Business View Oceania | March 2021

27 28 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA MARCH 2021 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA MARCH 2021 HECTOR EGGER NEW ZEALAND L IMI TED knew that having a pipeline of work on start- up was crucial, so we started talking to private developers, attending industry conferences, networking and just building relationships. We were low-key but at the same time working hard to identify projects that were suitable for us.” BVO: How would you describe the new facility? Franklin: I’m pleased to say we opened the factory on January 11th, 2021 with a pipeline of about nine months work from start-up. The Cromwell factory is a 3,000 square metre clear span building: 12 metres to the apex with two 6.5 tonne gantry cranes doing the heavy lifting. The operation is based on a lean manufacturing methodology that our Swiss partners have developed, and we are now copying those same processes and IP– replicating rather than reinventing the wheel. The new factory layout is a copy of the largest Swiss factory and we have now installed and commissioned the Hundegger with them again... “Part of the opportunity came about because Hector Egger were upgrading one of their Swiss factories to new robotic production lines, and they wanted to extend the useful life of the existing CNC machinery. It was specialised machinery that was customized for their business and workflow, so rather than sell it and give away some of their IP, we talked about bringing that machinery out to New Zealand and starting a business here. In 2018, Stephan and I went over and toured their factories during the 170 year anniversary of the original timber construction company. In 2019 they made the trip to New Zealand where we spent several weeks touring the country and exploring the market opportunity together. That’s how we got started.” BVO: Why did you locate in Cromwell? Franklin: “We chose Cromwell for a few key with Tristan Franklin, Director of Hector Egger New Zealand Limited, about this visionary new company and insights into the bright future ahead. The following is an edited version of our conversation. BVO: You have an exciting story to tell… how did the company evolution to New Zealand begin? Franklin: “It’s certainly been an interesting journey. Stephan and I met when we became neighbours back in 2017. He had worked on a project with Hector Egger Holzbau in Switzerland about 15 years ago, designing an office building that they manufactured. Over time, Stephan maintained a close relationship with the company and owner Paul Schär – and after the Christchurch earthquake in 2011, Stephan made contact with Hector Egger again because he thought prefabrication was needed as part of the Christchurch rebuild. For various reasons it didn’t progress at that time but three and a half years ago, Stephan got back in touch Contact the experts today 0508 4 Hanlon Professional, reliable, intelligent & cost effective solutions for the commercial tender and Design & Build Plumbing & Mechanical Services markets reasons. One was availability and affordability of industrial land and we knew Cromwell represented the best combination of these attributes in Central Otago. Cromwell also acts as the logistics hub for the region, with all goods passing through here via the numerous transport companies. A large number of the support businesses for the construction industry – windows, doors, hardware, security, electrical companies – are also based in Cromwell and service the local region from here. On that basis, we felt Cromwell would be a perfect location for our purposes. “During the early phases of the project we maintained a reasonably low profile. Getting a business like this from concept to operational requires some focus and perseverance, and as expected, will present more than a few hurdles to clear! So we were quite careful not to go out to the market too early and start promising things we might not be able to deliver. We