Power is all about having the right connections and one small manufacturing company in the Manawatu has a powerful reach the depth and breadth of the nation.
Next time you take a stroll down your street, look outside each property and you may see a little green plastic pillar-box saying ‘Danger – Live Cables’.
Chances are that box was manufactured by Feilding ﬁrm Gyro Plastics Ltd and connects the underground electrical distribution to your house.
With experience knocking on the door of 50 years, Gyro Plastics is a specialist in the ﬁeld of rotational moldings, manufacturing a broad range of distribution pillars and cabinets for New Zealand’s electrical infrastructure industry.
Managing director, Trudi Duncan, says that 95% of Gyro Plastics’ business is focused on manufacturing products for power networks throughout New Zealand.
“Our main customers are the power networks like Powerco and Northpower. There are about 20 supply companies in total,” explains Trudi. “Some buy directly and some have independent contractors like Downer Group, for example,” she says.
“Some power networks and contractors buy through wholesalers like Stewarts electrical. So our main channels are the networks, independent contractors and wholesalers.”
She says the company also manufacturers custom moldings outside of underground electrical distribution products, such as an insulated water tank for medical imaging, for an Australian company.
“We view that as a really good way to ensure we stay relevant. “Generally those products will be outside our core daily business. That helps introduce new technologies, pushing the boundaries of molding capabilities.”
Trudi’s father, Ross Biggar, purchased the company 30 years ago, moving it from a manufacturer of agricultural water tanks to custom moldings in the 1990’s.
A turning point came when Gyro Plastics won a contract with Coca Cola to manufacturer hundreds of tables for the hospitality site at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
The tables all had to have one single leg in the shape and colour of a Coca Cola bottle.
With an electrical engineering background, Ross saw a need in the underground electrical distribution industry and re-focused his company on manufacturing products for power networks and their contractors.
Steering her tertiary education to take a leading role in the business, Trudi accompanied her father on sales trips eight years ago, building up key customer relationships.
She has now taken over as Gyro Plastics’ Managing Director, enabling Ross to step back from daily operations – though Trudi says he retains an active interest in the business he built up.
The company employs nine staff including four molding staff, two in assembly and dispatch, with others involved in sales, design and development.
Remaining relevant and making sure that Gyro Plastics is not just focused on driving down cost while gaining maximum margin is a key ethos of the family run business. Trudi says the company’s ability to be ﬂexible is a key point of difference.
“Having designers on site where we manufacture and the ability to custom design a product that our customers want at no cost to them is what sets our business apart, along with our industry experience,” she says.
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