Plunket Electrical Timaru is continuing to grow its business in the region off the back of strong primary industries and a thriving port.
The company covers the whole spectrum of electrical services across the commercial, industrial and rural sectors with specialist electricians and technicians carrying out rural repairs, installations, rewiring and maintenance. This includes dairy sheds, pump sheds, irrigation systems, security systems, CCTV and other plants and farmhouses.
We’ll do the smallest of jobs, and we’ll do the largest of jobs.
Director Kelly O’Driscoll said 75% of the company’s work was commercial and covered a large area, from Oamaru to Christchurch and even down as far as Dunedin. He said Timaru was fortunate to have a strong economic climate, with strong industries such as the freezing works, fishing, a milk plant, a large cropping sector, and significantly, a port.
“We are quite fortunate with the port. It’s been very strong over the last few years.” He said when the rural sector was doing well all the support sectors thrived and were able to grow on the back of access to the port. “Without having that port, it definitely would have made things a lot tougher. It has helped attract industries here.”
Plunket Electrical benefited from the port and was recently involved in upgrading the logging yard that was just completed. It has also been busy with a large Timaru development and was involved with the Kmart retail development that opened in Ashburton last year and the new purpose-built PGG Wrightson building at Washdyke.
But it’s not just the big jobs that Plunket Electrical carries out, Kelly said. “We’ll do the smallest of jobs, and we’ll do the largest of jobs.” He said, as with any industry, there were varying challenges to overcome.
“If you’d asked me two or three months ago, I would have said staff (was a challenge). There’s always going to be challenges around staffing. We have a very competitive labour market here (in Timaru). That’s why I train apprentices. I think that’s important. It’s always a way of giving back to the industry.”
But he said the company is now well-resourced and has a really good team. They are currently navigating through a slowdown in the local economy. “It is going to have some sort of effect.” Things were particularly tough in the rural sector at the moment, Kelly said. “It’s just a case of supporting them and helping them in tough times.”
The Plunket Group had its beginnings in Oamaru in the 1950s and started operating out of Timaru as Plunket Electrical Timaru in 1996. It is now a group of three companies – Plunket Electrical Timaru, Plunket Electrical Oamaru and Plunket Appliances and Data.
Plunket Appliances and Data recently moved into installing heating ventilation, including HVAC systems, and Kelly said this now made up around 50% of its work.
There are now 15 staff and three apprentices on the Timaru team. Looking into the future, Kelly said the company would continue to consolidate their services and support customers in delivering quality products.
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