“It’s about doing a good job and delivering to the client, because that speaks louder than anything else,”
From modest beginnings, award winning industrial electrical and automation systems specialist Industrial Controls has grown its business through a strong commitment to end-to-end customer service and a partnership relationship with its customers.
In July this year, the Timaru-based company will celebrate 25 years of successful operation, evolving from two founding owner operators to a diversely skilled team of over one hundred, with offices in Timaru and central Christchurch.
A third site soon to be completed in Rolleston’s Izone will provide additional office and workshop space to provide support to local industry.
As with many successful companies, growth has been organic and gained through a reputation for quality workmanship, referrals and repeat business.
“It’s about doing a good job and delivering to the client, because that speaks louder than anything else,” says Director Erin McNaught.
“We have a really great team across all our sites and many of them have been with us for many years. The key thing for them is that they are there with the client working and taking responsibility for delivering.
As well as looking after the electrical and automation process needs of many of the country’s major dairy processing plants, Industrial Controls also works in the food & beverage industry, manufacturing, local government infrastructure including water and waste or data acquisition.
“Predominantly our business is about industrial electrical and automation systems. That’s about providing industry with some kind of long-term control solutions around their plant and processes for manufacturing optimisation and efficiency.
“If a client comes to us with an idea or concept we can turn that into reality, commission it and then maintain it. So it’s a mix of project work and maintenance.”
Offering a genuine in-house one-stop-shop with workshop capacity to do the work is a key point of difference for Industrial Controls, with its customers reaping the benefits.
“Where the project allows we can do the design and build, do all the pre-commissioning and checks in-house and then take it to site,” says Erin.
“So the customer has reduced plant down time and risk around commissioning.”
The company’s long list of skill sets include: an electrical team that does all the industrial maintenance and installs; electrical engineers who undertake design and technical projects; automation engineers who write the code for processes along with IT software engineers, data, networking and instrumentation engineers.
“Often we will get involved in a greenfield site and design the whole network infrastructure that provides data, reporting and connectivity throughout the whole site for efficiency.
“We also run a number of apprentices. We’ve always had a strong commitment to training new people and we want to be seen as an employer of choice.”
Erin comments that people can be pleasantly surprised at the depth of industry in Timaru in terms of recruitment and attracting people. The extent of the industry leads to the extent of work that is available through Industrial Controls.
“But it’s now an industry where it’s no longer just an apprenticeship into everything there is to know.
“The pace of change in technology means people coming into the trade need to be lifelong learners.
“Staff have opportunities to develop further industry skills and qualifications like instrumentation, hazardous area or machinery safety which also assists clients in meeting their compliancy requirements.”
Many of Industrial Control’s team members have been with the company for many years and Erin puts that longevity down to the satisfaction of taking a project from start to finish, rather than just being responsible for one part of the project.
“Our team also takes pride in getting the job done to a high level. You are only as good as your last job.
“We bring a partnership relationship to our clients and many of our people have come from the shop floor and can relate to our clients.
“They want to get in and find out what the client’s needs are and then look at the options. Not every client can afford the Rolls Royce solution and so for a smaller business the $20,000 project is just as important as the multi-million-dollar project for a larger business.”
In 2019 Industrial Controls won the bi-ennial Master Electricians National Excellence Awards, which recognises excellence within the electrical contracting industry.
Entries are sought from across New Zealand, with the judging process carried out over two weeks and Judges visiting all project sites to review entries, the projects and discuss with the business.
“We won the Over Five Million Dollar Project Award for Fonterra’s Clandeboye Mozzarella plant,” says Erin.
“The Industrial Controls team effort required additional resourcing. Over an 18-month period we did a couple of large projects back-to-back, adding around 30 team members as demand for services grew. That enabled us to take on the Fonterra project.
The success of that project was a huge affirmation for our entire team of the quality work we are doing.”
© Waterford Press Ltd 2021