A brand new, $5 million CablePrice operation in Hastings has seriously raised the level of service and comfort offered to customers and staff in the Hawkes Bay region.
“This is a significant investment, which demonstrates how much we back the region and understand the importance of having the right facilities to support our high-tech product and valued customers,” says Pat Ward, CablePrice General Manager Finance and Administration, who oversaw the project.
The impressive, purpose-built all-in-one facility opened at the end of August.
It accommodates the region’s sales, service, parts and administration teams on a high profile 7100 sqm site on the corner of Omahu and Chatham Roads, and services a large area ranging from as far north as Wairoa to as far south as Dannevirke.
“The new site is three-and-a-half times the size of our old 2000 sqm site at Henderson Road, which had served us well but was never going to be big enough to carry us into the future,” says Pat. “The new building is a showpiece that magnificently projects the CablePrice brand and experience.”
Features of the new site include a fully concreted yard, 1600 sqm state-of-the-art workshop, double-height parts warehouse, administration facilities and a ‘clean room’ for diagnostics and rebuilds.
“Our larger product is on display in our highly visible yard facing the main road, with our parts showcased in a large showroom and parts counter. A sizeable bulk storeroom facility out the back enables us to maintain a steady supply of parts to our customers.”
Pat says CablePrice Hastings’ 12 skilled technicians are enjoying the additional space and more comfortable environment in their new workshop, which has been developed under the guidance of CablePrice National Workshops Manager, Martin Wheldon.
He is dedicated to ensuring the CablePrice network has a consistently high standard of service infrastructure and equipment.
“Our new workshops are light years ahead of the tin shed style of workshop that have previously been considered the industry standard by ourselves and our competitors. These workshops are specifically built for the purpose and are well equipped with the latest gear, making us front runners in terms of what we can offer our customers.”
The new standards also help to attract and retain the best staff, says Pat.
“Some might consider people who work on trucks and diggers to be simply mechanics, but we understand they are highly skilled, trained technicians. We have to compete in the labour market for these sorts of skills and realise if we want the best people, we must provide the facilities to attract them.”
”Likewise, when our customers purchase our product they buy into the total CablePrice offering and experience and can rightfully expect to be serviced in facilities, and by people, at the same level of quality as the product they have purchased. It is more of a holistic approach but something our customers are coming to expect more and more from quality providers”.
The new workshop has fully reticulated oil, air and grease, and six 30 metre truck bays, significantly longer than the 18-20 metre bays at the old site.
Two of the new bays have Skylifters – hydraulic vehicle lifters that eliminate the need for traditional in-ground pits.
Heavy machinery is also well catered for in the workshop with three specialist construction and forestry equipment half bays with steel rails set into the floor.
“Customers generally associate CablePrice with our key brands, Hitachi, Scania, John Deere and Bell but we also service a multitude of other makes and models including Isuzu, which powers much of our Hitachi equipment,” says Pat.
The entire building has full under-floor heating which is fuelled entirely by waste oil, a by-product of the operation.
“The underfloor heating is especially beneficial for our technicians, who often have to lie on the ground,” says Pat.
Customer comfort hasn’t been forgotten either. Drivers can relax in the second floor driver’s lounge overlooking the workshop, and enjoy tea, coffee and TV facilities while they wait for their vehicle to be repaired or serviced.
Customers from the Hawkes Bay are already giving the new facilities the thumbs up and Pat believes the branch will also attract a steady stream of out-of-town drivers.
“Hastings has quite a bit of through traffic, so it’s possible some operators from out of town might find it a more viable option to get their servicing done here on the way through, rather than having to compete for workshop time in Auckland or Wellington.”
The full fleet servicing options are not limited to in-house, with a large amount of servicing also done in the field.
Pat says the new facilities are “100 miles ahead” of the old site in terms of quality and size. However the previous site had served its purpose well.
“We moved to the old site in the 1990s and expanded it around ten years ago. We decided to make the move when the lease came up for renewal as we couldn’t see it meeting our needs for the coming 10 years. We had to make the decision that was best for both the company and our customers.”
He says the CablePrice management team explored several options before deciding on the new site.
“We looked at five or six sites, both closer to town and further out of town. In the end this site ticked all the boxes. It is on a main road out of Hastings and only a couple of kilometres from an arterial route. We are part of a cluster of other similar types of industry and feel quite at home in the company we keep here.”
CablePrice purchased the Omahu and Chatham Road site, cleared it, and started the development with a blank canvas.
Pat is full of praise for construction company and project managers Stead Construction who worked closely with the CablePrice team throughout the project, which was completed within a tight timeframe between January and August.
“They did a really good job in terms of quality and meeting the deadlines. We had a great relationship with them throughout the project and they didn’t take any shortcuts. The new facilities are a credit to them.”
He also gives kudos to the 16 staff in the Hastings operation, who despite significant upheaval throughout the transition process, managed to keep up the same high quality service levels they are known for.
“A lot of effort has gone into this project by a lot of good people, and we’re delighted with the positive feedback we’re getting so far from our staff and customers. It is a big investment, but we are committed to providing the best facilities and service, and giving an assurance CablePrice is a solid, quality company.”