Double Top at Yamato for Andrea and Lee

Published on Friday 26 October 2018 (4:56pm)

Two senior members of staff at Yamato Scale Dataweigh UK ( have notched up 40 years’ service between them.

Andrea Spencer and Lee Smith have each been working in the Yamato Scale team for 20 years. 

Andrea joined Yamato in June 1998 as spare parts co-ordinator. Her previous experience working in foreign exchange and as a travel agent stood her in good stead for the busy office environment at Yamato.

Working her way up to commercial operations manager, Andrea now oversees capital equipment sales, processes and delivery and the management of spare parts – not to mention looking after the marketing including the website and organising exhibition attendance.

Commenting on her role Andrea said: “The role is challenging because I cover so many areas of the business. However, I enjoy this variety and it means that there is never a dull day!”

There has been a lot of change in the industry in the past 20 years, Andrea said.

“When I first started at Yamato, women attending exhibitions were few and far between. I’m glad to say that numbers have increased significantly in recent years, but I still feel that the number of women in our industry is low. 

“Technology is always on the move. The aim for Yamato, and many of our colleagues within the industry, is to enable producers to pack quicker and with less waste. Food waste is a massive issue globally and I’m pleased to work in an industry that is doing all it can to improve the situation.”

Outside work, Andrea works out in the gym and runs. She also spends a lot of time in the garden – in fact she once earned a coveted Blue Peter Badge for garden design.

Lee Smith started with Yamato as an internal repair engineer. His role has evolved many times over since repairing actuators. He is now aftersales and technical support manager with responsibility for delivering technical support to the sales and service departments.

Lee said: “I have seen many changes in the industry over the 20 years that I have worked at Yamato – especially the quick turnover of staff at some of our customers’ sites and the real advances in weighing technology over that time.

“The main challenge of my role now is to balance the expectations of our customers.”

Before joining Yamato, Lee spent 12 years as an aircraft engineer in the Royal Airforce fixing aircraft electrical and electronics systems. While he was in the RAF, he flew a Tornado F3 jet – and is quite proud of his achievements – not least when he managed to pull off a barrel roll without being sick into his oxygen mask!

In his spare time Lee enjoys road cycling and spending quality time with his family.