Customer service has always been core to the Preston Hire offering. Providing specialised, local advice and support is a major part of our commitment to our customers, so when the opportunity presented itself to open a branch on the South Island we jumped at it! In the short time since launching this new branch, our South Island Business Development Manager, Duane Mundy has been hard at work meeting demand. As part of our 5 Year Anniversary series, we take 5mins to chat with Duane about setting up the branch, the Preston Hire difference and reflecting on some of the memorable jobs he has been involved with to date.
How were your early months establishing the Preston Hire brand?
Whenever you start a new position there is always a period of time finding your feet, learning the people and the product then making your way into the world. I was incredibly fortunate that the Preston Hire brand was already known and demand from a number of customers was already present. Combined with my love of new business development, my already extensive business network through the South Island and products that offer genuine benefits, I hit the ground running! I am also fortunate to have a supportive team and family helping me along the way, while letting me maintain my own style of business.
What does the Preston Hire brand mean to you?
The thing that stands out to me above all else is the team spirit we have. We achieve things together as a group and when I look at the “COUNT ON US” slogan on my ute, I genuinely believe it. That slogan is about us, my work mates, we have each other’s back and our “COUNT ON US” mantra starts from the top.
How do you measure success?
Projects wins are awesome, however for me getting a repeat customer is a true indication that we are getting something right.
What do you think is the most important trait of a sales person?
Respect your opposition, never disrespect an individual/ company/ or product and work to win the order with class and your own self ability. I remember my first SuperDeck hire was for a large hotel project in Queenstown. I was completely focused on getting a meeting with the Project Manager as I knew he would be impressed with our offering. I respectfully left voice messages and sent an email and guess what … I got that meeting! We demonstrated the benefits of our SuperDecks over scaffolding and with the support of the team, provided a seamless install process. The customer was extremely happy and we have continued to work with them on a number of their projects nationally.
What was the first project win for the branch?
The first project win was in Christchurch and was actually the result of a cold call! I knew the projects they were working on could benefit from our SpiderCranes so presented the technical capabilities of our machines. Soon afterwards, our SpiderCrane 295 headed to work. This customer is now a regular client utilising various models from our large fleet.
How does PHNZ provide unique solutions to their customers?
We treat every job individually and provide a solution tailored to the needs of the project.
When I reflect on my dealings with a major Tier 1 Builder who was working on an anchor project in Christchurch, it was largely won thanks to all the service components we offered them – in addition to quality gear of course!
We provided up to date documentation eg SWMS, risk assessments etc. and thinking outside the box when it came to our solution. Our SuperDeck was actually supplied and used as a forklift transport bridge at ground level, in a plantroom. This provided minimal disruptions and delivered huge cost advantages freeing up the site tower cranes. We had worked with this client before, however I believe our innovative thinking allowed us to develop this important relationship and has since resulted in a number of SuperDecks installed and SpiderCrane hires.
Another example is work we did for a customer who had planned to have staff coming from Australia to help with their project. We raised that the licenses held by these crane operators wasn’t recognised in NZ – something that hadn’t been considered. Through our local network we were able to provide operators and help the customer save time, money and significant headaches down the track.
Do you think customers in the South have unique needs?
The main requirement is understanding the challenges each customer faces. That isn’t unique to the south and should be understood by every salesperson in every industry. For me, having a real understanding of the critical requirements is what has won us business.
I’ve been working with a customer in Invercargill who has branches in 4 main regions – CHC, DUN, QTN, INV. Whilst the actual job site in Invercargill is similar to those in other regions, they do have different priorities when selecting supply partners to work with. Being service minded, I knew it was important to have a plan just in case any unforeseen circumstances occurred, so I created a plan for how we could respond to urgent call outs or breakdowns. This was critical to our relationship going forward and by providing a solution in advance, we showed we think big picture. Also planning for Bluff Oyster season is a priority!!
What goals do you have for the future with PHNZ?
I love my team, love the brand, and have complete confidence in the products we provide. My major goal is to keep growing the customer portfolio in the South Island so more and more businesses can benefit from the Preston Hire difference. I’m a born and bred Cantabrian, so seeing my beautiful island continuing to build and create incredible infrastructure for the future and knowing I played a part in that is very rewarding.
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