Next up in our Employee Spotlight series is our Office Manager, Debbie Cunningham. Debbie joined the team in December 2021, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in sales administration. The addition of Debbie at CM Gates has elevated the daily operations of the business and she has already made a lasting impact – keeping everyone organised and on task with her highly effective organisation skills. Learn a bit more about Debbie and her career history below.
1) Can you tell us a bit about your work history?
I began my career in banking and moved to sales support/administration 20+ years ago now working in different industries for sales teams. The experience gained and opportunities that arose led me to supporting Senior Management in different companies so my administration experience broadened in to different areas.
2) How did you end up at CM Gates & Barriers?
Our very own Marketing Executive, Demi, and I worked together previously and we have always been in touch. We had coffee one morning and she mentioned that CM Gates might be looking for someone to help with administration, and two weeks later I was offered the job.
3) Although you’re fairly new to the team, can you describe what a typical day is like for you in the office?
Very varied from answering calls, monitoring and logging enquiries, accounts payable and receivable, scheduling the engineer visits to our customers to issuing invoices on completion. Something that I have come to enjoy is speaking with clients during their initial enquiries. I find it’s a great way to form those building blocks that will hopefully lead to longer-lasting relationships with the business – plus, I’m always up for a chat.
4) What has been your favourite part of the job so far?
Apart from speaking with clients as mentioned previously, it has to be us receiving our Safe Contractor accreditation after all the hard work the team put in.
5) You’re originally from West Sussex, but you have lived in Scotland for a very long time now. What has been the best part of moving here, and what is one of your favourite Scottish Quirks?
Best part is the welcoming (and sometimes crazy) people. A highlight is going to the Champions League final at Hampden in 2002. The weather is the not so good bit – a long hot summer would be nice.
6) What do you like to do in your spare time?
I really enjoy cycling, not matter the weather, and seeing live music. Paul Weller and Snow Patrol on the same bill would be perfect. I also love spending time with my sisters’ dogs, Stanley and Betty.
7) You’ve been on quite a few holidays. Where is the best place you’ve visited, and why?
Thailand without a doubt. The people, culture, and the amazing weather is pretty hard to beat. I would love to go back and visit the parts of the country that I never got to see. I would encourage everyone to visit at least once.
8) What is something a lot of people might not know about you?
I built a house a few years ago, and lived on site in a caravan. I loved every minute of it. My weekends were spent on site for so long that I went to work to rest.
9) How has it been trying to integrate with a team that is predominantly male?
It’s been great. I’ve always been able to banter with the boys, so it’s been fun. It took them all a while to get used to me and my sense of humour but now the back and forth is a lot of fun, and makes coming to work really enjoyable.
10) How do you see your role expanding in the future?
I’m sure there will be plenty more for me to do to support the team. Craig is incredibly ambitious (he didn’t pay me to say that) and has a very clear and exciting vision for the business so I will be working in any way to achieve that. I would really enjoy attending an installation one day, but only when the weather is good – obviously.