LIFE OUTSIDE THE LAB Leave a comment

I approached Phil Reddington – Technical Director at Beever Dental Technology about his life outside the lab. Phil seems to be a prolific technician who clearly enjoys his work and looking at some of his cases he kindly shares on social media, his quality looks amazing.

Phil, Thanks for agreeing to chat with me and taking the time to gives a bit of an insight into what you get up to outside of your professional life. Although we converse lots online via facebook, I don’t think I have met you in person!? Or maybe we did briefly at one of the Showcases, they seem to be such a distant memory don’t they?

Why did I ask you to help me with this feature? Well, you seem to share some similar values and interests to myself. Lets start there! You’re a bit of a petrol head right? Tell me a bit about that….

What’s on your drive at the minute?

At the moment its the latest Porsche Cayenne hybrid fully loaded. I pretty much chose every optional extra as I was worried I would find it a little boring after driving high performance cars for the last 25 years! Only thing I miss is engine noise as I no longer drive fast. Honestly.

What’s the best/worst/fastest car you’ve driven?

Best car I think I would say either my competition pack 4 litre V8 BMW M3. It was the 1st car that felt special and joint 1st with that was the Porsche 911 C4S. I loved that car, wish I had kept it as I drive past it occasionally and it still looks mint! The worse car has to be the 1st Audi TT. I had the 220 version and it was forever in the dealers getting repaired, everything went wrong on it, servo unit, turbos, steering…. I got sick of it and traded it in for a Mini Cooper S after 9 months. I did also have an Audi S3 which was an awesome car, so I thing I just got a dog with the TT.

I seem to remember you posting lots of pics with your daughter and playing around with photography editing. You are clearly a family man. How do you ensure you take time away from the lab?

The older I get the more I realise I’m in a very fortunate position, I get paid very well to do a job I enjoy. It’s almost a hobby, so when it gets to the point that I’m spending too long at work I instantly look for the reasons why. Usually it’s just team members on holiday or a rush of cases I actually want to do myself. Although I’m really not precious about that these days. I’m very fortunate to be part of a team where I’m now the worst ceramist in the lab and I’m pretty decent so that has allowed me to take a step back and look at the daily running of the lab which leads to me having more free time.

What I decided around 7 years ago, I was pretty much the lab and everyone helped me as much as I would allow them to. As soon as I realised this was a crazy way to run a business I decided we had to make some changes. The first thing I needed was another ceramist, one with experience. I was lucky enough to have one recommended who was working in Germany who I thought would be perfect. I had skype meetings and we got on, so I flew her in to spend the week at the lab. By day 2 I knew they were exactly the type of technician I needed. I continued that approach continuing to add great team members as we needed them and re-shuffling the team to follow trends in digital. I started taking a step back from certain duties and getting the other team members to do way more duties I even stopped attending training sessions when we were being shown new technology.  I did this to try give ownership of the new products or systems to the team rather than everything flowing through me. This has revolutionised the lab, I now know very little of what goes on behind the scenes with the cad cam departments. Yes I can sit down and design frames etc but I would not have a clue how to get to the point where I’m in the design window, no idea what script to select for a BDT type bar or angle corrected screw ret crown etc. Same with the removable department, I’ve invested in a new (to us) system the Ivobase denture system from Ivoclar and would not even know how to turn it on! I think this has been the main reason I now have free time to enjoy time with my family and friends. Getting the right people with the right attitude and then get them the right training. Now my job is to ensure that that happens.

Do you play any sports?

I started playing golf a few years ago when my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I thought it would be a great way to spend quality time with him. We play snooker when the weathers bad but I’ve become a little obsessed with golf even though I’m rubbish at it, I just love playing it. I now play every week, usually on a Friday as I only work 4 days a week and Friday is now golf day. I used to play a lot of football but the lab took over my life in the 2000s and almost every hobby went out of the window. I also used to go out biking on the weekend usually do 50-60 miles on a Saturday off road and on and a good few pints afterwards. My knees are both kaput now so golf fits into that easy to manage category.

The other thing I do is spend as much time with my daughter as possible, we like to go bowling together once a week and to farms and wildlife parks too. She loves eating out, which we do almost every night as I’m a rubbish cook.

What about music?

I’m obsessed with music! In my youth I was in a band, it was traditional rock, a bit like The Doors, I played bass. The other love was electronic music. I still dabble with this, I had an album released in 2019 on all the major sites, I have not really felt like using my studio much since then as it can take up a lot of time and leads to late nights sat squinting at a DAW screen. Whatever I’m doing, other than watching TV, I’ll have music on in the background from the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to bed. My daughter is also obsessed with music which is great, however I can’t get her to pick up the instruments I have laying around. I’m sure there’s time yet though!

Do you do any investing for your family/future? If so, what sort of things do you invest in?

Only thing I’ve invested in is property. I’ve only ever sold one house, every time I’ve moved house I’ve kept the old ones as rentals. My wife manages them, we have a nice portfolio now which will see us through a comfortable retirement. We also have personal pensions and a few shares but the property is the main investment.

Tell me a bit more about your work/life balance…..How many days a week do you aim to work? How do you ensure that happens?

I work in the lab 4 days a week never weekends.

Are there any other interests you have outside the lab?

I love travelling and meeting people. People fascinate me, I have friends all over the world and the job I do has definitely helped me travel. I love spending time with friends and family too and the odd beer.

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