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Thriving firm enjoys rapid expansion

Tom O'Leary Nov 11
Thriving firm enjoys rapid expansion

After 21 years in business, Hamilton auto electrical, mechanical, and air conditioning company P&B Group is on a path of rapid expansion having doubled its staff in the past three years. P&B Auto Electrical began in 1997 with Paul and Brenda Muldoon operating out of their garage at home.

Paul’s reputation around town brought the customers in, and it took just eight months for Paul to pay Brenda’s dad back the $10,000 he had lent them to start the business.

For the next 10 years, Paul worked seven days a week and was on call 24 hours a day for break down service.

P&B Auto Electrical moved out of the garage and into an old workshop at the current site in 2000. Paul soon expanded the premises with the build of a three bay workshop, and as the business continued to grow, he demolished the old workshop and replaced it with a second purpose-built three bay workshop.

The business has now grown to five businesses and 35 staff within the P&B Group – P&B Auto Electrical, P&B Auto Air Conditioning, P&B Light Mechanical, P&B Heavy Mechanical, and P&B 4×4.

P&B Group has recently purchased a second premises on Kahikatea Drive for the heavy mechanical and 4×4 divisions, and is constructing a showroom there to display the 4×4 equipment now available through the company’s new association with Ironman 4×4.

Paul says 4×4 is a growing market in the Waikato, which until now hasn’t been well supported locally.

“The Waikato is strong on farmers and contractors who all need specialist 4×4 equipment,” he says. “We have joined with Ironman 4×4 which has a massive reputation in regards to quality products at a fair and reasonable price.”

P&B Group’s internal training has been key to its recent growth, and the company now boasts high quality business leaders with the drive, motivation, and confidence to push for growth. “I keep up as best as I can,” says Paul, who left school at 15 and has been on a learning curve ever since.

“The whole process of running the business is very much identifying the cash flow, cash in cash out and making sure you don’t spend all your money in the first few years – you have to be patient,” says Paul.

“The most important thing to me was to always reinvest our money into the business. “We have always owned our own property and bought our own vehicles, of which we now have 11 vans and eight 4x4s.”

The quality of P&B Group’s customer service has been another key growth factor.

Paul says he has seen hard times himself so he always tries to do his best for his customers. The vehicle expenses that can hurt us are the ones that come out of the blue, and Paul has some tips for reducing these. “Your vehicle is one of your most important assets so it makes sense to spend some money on keeping it in good working order.

If people service their vehicles regularly and use good products, their maintenance costs are reduced.

“We’ve seen how a lack of oil changes shorten the life of virtually everything in a vehicle, and how not checking your tyre pressure puts a huge strain on the rest of your car.”

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