RK International celebrates 70 years in 2021
Managing director John Schwarz looks back with pride
I am sure I can speak for many with us at these difficult times, when I say that we can all do with some positivity in our working lives and it is with great pleasure and pride that I look forward to sharing a few memories with you over the course of 2021, as RK celebrates its 70th year.
Back in 1951, my grandfather and former World War 2 Spitfire pilot Ray Schwarz, identified a void in the manufacturing sector for supplying tools and equipment. Based in South London, he approached his mother and my great grandmother, Kath, with a business proposal to start a company supplying this type of equipment, and with that RK began its business.
In the coming weeks and months, via the News section on our website and our social media channels, I hope you join me as we reminisce on earlier machine tool developments and changes in technology, along with stories from our industry and including a visit to RK’s facility by the Prime Minister.
If you or any of your colleagues have any memories or stories that you would like to share, of your dealings with RK, Ray Schwarz or my father, Mike Schwarz, please feel free to get in contact with me.
Expansion plans gather pace at RK International Machine Tools
RK International Machine Tools has announced the appointment of Andy Woodthorpe to the newly created role of sales and office manager at the Erith, Kent-based machine tool company. He joins the company after a long and successful career at a leading supplier of sawing machines, where he oversaw the day-to-day running of the business. The skills and knowledge he’s developed over his 19 years there, including customer and supplier relations, as well as a deep understanding of logistics, will be brought to the fore in his new position.
Simon Rood, director and general manager of RK International Machine Tools, says: “Andy’s appointment is part of RK International Machine Tools’ long-term development plan that will help future-proof the business as we continue to grow and develop. His experience will play a part in our ongoing diversification and strengthen our product portfolio and further enhance our customer relationships.”
Initially, he will be responsible for first-line response to customer telephone inquiries for machine tool sales, sales office activities and external sales team, forecasting and CRM reporting, along with developing the consumable sales activities and overseeing RK International Machine Tools entry into new market sectors.
Andy Woodthorpe concludes: “The opportunity to become part of the future success of RK International Machine Tools is one that I am looking forward to. While the role will present its own individual challenges, my experience in a customer facing environment will allow me to develop the sales and day-to-day activities of the business with the benefit of a fresh pair of eyes. RK International Machine Tools has a long and prosperous history, but it was its potential to develop its existing portfolio that convinced me to make this move.”