Case Studies

From Small Intentions to Plumbing Powerhouse

In the northern region of New Zealand, Zane Britton's plumbing business has achieved an unprecedented rate of growth, becoming one of the largest companies in Northland within a mere six years.

Below is the first in a Two-Part Series based on a conversation with Zane Britton, successful plumbing businessman and President for the Northland division of Master Plumbers New Zealand.

In this blog post, we delve into the strategies that propelled Zane's business, Bay of Islands Plumbing & Gas (BOI), to success—unveiling the importance of streamlined office systems. In Part Two, we'll hear about the power of networking and giving back to the plumbing community.

Seizing opportunities during turmoil

Zane's story begins with a return to his New Zealand hometown after a stint in Australia. His initial plan was to keep the plumbing business small and nimble, but the course became obvious when faced with a region flooded with opportunity. Identifying a gap in the Northland market, BOI was poised for growth. However, just as the gears were set in motion, the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than viewing the lockdown as a hurdle, Zane saw it as an opportunity to fortify BOI's internal systems in order to be ready for the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

Registering as a Critical Provider through Master Plumbers and leveraging tools like Simpro and Groundplan via the Halo Trade Group, BOI positioned itself as an essential service provider during the pandemic, undertaking crucial plumbing work for essential services such as hospitals.

Watch the full story

Post-COVID expansion

As times of uncertainty began to fade, BOI found itself well-prepared to capitalize on the market's potential. With major projects in the pipeline, a void waiting to be filled, and robust systems in place, the company experienced exponential growth.

Surpassing their initial target of 15% growth, BOI achieved an astonishing 40% year-on-year growth, prompting a move from an 80sqm shed to a 315sqm factory.

"After Covid, we hit the ground running and picked up a lot of market share. We achieved 30% growth one year, then 40%, then another 35% year. We've got over 20 staff now and had to move from an 80sqr metre shed to a 315sqr metre factory and workshop."

Through necessity, staff numbers expanded rapidly, soon making BOI one of Northland's largest companies within a mere six years.

“We’re one of the biggest companies in Northland at the moment and occupying some of the biggest commercial jobs in the area”

One input generates several outputs

Central to Bay of Islands Plumbing & Gas's success is its adoption of technology, with Groundplan emerging as a game-changer. Zane underscores the efficiency gained through the integration of Simpro and Groundplan, streamlining processes from Pre-Builds to Takeoffs.

One input yields several outputs. Pre-builds from Simpro appear as Measurements in Groundplan. Once the Takeoff is complete, the resulting BOQs and clearly marked plans generate much of the data and documentation required once the job is accepted.

"From the initial input, we have a Quote, a marked-up drawing, and a Bill of Quantities. If the job is accepted, we already have a Material Order List, a Scope of Works, and a detailed plan for the tradesmen on site."

The Simpro and Groundplan integration boosts productivity and drastically enhances client communication. Zane emphasizes the importance of providing clients with a clear, marked-up drawing, ensuring transparency and a thorough understanding of the proposed work.

"Rather than putting all their trust in the contractor, the client feels involved and understands the job."

The combination of Simpro and Groundplan has proven indispensable for BOI, allowing them to work smarter and more efficiently than ever.

"Some of these jobs last up to two years. So to carry that initial conversation all the way through, we always have that initial reference."
Plumbing Business Awards

A call to embrace innovation

As a parting message to fellow plumbers, Zane Britton passionately advocates for embracing technological innovation. Having transitioned from traditional methods to the streamlined processes afforded by Simpro and Groundplan, he urges others to make the leap, emphasizing the significant time savings and increased efficiency.

"Spend a little bit of time here and you’re going to save hundreds if not thousands of hours into the future.

Don’t waste anymore time if you haven’t got it. You gotta get it.”

Zane's journey from a smaller operation to the largest plumbing company in Northland is a testament to the transformative power of adopting the right office systems and building a robust network in the plumbing industry.

We'd like to thank Zane for his time and insights into BOI's success.

We'll soon be publishing Part 2, which covers the countless benefits of networking by joining an association such as the Master Plumbers Association of New Zealand.

Visit: Bay of Islands Plumbing & Gas website.

Bay of Islands Plumbing & Gas
Master Plumbers New Zealand
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