Customer Testimonial: Carl Hinton, GM Fieldtorque

Izzie | 07/15/22

Fieldtorque is Taranaki’s most experienced tractor and farm machinery team. A family-owned and operated business, Fieldtorque was started in 2006 by David and Kathryn Hinton. 15 years later, in May 2021 the business moved into a new premise with a modern, custom designed KiwiSpan building. We spoke to David’s son Carl Hinton, now the General Manager & Director, about their experience with KiwiSpan.

 

Why did you choose KiwiSpan?

We chose Joel and the team at KiwiSpan because we found them easy to get on with and talk to. We knew that with a project of our size things would come up along the way, and we needed a building partner who was approachable and easy to communicate with. We made the right decision.

KiwiSpan was competitive on price, but it wasn’t just about price for us… the total value is what we were looking at. The detailed upfront conversations about how the building would be constructed really made a difference in our decision to go with KiwiSpan i.e. heavier steel, without knee braces, and using bolts instead of tek screws. We wanted a solid building that would last, without incurring downtime and costs on repairs.

 

How was the communication from KiwiSpan?

Throughout the project communication was good. During the design stage, Joel was incredibly patient as every ten minutes we were tearing up plans and making changes! Our Project Manager, Mike Preston, also had a lot of involvement in this stage so between ourselves, Joel and Mike, we had great ideas and advice… it just took a few rounds to test out all of our thinking. And the original plan Joel drew up didn’t really change much, just a few hallways and offices changed a bit. It shows how well Joel had listened to us. Right from the start he understood our business and what we needed.

Once the build started, Joel put a site foreman on the project and he was great for day-to-day updates and discussing things as they cropped up. He kept on top of anything we discussed with the electrician, the cameraman etc, and communicated it all back to Joel. Then Joel showed up regularly to check in, and discuss progress and the impact of any changes we’d made. He also covered off any possible supply issues, which were just starting to kick in as we finished the project.

 

Did KiwiSpan keep within budget?

Yes, the washup of our budget at the end was where we expected. Everyone always tells you to allow for 10%-15% over and that was right for us… however we’d added lots of little extras so knew we’d bumped up the spend too. For example, talking to the electricians when they were on site allowed us to customise how many power points there were and their positioning, and change the lighting to better suit our usage… we knew changes like these would increase the costs a little but it was worth it to get things exactly right for us.

 

Would you recommend KiwiSpan?

Yes, every time. We had such a good experience with Joel and the team and they really pulled out all the stops to support our business moving premises and working from split locations during the build phase.

The new building has worked out fantastic, even giving us the ability to grow beyond our expectations. Our turnover has lifted due to the sharp new presence and modern look. The appearance of our building is smart – it’s welcoming and customer friendly, and it’s really nice to have people walk into a building we’re proud of. This building better represents Fieldtorque and the business we always wanted to be seen as.

 

Do you have any advice for other business owners looking for a new building?

Firstly, take your time with the design work. Spend time doing your research and planning things out – that way when you’re ready to go, there’ll be no holdups and less scope changes throughout the build. One of the best things we did was go out and visit a lot of other tractor dealerships. We learnt a lot by looking at their facilities, how they had things laid out, and the way they went about their business. We took the best of all their ideas and our own!

Also, remember there are a lot of hidden costs you don’t think of. It’s not just the building, but all the other stuff that comes with having a new building. Think about if you’ll need new furniture – we didn’t want to put our old furniture in this smart new building, it didn’t look right… but it cost quite a bit to replace it all. Then there are things like building signage, new showroom displays etc. Our new building wasn’t just a new building, it was a whole new front for our business and we invested in all these extras, and we are really pleased with the final result and it’s reflected in our increased turnover, but if you don’t plan for it, the extra costs could catch you out.

My last piece of advice would be to share the load. With a build of this size, you can’t just have one guy making all the decisions and trying to think of everything. We split it by out-the-back functionality versus all the showroom and external signage stuff. It was great to have a few people from our business working on this – there was always someone to bounce ideas off and bring a different perspective. We definitely got a better result this way.

Like Fieldtorque, a customised steel shed may be just what your business needs. Contact us HERE today to get the ball rolling on your next project.

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