This series will introduce you to a member of team Exacta every month, so you can meet the dedicated hardworking team that has made Exacta what it is today. Our second instalment of the series features Chris Landen, our Chief Operations Officer.
Tell us about your time at Exacta.
I first worked for Exacta back in 2006, straight out of university after completing a degree in computing & information systems. I started in production, working in assembly for 6 months then test & configuration for another 6 months. I then had a 3-year hiatus whilst I worked for a company that was a customer of Exacta’s. I returned in 2010 to fill the production manager position. In this role, I was tasked with overseeing the warehouse, assembly, test & configuration, and dispatch teams.
Over the years my role has developed and grown along with the business. I became involved in product design and development, compliance, facilities management, health and safety, and project management. Most recently I worked closely with Nick, our CEO, to project manage the move to our new production facility. I also lead the implementation of our new cloud-based ERP system.
What do you enjoy most about working at Exacta?
Firstly, the people; we have a fantastic team. As the company has grown, we’ve evolved, added new teams, and grown existing teams, which has presented challenges at times, but we’ve maintained our family feel. I’ve made many friends for life during my time here.
I love what we do, I’m very into technology, science, and engineering. I built computers when I was younger and act as IT support for friends and family! I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to turn a hobby and passion into a successful career.
I’m able to influence change here and can see the difference I make, which I find very rewarding. Every day is different with a different set of challenges, there’s never a boring day at Exacta!
What do you like to do outside of work?
My amazing wife and I have a 5-year-old son, he’s a blast! Spending time with him is number 1, he’s my favourite person in the world! I count myself very lucky to have them. Also love spending time with friends and wider family.
I play tennis and I’m very active at my local tennis club, playing in our league teams and club tournaments. I love the game, the competition, the tactics, the exercise, and the social side.
I like to play video games when time permits. When I was younger, I was into competitive gaming, travelling around the UK competing in tournaments and leagues. Now that I’m older I can’t keep up with the young guns, so it’s something that I do for leisure. I find it engaging and challenging; I find it helps keep my mind sharp.
I’m a big fan of Formula 1, I watch it religiously! I love the drama of races and between drivers, and I’m fascinated by the technical and engineering side of the sport. I find the level at which F1 teams operate at very inspiring.
What advice would you give to younger generations who aspire to work in the STEM industry/ want the same job role as you?
Embrace change and challenges, take opportunities when they present themselves and believe in yourself. Work hard, those who are willing to go the extra mile can make a difference, particularly in SME’s. It’s important to be positive, proactive, and flexible. If you have a passion for something don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up, work hard to get your head above the crowd.
At Exacta we pride ourselves on developing and supporting our employees, a lot of our team have progressed into managerial roles from junior roles. All of them are dedicated, committed, and work very hard. When hiring, I don’t just look at technical skills or educational achievements, I’ll prioritise attributes like work ethic, ambition, motivation, and adaptability. We can teach and develop new skills, it’s much more difficult to influence personality.
What are 3 characteristics that best describe you as a person?
Analytical, Adaptable & Hardworking.