Leading the way in BOP roofing

Leading the way in BOP roofing
Harkin Roofing has supplied and installed roofs to a wide range of commercial and industrial buildings.

Brother and sister team Brad and Deborah Harkin have steered Harkin Roofing through a time of considerable growth, undergirded by the booming Bay of Plenty construction market.
The family business was established as a one man band by the siblings’ father Rex in 1979; he relinquished the reins to the next generation in 2015.
The operational side of the business is a little unusual in what is typically a male driven industry; of the five office-based staff Brad is the only male, a pattern that started with Rex’s wife Sue, a former teacher who realised she wanted to become involved to help create a successful business in the early days.
She was also involved in the formation of the Roofing Association of New Zealand, the national trade organisation which represents the collective voice of the industry.
It was always Deborah and Brad’s dream to eventually run the business and the synergy between them is a great combination, Deborah says.
“Brad’s been a roofer all his life, he has a huge amount of technical knowledge, he was foreman before he became a director with me.” In his role he oversees all Harkin Roofing’s contracts and on-site operations.
Deborah attended university before becoming a director, has degrees in management and psychology, and handles job pricing in collaboration with quantity surveyor Michelle O’Neill. While studying, Deborah worked hands-on as a roofing labourer during holidays, so has practical experience on the job.
She would love to see more women in the industry, but acknowledges the physical demands of working as a roofer can be a limiting factor.
As a result of the booming market, during the past four years, Harkin Roofing has grown from employing 18 trade and labouring staff to 28.
While the boom is great for the business, Deborah and Brad are always prepared for a possible recession and keep a tight rein on the business’s cash fl ow and expenditure and maintain a debt-free status. They are also careful to spread risk by having a variety of clients and good communication with them is a strong focus.
“We just really believe in communication; it’s one thing that people always say to us when we finish a job, they really appreciate that you always communicated with them.”
Deborah and Brad also work hard on having a good culture for the staff, which includes support for any issues they may be facing.
A game changer for both the business and its staff was the in-house implementation of the Intaks edge protection system four years ago.
The system is for fall protection, substantially reduces the need for harnesses, greatly enhances mobility working at height.
Previously edge protection was provided by third party scaffolders who were not always reliable.
“As soon as we saw the Intak system it was a no-brainer.”
For the past 40 years Harkin Roofing has supplied and installed roofs to a wide range of commercial and industrial buildings from supermarkets, shopping centres, schools, mills and warehouses.
It recently completed a subcontract for Hamilton construction firm, Foster, which involved providing roofing for a 37,000 square metre building near Hamilton. “They were blown away by our performance and dedication.”
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