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Women makes a difference in a mans world

Women makes a difference in a mans world

An annual turnover of a whopping $315 million was recently reported for the Fastway group of companies. The 1600 franchisees of the world's largest courier franchise, operating in no less than 12 countries, all contributed to this figure. And Fastway Auckland, with its contribution of $15,000,000, is no exception. This achievement, along with others, has earned general manager, Paula McCallum, the title of Mrs God amongst her staff.

Fastway, which originated in Napier in 1983, has been active in the Auckland region for over 20 years and Fastway Auckland is the largest Fastway Regional Franchise in the country. Situated in Victoria Street, Onehunga, it handles 50% of all Fastway's business in this country due largely to its close proximity to Auckland airport, the harbour, and a multitude of businesses. Consignments are sent down country and delivered locally.

The two kinds of Regional Franchise opportunities in Fastway – Regional Franchises and Courier Franchises, each offer very different services and require different sets of skills. The Regional Franchises oversee the depot on behalf of Courier Franchises for a particular territory, as well as providing them with other services.

The Auckland Regional Franchise oversees a territory extending all the way from Pukekohe in the south to Orewa in the north and Paula has 150 people reporting to her. "We deliver 768,000 parcels on behalf of Regional Franchises per annum and service 4,929 active customers – which should give you an idea of the size of the operation", she says. The Courier Franchisees operating in this territory have been divided into four groups, each with their own manager and sales representative, which means that as GM Paula supports both Regional Franchise Managers and Courier Franchisees. Her office provides support and assistance in training, sales, marketing, business planning, and operations.

To cope with the massive volume of work the region handles, she is looking for an additional 16 courier franchisees who must have good people skills and an intense desire to work for themselves. The package offered is extremely attractive. For a once off establishment fee of $25 000 the new courier franchise owner gets an exclusive territory and a guaranteed minimum income of $1 250 per week for the first 52 weeks. "We’re are not simply looking for drivers or even people with courier experience, but motivated people who want to own and operate their own business. Our Courier Franchise opportunity is an ideal vehicle – if you’ll excuse the pun – for ambitious individuals to take charge of their destiny and become business owners,” she says. , therefore, anticipating problems the business opportunities but we want to be sure to get the right people" she says. No courier experience is required as training and ongoing support are part of what makes Fastway such an attractive proposition.

Since taking over in September 2005, Paula has been at the helm of a major restructure and change in direction with a view to increasing productivity and sales growth. She has a dedicatedsignated a team of people all trained to handle any queries that ariseassisting her in this endeavour.

“A concentrated effort has been given to She has also worked on improving the environmental culture of the business to lift the team spirit and enhance the accountability and compliance levels of every staff member and franchisee. " Just because we’re in transport doesn’t mean that we have to work in a rough or dirty environment. We’re first and foremost a franchise operation and the professional outlook that you would attribute to franchising is what we strive to reflect here, The bottom line is that the resulting overall profitability will contribute to greater rewards for our Courier Franchisees", she said.ys

Paula, who describes herself as both a people's person and a process person, loves her job. "It gives me the opportunity", she says, "of bringing people and systems together to work towards a common goal". In addition to an abundance of energy and enthusiasm, she also brings to her job 14 years of experience in the freight and logistics industry Prior to moving to Fastway, she was running her own successful management training and business consultancy and continues to challenge herself through study with her Master's degree in Business Administration behind her.

Even as a child, Paula was high spirited, passionate and driven to succeed. A subsequent accident and other health setbacks have only served to strengthen her resolve to do her very best at everything she tackles.

Does she find being a woman in any way handicaps her in a world that is predominantly male? No, she says, she's never even given it a thought. "I have always been a natural leader and my gender hasn't made the slightest bit of difference. People tend to take my lead and I realise that this puts an enormous responsibility on me in terms of where I lead them.".

The one quality – above any other – she does bring to her job, she says, is patience. She loves training people to get it right. "This is the only way you can ever get every member to fulfil their function within the team", she says "and in a business like ours we cannot afford to have any weak links."


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