Don't do it yourself: Storage solutions

By Gill South

One way of taking care of business is to let someone else look over the details. Gill South finds a Wiri firm that’s well set up to do it

Steve Schade, owner of Storage and Distribution Specialists, provides options for local and overseas companies. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Steve Schade, owner of Storage and Distribution Specialists, provides options for local and overseas companies. Photo / Ted Baghurst

Storage and Distribution Specialists should be the first port of call when an international company is looking to set up a base in New Zealand or when a local company is looking to outsource its warehousing, says the business's owner, Steve Schade.

The Wiri-based company can provide all the warehousing and storage they will need, so in the case of an international organisation looking to expand here, they just have to concentrate on establishing a head office on their arrival. For local clients, it's about simplifying their business.

"What we offer is an option for clients who don't want to have their own warehouse," says Schade.

SDS's service has worked well for clients like Australian company Weber, which brought its BBQ brand to New Zealand but didn't want a factory here.

SDS was founded 15 years ago, set up by Schade and two other shareholders who have now left the business.

While one shareholder was a silent partner who decided to sell up, Schade's other partner contracted cancer and decided there was more to life than running a business.

Schade says he is content to be SDS's sole owner for now. He is enjoying the ride. While the Manukau company offers packaging, delivery, storage, hazardous goods and security, storage is the division which is growing and sustaining SDS because more companies are looking to outsource this area of their business and keep a lid on costs.

Schade says SDS has had a surge in business this year. The storage and distribution company has won new clients, thanks to making more of digital technology. He started using Google AdWords in March at Yellow's suggestion.

"We were a bit dubious about Google AdWords. But we had been going for 15 years, and we were looking for some new ideas to increase market share. The guys at Yellow suggested we try Google AdWords on a trial basis. And we've had pretty good results."

The business owner estimates the initiative has added another 10 per cent to his client database: "We were getting an increase in business within two to three weeks of it being implemented."

Schade is also working with Yellow division, Finda.co.nz, New Zealand's fast growing business directory with over 225,000 businesses online.

Finda advisers have helped Schade get his business online. Online browsers putting in key words such as storage, warehousing and transport in New Zealand or Auckland will quickly come across SDS, says Schade.

The new inquiries through Google AdWords are both local and international. "We have had a couple of inquiries from overseas, companies wanting to come into New Zealand and get started," he says. Then there are businesses who are getting bigger and are running out of storage space.

One important client is Argenta, the fast-growing manufacturer of innovative livestock health products.

Other companies have got tied into leases and become fed up. "They are looking at giving storage to a third party," he says. SDS offers the service of delivering goods to clients' customers.

What SDS offers, says Schade, is the ability for clients to contract and expand as their orders change. They pay on a fixed price per pallet so they know exactly what the bill will be, according to their requirements.

The storage and distribution expert says he is seeing more confidence in the business world both nationally and internationally. "This means that people might be increasing their stock held," he says.

SDS has plenty of capacity for growth, says Schade confidently. It leases 6000 sq m of computer-controlled warehousing and is 85 per cent full. It could lease more if desired. The company employs 15 staff.

"We have a balance of warehousing guys, drivers and administration people," he says.

Schade has a fleet of 10 trucks ready to pick goods up from ports and clients' businesses. If clients have specialised packaging requirements, SDS can use packaging supplied by clients or source appropriate packaging.

In the future, Schade says SDS might expand to a South Island distribution/storage base, or another one in the North Island.

He may also take on other partners to help in further expansion, but says: "I'm pretty happy at the moment."

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 31 Jul 2014 04:16:20 Processing Time: 374ms