Introducing our longest serving staff – Sandra Wanless



June 1987 – Current 2024

Sandra works at AGMA HQ in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, working alongside the team who develop, formulate and manufacture all of our specialty chemical products. 

As one of the longest serving members of staff, she walks us through her time at AGMA, what’s changed over the years, as well as what she gets up to in her spare time. 

I joined AGMA as an Accounts Administrator when I was just 23 years old. 37 years on, I’m still in the same place, in the same office – but I do have a new desk!

Times have changed since our early manual accounting systems back then. It took about a week and a half to do the sales reports and invoices, which were all done by hand, and we analysed sales with the sales reps and updated ledgers manually. A stark contrast to our modern computerised systems, which generate the same report at the click of a button. 

As the computer era was introduced, we had a very expensive ‘kit’ in the lab, classed as a ‘scientific instrument’ (SIRRUS) – a standalone PC with 5-inch floppy discs. We used Lotus 1, 2 and 3, which was the precursor to Excel. 

As computers have upgraded, it’s changed elements of the job for me and every department, as we’ve improved our accounts systems through the years.

AGMA has always managed to diversify with the times and move with the markets. I’ve witnessed continuous development of new products and ranges as the health and safety of industrial products has changed across the years; many customers and suppliers have stayed with AGMA over this period too.

What’s kept me at AGMA is the culture. I’ve enjoyed being able to manage my own work environment, and where colleagues have become friends. I’ve also worked with many through the years from the same village of Haltwhistle. And being in the lovely countryside of Northumberland, I can enjoy downtime with my family and teenage daughter, as well as gardening and walking my dogs during my spare time.