Meet the MD: Wendy Pring

Almost thirty years on from Wendy Pring dreaming of becoming a veterinary nurse - she now finds herself at the helm of a major Scottish waste management firm. She told BQ how it happened and why she hasn't looked back since.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

I am a chartered civil engineer and have worked in the waste management sector for over 25 years.

My role with KCP includes business development, along with a focus on the direction of the company and ensuring that our team are fully involved in this.

I also oversee the risk assessment for each project with regards to the safe undertaking of work at any of our sites.

Identifying key skills of each team member and using these to the advantage of both the individual and the company is also an important part of my role.

 

What is it the company does?

We provide tailored industrial suction, jetting and CCTV works of our client's infrastructure for compliance and operational efficiency.

The scope of this varies from small interceptors through to confined entry cleans of large tanks.

This involves the safe removal of materials and its disposal to licensed treatment plants using our bespoke powerful suction vehicles.

We also provide a forward thinking progressive approach to maintenance works supplemented by reports and recommendations for future operations.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

I believe that involving all your team in your company vision and ensuring that they can contribute in some way to the overall growth and development of the business is critical.

This involves building enthusiasm and confidence, as well as identifying everyone’s key skills and attributes and working on these to assist with their own personal development.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

The biggest challenge recently has been with the development of the right personnel and maintaining a positive 'can-do' attitude.

This requires engagement from your team, as well as taking a proactive role in creating the right environment for them to develop.

As we are based in a rural area, there can be a limited availability of skilled staff in our operations.

This creates challenges when it comes to recruitment, because we are not only looking for a set of skills, we are looking for the right person with a good attitude that we can then develop and train with the relevant skills.

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

Good quality family time is essential and along with my husband who runs the business with me, our hobby is to race F2 sidecars.

Whilst this has not happened this year due to an increased workload, it is always a great way to blow away the cobwebs and have some quality time as a family!

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vet until the age of 16 and had a conditional for Glasgow Uni.

However, I didn’t get the results I had been hoping for in my highers, so I went back for my 6th year and then applied to do civil engineering at Strathclyde Uni.

 

Any pet hates in the workplace?

Lack of communication between team members, anyone who apportions blame and anyone not wearing gloves!

 

Where do you see the company in five years time?

I see the company having a multi-million pound turnover, with our customers viewing us as their 4th emergency service.

We hope to do this by implementing continuous personal development of all of our team members and diversifying where it complements our core business.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Get to know your team and embark on personal development for yourself and for them. Effective team management and inspiring team members is critical to sustaining growth.

 

Where did you start your career?

I started my career with a consultant civil engineering company in Glasgow called Crouch Hogg Waterman, working in the Environment Division.

I was directly responsible to a partner in the firm for developing the landfill and environmental aspects of this section, as it was a new division.

 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.

• 1987 Studied Civil Engineering at Strathclyde University
• 1991 Graduated from University
• 1991 Worked with Crouch Hogg Waterman in Glasgow
• 1994 FCC Environment- Engineering Manager ( formerly WRG and 3C Waste )
• 1998 Achieved status of Chartered Civil Engineer(CEng MICE)
• 2003 Started KCP with my husband, Karl Pring
• 2014 Looking into becoming a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers