Total Sheetmetals Ltd boasts 33 years of exceptional customer service

A CNC plasma cutter capable of cutting 75-mm plate.

Palmerston North-based family-owned and operated Total Sheetmetals Ltd is one of those great Kiwi success stories, where its foundations were forged on a commitment to deliver the highest levels of service to its customers, a commitment it has remained faithful to over its 33-year journey. Founded in 1991 by John Palmer to fabricate ducting for HVAC systems, Total Sheetmetals is now owned by husband-and-wife team Damian and Kylie Mulcahy. Keeping it in the family, Damian is John’s stepson.

Damian says that over the last 20 years, the business has progressively evolved from its HVAC ducting roots to now encompass the fabrication of a diverse range of products for clients throughout New Zealand. “We call ourselves a jobbing shop, which can do anything from a small repair right through to whole tender packages. Ducting is now only a very small part of what we do. Our projects range from bollards, commercial kitchen fit-outs, fencing and gates, garden sculpture, handrails and balustrades, machine guarding, pipework insulation and cladding, process piping systems, stainless steel benchtops and sheet metal fabrication.”

Stainless steel slides and playground equipment are also a specialty of the Total Sheetmetals team, and a few years ago, they came up with ‘The Rippler’ a 12-metre slide that is loved by all. “Word soon spread and things took off from there. We’ve now designed and built a number of varying-sized stainless steel slides throughout New Zealand.”

“Last year, we built two slides for Hayman Park, near the Manukau town centre. One was a spiral slide and the other was a group slide. We also built the slide on the front lawn of Parliament that the COVID protestors set fire to a couple of years ago.”

“Our growth throughout New Zealand has been from word-of-mouth referrals, repeat business and from successful tendering.”

Along with the usual machinery and equipment operating in a sheetmetal workshop, a CNC plasma cutter capable of cutting 75-millimetre plate enables the operators to create all aspects of profile cutting, from a variety of metal types, down to detailed artwork. “Our core customer sectors include Distribution Companies, Research and Science at Massey University, Tourism and Culture, Infrastructure, the Defence Force, Education, Hospitals and Aged Care. We also do a lot of work in the hospitality sector.”

Damian and Kylie currently have a team of 15 staff including office support, a project manager 2IC, seven qualified sheetmetal/light fabrication tradesmen and four apprentices. “One of our tradesmen has been with us for over 30 years, and there is an average longevity of ten years,” says Damian. “Apprentices are an important part of our business. It’s hard to get good qualified people now because there was a lull for a few years where no one trained. By taking on apprentices, we can ensure we are growing our own tradesmen of the future.”

Reflecting on those three decades that Total Sheetmetals has been in business, Damian says remaining true to his step-father’s vision of providing good customer service and good communication has been at the heart of its operation. “Our growth throughout New Zealand has been from word-of-mouth referrals, repeat business and from successful tendering. We all feel proud of the company’s growth and the kinds of projects that we undertake now.”

Born and bred in Palmerston North, Damian has no hesitation in saying it’s a great place to do business. “It’s pretty central in the North Island, we can get in and out pretty easily, the town is easy to drive in and most of our suppliers are here. There are good friendly people here and you build good relationships. A lot of the work we do results from good relationships.”

“From a living and playing perspective, it is awesome — I haven’t left. The beach is only thirty minutes away, for fishing, swimming and surfing. It is also a very cosmopolitan town with a lot of cafes and restaurants from a diverse range of ethnicities and cultures.”

© Waterford Press Ltd 2024 – Independent Print Media New Zealand

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