Chris Avramis, Chief Operating Officer, recently celebrated his 20-year milestone at Pickles. We take a look at where his career started and what’s next.
When did you first start at Pickles?
I started on May 31st
How has your role changed?
When I commenced at Pickles I was employed as a Legal Counsel, coming from a law firm and into a family run business. Over the years my duties and responsibilities grew and I was responsible for the development of our branches and facilities, legal, WHS, transport, marketing and a national administration department. Two years ago I took on the Chief Operating Officer role which involves all our branches reporting ultimately through to me. More recently I also took on the responsibility of overseeing the Marketing Department.
What do you enjoy most?
It’s diverse and challenging. I’m involved in all parts of the business. I work with great people who share the same vision and care about Pickles. I’ve made my career at Pickles - it’s that type of business. I’ve watched it grow from a small family business to the company it is today.
What’s the most challenging or exciting project you’ve worked on?
Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked on some great projects. My most memorable being within a month of starting at Pickles, I had to travel to Melbourne to identify a potential new branch for our salvage division and within a few months, we had found a site, liaised with Council, builders, architects, business stakeholders and were up and running. We’re still in the same site today.
Our Bibra Lake, WA project was quite exciting; consolidating the three branches in Perth into one super site in Bibra Lake, a 200,000m2 site with 60,000m2 of warehouse.
Other challenges yet exciting projects include hail-damaged vehicle auctions. When a natural disaster like a hail storm or flood occurs, Pickles will locate additional land to enable the sale of vehicles which have been affected by hail or flood on behalf of various insurance companies. This involves a lot of manpower to both setup and run day-to-day. Due to the hail storm that hit Sydney over Christmas last year, we leased over 80,000m2 of additional land and sold over 9,500 hail-affected cars.
What is your day-to-day role like?
The key for me is to have my PA Georgea across my diary. I’m a structured person so organisation is a necessity given the various departments I’m responsible for. Being part of the National Executive, strategy is key for us and something I’m always working on. I also have regular catch-ups with each department head. With 27 locations nationally, I often find myself travelling to visit the branches. There will always be various matters that arise which will need my attention, no two days are the same.
Maybe another 20 years? I’m just enjoying my time in this great company.
What do you value most about Pickles’ culture and vision?
The company was built on family values from the Pickles family and 55 years later I’d like to think we’ve upheld those values. Everyone at Pickles is responsible to uphold the values and culture and live them every day. That’s what sets Pickles apart. Our vision is simple, ‘we’re going to take what we do, do it better and do it anywhere’ and we’re doing exactly that. We’ve tried for years to define our culture, it’s about having a go, doing what we say we’ll do and if we make a mistake, we own it and learn from it. We’re a relational company; building relationships with our vendors, buyers and suppliers. That’s why we’re successful and will continue to be.