Meet the Team: Helen McClinchie
Helen migrated from New Zealand to Australia in 2004 following a career in forestry. She began her career at Wormald working in an administration role based in Albury, NSW which gave her a head start in the field. She didn’t have any experience in fire at the time as she was previously working as a trainer auditor in forestry, but today she is thriving as Wormald’s Service Operations Supervisor.
Tell us about your current role and responsibilities
In my role as Service Operations Supervisor for Wormald and NFS, I manage the service side of the business which includes fire testing. When it comes to fire tests, it’s important that testing is completed within the tolerances. To ensure this is undertaken effectively, I work closely with our testing supervisor, communicate with the team and run reports. I’m also responsible for managing our team’s workload capacity which includes 35 field technicians and five office staff. I’m also responsible for the P&L budget for service and managing quotes.
What do you enjoy about working at Wormald?
I enjoy working at Wormald for the people. Wormald Australia has been a part of me for many years now and has given me the opportunity to expand in my career. I embrace the challenges they put in front of me and progressed from an administration role into sales, where I was a business development manager, to account manager. After Wormald trained me in SalesForce, I was given an opportunity to travel to China to teach three of our branches, which we had over there at the time, how to use the software platform. The opportunities that Wormald has given me are vast. If you are willing to advance yourself, the company is willing to help you transition to get where you want to be.
What do you find most interesting about the fire protection industry?
You can never know everything in the fire industry; it is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn. There are some huge fire systems in the market and understanding these is fun. In fire, learning how each system works, what they do, what is required for legislation, and meeting new people most days is what draws me to the industry.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
Guiding people in the right direction is challenging and rewarding. I ensure that all my staff are equipped with everything they require to do their job. However, the challenges are the variables in making this happen as things change day to day, working with different personalities and individual approaches, and ensuring the right people are working together so they leverage their expertise and can progress their careers.
What trends or issues are you seeing in the fire industry today?
Fire is something that will always occur. However, within the industry we are seeing smaller businesses starting to become service providers and positioning themselves as offering direct personal service. However larger businesses such as Wormald have a breadth of expertise and can keep pace with legislation and other complexities that are critical in for fire protection compliance. We are making huge strides in building and strengthening our customer relationships and educate our clients that price should not be the key driver for appointing a fire protection company as compliance becomes increasingly important.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I was born in New Zealand and spent most of my life growing up there. I moved to Australia in 2004 to pursue my career ambitions. While I hoped to take on and run a forestry business, the export market crashed at the time which put this aspiration on hold indefinitely. Despite this, I came to Australia to start a new life and entering the fire industry has been a positive experience. I have three beautiful daughters (29, 30 and 31) who also live in Australia. When I’m not working or renovating my house I am out camping, fishing, bush walking and soaking up everything the outdoor environment has to offer. I am a people person and love catching up with my friends, our BBQs always include lots of laughs and of course camping.