Interview with Renee from Link Group
I entered into scaffolding by necessity when I returned to NZ after living in the UK. My Nana and Grandad had passed away and I came back to help my Dad who was also dealing with a rapidly growing scaffolding company. It was a rough year for Dad and originally I was just going to help out, but through it all I discovered my love for scaffolding! It wasn’t my chosen profession, but now I feel it’s the industry for me and I believe I will be doing this until I retire.
Dad had actually retired for a few years but luckily for me agreed to come out of retirement to help me set up Link Group. Dad is 66 years and with only the two of us in the beginning we could not have done it if it weren’t for INTAKS!
We first learned about INTAKS when Joel visited us back when we had our previous company. I had been interested in the INTAKS edge protection system about 5-6 years before the opportunity came when I decided to start Link. All of our combined knowledge and experience was in another system so we were initially hesitant about changing but after visiting Tauranga and Hamilton and seeing the system in action we were completely sold!
The team at INTAKS have been really supportive the whole way through, at first, we worried about working with a new supplier, but the help and ongoing advice was way more than we ever expected. They literally help with all aspects of the business, from practical and planning right down to accounts and marketing. It really is the full package.
The INTAKS system is really great to use. What we have found to be the biggest benefit starting out is how entirely forgiving INTAKS is. If we make a mistake which we are bound to do being new to the system, we can remedy it without having to change or re-build the scaffold. I’m no girly girl, I’m pretty tough, but I must say the lightweight design of INTAKS definitely makes scaffolding much easier and has enabled me to be more efficient on the job. When I started Link it was only Dad and I, without INTAKS we would have had to bring on staff straight away.
I haven’t faced any barriers being a woman in the scaffolding industry. At first there were some that didn’t take me seriously, but once I gained experience, I gained respect. I find being a woman in this industry is a bonus! I get respect through doing a great job for my customers and love working with tradies and homeowners.
Soon after we started we took on a second girl Abi who is only 22 and she is amazing! Together we certainly do attract attention and second glances, I don’t think it is a common sight but I think it’s a positive for Link.
I think we definitely bring something different to the industry. We are generally more particular about the aesthetics of a job, which is important and results in more business for us. When potential customers drive past, they notice because its eye catching, we like that our scaffolds have that flair! What I love most about scaffolding is the people I work with, our staff, homeowners and tradie’s. I find 99.9% of the people we work with are easy to deal with and we offer great communication to make sure every job is done right! I also love that I get to see the end result, it gives me a huge sense of job satisfaction.
I feel really good about my future as a scaffolder. Link is a great company with an awesome team. I can see myself owning and growing Link Group right through to retirement. It’s my “forever job”.
Business is booming! Joel has commented that here at Link we are very innovative, which is great to hear coming from the expert. None of this would have been possible without INTAKS.