Mount Maunganui exporter Global Roofing Solutions is strengthening its key relationship with US-based Bradbury Group, one of the world's biggest steel roll forming companies.
Global Roofing is negotiating to create its own factory space with Bradbury in Kansas, which would allow the company to scale up its business-in-a-box turnkey roofing tile factory solutions more rapidly in its initial major target markets in North and South America, says managing director Lance Eagle.
"The key to our market entry is Bradbury, which has 50 agents worldwide and a team of 70 salesmen across North and South America and the Caribbean," Mr Eagle said.
"They have a very large manufacturing facility in the US. We're looking at doing the assembly of plants for our North and South American customers in the USA." That would also free up the New Zealand factory to help grow other markets.
The company, launched in late September 2011, formed the partnership with Bradbury last year. Later this month, the first of Global Roofing's turnkey factories will be formally opened in Jamaica.
Mr Eagle's past experience included a long history in the fruit processing industry before he became a consultant in 2008 to Katikati firm International Roofing. After failing to convince the company's owners to sell him the business, he decided to start his own roofing company.
Global Roofing's concept is to offer potential clients a group of services that can take them from concept to commercialisation, said Mr Eagle. The company helped the client with initial return on investment analysis, examined their needs, then provided a customised design for the factory layout and equipment, which was shipped out and assembled on site.
In New Zealand, the company designed and contracted out the production of the core equipment components, then assembled the roof tiling equipment in Mount Maunganui. It could also provide unique tile designs for clients.
"It's like a software/hardware business," said director Steve Saunders, who like Mr Eagle is a key shareholder in the business. "We focus on servicing the customer, designing to their requirements and manufacturing equipment for their needs. We are keeping the company reasonably lean in New Zealand as there are some very capable people out there that can do some of the tool manufacturing. But we are scaling up our resources, particularly around design."
Tina Jennen, a consultant to Global Roofing, said the company's key differentiator was that it was not focused on just selling equipment. "It's a service-driven model which is value and relationship-based rather than transactional.
"We're a technology company.We're building those relationships because there will be other sales coming down the pipeline later."