Celebrated at Brisbane-based event.

When 16-year-old Delwin Tedds started work on the November 29, 1966 at the company now known as Electrolux Home Products (EHP) Australia, Man hadn’t yet walked on the moon, Elvis (Presley) hadn’t yet “left the building”, China had yet to emerge as a global powerhouse and computers, mobile phones and wireless connectivity were the stuff of science fiction cartoons.

Needless to say, Delwin has in her 50 year-career witnessed profound changes, not only in the world order and society generally, but also in the way she works at a company that rarely stands still.

Work colleagues recently celebrated Delwin’s half century with Electrolux at the Queensland State Office in Hemmant, Brisbane where she continues in her current role as inventory controller.


Delwin Tedds with her husband

At the event, her current manager and host, Queensland state service and logistics manager, Brett Morgan chronicled Delwin’s rise through the ranks from clerk typist, national ledger machine operator and data entry operator to, finally, inventory controller. She has moved office six times, reported to nine different managers and witnessed the addition of at least eight whitegoods brands to her busy ledger.

Milestones such as company takeovers and acquisitions – Metters (1974), Kevinator (1984), Simpson (1986), Southcorp Appliances (1999) and finally Email Major Appliances (2001) – have all occurred on Delwin’s watch.

As a consequence, Delwin often found herself running between multiple warehouses to conduct monthly stocktakes in addition to learning different computer systems and settling in new staff. “Of course we had no computer programs like Excel or Microsoft Word so all the figures had to be typed up on carbon paper; we had no photocopying machines or facsimile machines either in those early days,” Delwin said.

Delwin acknowledges wholeheartedly the technological advances and employer/employee education during her time which have brought constant improvements in productivity, work efficiencies, speed-to-market information and safety.

“Equal pay for women, a change in uniform regulations which allowed female employees  to wear slacks in those cold winters, and prohibiting smoking in the offices and later in the warehouses were all good things for the people involved,” she said. “And safety–first now; for instance, I check the stack height of warehoused goods every week and I’m happy that Electrolux has introduced all these procedures to make sure employees go home at the end of a day’s work.”

Her previous manager, now customer experience change manager, Kerry Graham, praised Delwin for her patience and generosity as a trainer and her determination in performing her job. “The due diligence she shows when finding stocktake variances is amazing; she doggedly investigates every possible angle and, when most people would give up, she keeps going and resolves it.”

For Delwin, the challenge of investigating and resolving these discrepancies is one of the most rewarding aspects of her job. “Teamwork is very important on such occasions and it is very interesting working with all the staff and seeing their reaction when we obtain 99% (success) at stocktake.”

She likes to see herself as a quiet achiever, positive and caring and ready to help. Her advice to colleagues at Electrolux: “Always express your ideas, work to the best of your ability and be ready to work as a team and have pride in your performance.”

This article was republished with permission from Electrolux Home Products (Australia).