This month sees the retirement of Graham Waddell from Whyte and Mackay – who we believe is the longest-serving current DRAMS user. Graham has been working with DRAMS since 1994, and actually began working with Invergordon – prior to its acquisition by Whyte and Mackay – back in 1972! We called Graham to find out about his career, and wish him well for the future.
Here at DRAMS we are proud of our history and our staff’s longevity – but even we have to raise a glass to Graham Waddell, whose 47 years’ service is an amazing achievement. As you would expect, Graham has witnessed a huge amount of change down the years, citing the upsurge in popularity of malts and adoption of technology as two especially noteworthy developments.
Invergordon were very early adopters of technology, having quickly identified its potential to improve operations. “We felt that anything which deals with the numbers is a help,” Graham recalls. “The technology meant you could actually look at the numbers, rather than spend the day just adding them up.”
These days Graham mainly focuses on reporting, so it is no surprise that he emphasises the data side of the system: “Back then the jobs were more labour intensive, which held back progress; DRAMS made all the difference. And over time we saw more and more companies coming on board with DRAMS. You could even see it in the data coming from other companies: you could tell if they used the DRAMS system just from the information. The technology gave us reliability – the data was so solid.”
Asked about what he has enjoyed most about working in the industry, Graham mentions working with whisky and understanding how it works: “It’s all very interesting, thinking about what you will be able to sell in twelve to fifteen years’ time,” he says. “There’s a lot of money invested in maturing spirit, so you need to know what you will need in the future.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with DRAMS and the DRAMS team” says Graham. The feeling is completely mutual. We thank Graham for his support down the years, and the entire team sends our very best wishes for an enjoyable and relaxing retirement.