-pharmaceutical companies in the entire world. For instance, we just signed a contract for one of the biggest pharmaceutical projects of the decade in the North America. Although the process from beginning to end will be long, because it is a custom build of the machine, it is exciting to see that process through to fruition. We are able to walk through the entire process with them from negotiation to build through delivery.
Q: What keeps you going when things get tough in your business?
A: The customers, always. Also, we have so many fantastically talented people behind the scenes. As cliché as it sounds, our customers and their requirements are the prime focus because what we do is so specialized. We make sure, as Henry Ford once said, “the quality goes in, before the name goes on.” This is something that we do very well, not only at the manufacturing level at our plant in Bradford, PA, but through continuous contact during the entire process all the way to Evian, France where our European headquarters are. I am proud to work for an organization who keeps the customer need at the fore front of design and continuous follow up.
Q: What do you do when you’re not in the office?
A: I have a son in Point Park college that is doing exceedingly well so that keeps me occupied with all of his different adventures in and around Pittsburgh. I love to travel, cook and (mostly) eat, read, I am a huge movie fanatic as well. Spending time with my son and friends is on the top of my list as a day well spent! I try very hard in a world full of negatives to see the positive every day and pass that on to someone who may be struggling.
Q: What 3 things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
A: Vision, Patience, and Perseverance! This is not always a fast moving process, but the end result is 100% worth the effort and time that goes in to each carefully planned project.
Q: What’s it like working in a co-working space?
A: I absolutely love working in Alloy 26! Fortunately, our company was one of the founding members and I feel blessed to be a part of that. That is not just because you are interviewing me. It is true. Creativity is encouraged, collaboration is key and with all the additional activities and educational programs that are offered and interaction that the co-working space provides, for me it is a win-win all the way around. I love coming here every day and being able to see the views of our beautiful city as well as meeting and collaborating with others in the building. There is always someone new to interact with and gain ideas and knowledge from – so many interesting companies and different businesses work in here. I have met some great people and although I might not make contacts specific to our industry per se, I have been able to partake in many activities across the board that have opened up a network I could have never imagined.
Q: Where do you see the future of your industry?
A: I truly believe we have not even tapped into the market here in the USA. Specifically, with regard to Pittsburgh, the bio-pharma industry is such an exciting platform to work in. We are very fortunate to have some of the top companies’ right here in our backyard. There are so many unprecedented things happening as well as practical application in the field. This is a growing and needed specialty for R&D. To know that our equipment helps keep these facilities running efficiently and at the top level of their potential makes me feel very proud of what we do.
Thanks Andrea Ackley for being our first Alloy 26 Influencer!
If you’re a member who read our blog and are interested in being an A26 Influencer, get in touch with us! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, today!