A Capital Idea

Dec 18, 2015

Fitzroy Engineering, always responsive to clients’ needs, has set up a Wellington branch to better service current and future customer demand.

“The idea for the Wellington operation came from feedback given to us by some of our major clients,” says Wellington Projects Manager James Zimmerman.

“They highlighted a need for another structural steel company in the greater Wellington area . . . so after the appropriate consideration we set up this operation in Berhampore.

“There are always challenges when entering a new market so while winning work is one thing, we know that executing projects to very high standards is massively important and, hopefully, this will enable us to keep winning new contracts,” adds James, who was with Fitzroy in New Plymouth before shifting to Wellington earlier this year to head this new operation.

“We are undertaking significant project work right now and a number of quality opportunities in the tendering phase, with the main Wellington work being structural steel new builds and structural steel strengthening work to meet earthquake standards.

“The Wellington objective is to receive the fabricated and painted steel from New Plymouth and execute the necessary site erection with our Wellington staff and other Fitzroy employees as and when needed depending on the size of a particular project.”

When carrying out contracts in the Wellington region, the preferred mode of transport (for transporting the required fabricated and painted steel from New Plymouth) will depend on the size of specific projects and the size of the individual parts. “So various freight options will be considered -- road, rail or coastal shipping, or any combination of these -- whatever is best for the client.

 “The goal is not to replicate our facilities in New Plymouth or at any of our other branches here or in Australia, but to provide an onsite solution using our own local tradesmen. 

James says the commercial lease market is extremely tight in the Wellington region “and finding the building to suit our need was rather difficult from an operational point of view”.

Fitzroy needs to be close to its present work sites, most of which are in the city’s central business district.

“We looked at Petone and Grenada north of here but we knew that during times of heavy traffic flows we could expect travel times of up to an hour to get to and from a workshop in those more northern areas to many of our work sites.  So we decided on a Berhampore base that is only 10 to 15 minutes from the CBD.”

Fitzroy currently has James plus four tradesmen, including steel erectors and fitter-welders, in Wellington at the moment and is putting together another site team to meet anticipated demand.

“Things are looking pretty positive down here . . . we have several significant jobs on the books and the whole purpose of having this satellite branch is to better service the greater Wellington region, and the lower North Island.”