Mark Skipper – Founder, Astroglide Pty Ltd

By on March 22, 2018
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Started my career in sales at NCR / AT&T the IT industry, when it was punch cards and mag tapes! Sold retail systems for 14 years and then moved into Retail and Supply Chain software and ran Asia Pacific for several US companies. Received a call in early 2008 from an American living in Japan, who I has helped out with a job in the 90’s. He said that Astroglide were looking for a Distributor and did I know anyone. I liked what I saw and decided I could do it on the side, which was fine for a couple years, but it got too big and now its full time. So this is our 10th year and we have seen exponential growth and have now expanded it to Asia. It’s a premium product and we have a great following with loyal customers.

A typical day
It’s a 7 day a week operation, shipping orders every day. So the day starts at 6.30am with a walk, and then packing orders for the AM pickup and continuing for the PM pickup. Speaking to customers and growing the business in Australia and Asia. My experience in IT, sales, customer engagement, and logistics has proved invaluable. We have a small team, but an effective one, doing our own social media, marketing and website.
The most significant influence in my working career was/is
I was put through the 9 month intensive NCR Sales training which was invaluable and set me up for my career. Taught me about exceeding customers’ expectations, delivering on time and following up promptly. So that was the biggest influence.

I’m most proud of
The Astroglide team in Australia, no challenge too hard and everything gets done to deliver customer service.

One of the most memorable moments was
Having to install a duty free retail point of sale computer system at Sydney Airport in 4 Downtown Duty Free shops airside and landside between the last flight at 11pm and the first flight at 5am the next morning. Around 40 computers with printers etc, Redundant Novell Servers, Communications and 20 engineers. The boss of Downtown was there and he smoked 2 packs of Rothmans a day, he was sitting in an arrival gate (when you could smoke at the airport) and was giving us the third degree as he thought we would fail. He at one stage said “Skipper if this fucking system doesn’t work, I am strapping your arse to the first Jumbo out of here” He wasn’t kidding. Anyway, It went like clockwork, we finished at 4.10am

The other was having to install linked bar cash registers on P&O’s Oriana and Canberra. I got to go on two cruises installing them!!

Last book I read
Don’t have time to read, but would have been a Tom Clancy.

Favourite movie/TV show
Apocalypse Now and the Tom Clancy Movies and on TV Sci Fi Blakes’ 7

My favourite place
Too many to list, nothing in particular, we live in the best Country already.

My favourite meal
Sushi with Miso Soup.

What I wanted to be when I was growing up
Military following my Father’s footsteps. Got accepted into RAAF for pilot training, but my Dad talked me out of it and took offer at NCR.

What would most people not know about me
I was Chairman of Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia, so have plenty of contacts to keep logistics cost low.

When I’m not working I’d rather be doing
I am a workaholic, its already 7 days, but looking after Grand kids.

What I like best about my job
Speaking to customers and exceeding expectations

If I could change one thing
Started Astroglide 10 years earlier, it is fun and rewarding

www.astroglide.com

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