For over 20 years the company has been producing quality, custom made, solid wooden doors using cutting-edge technology. Despite the economic climate, Shaw has invested $1.5 million in a state-of-the-art machine from Germany. This machine, the Weinig Conturex, linked up with software, is specifically designed to manufacture European style double and triple glazed exterior wooden joinery. Renalldoors claims to be the first company in New Zealand, in fact the Southern Hemisphere, with the requisite engineering technology and capacity to manufacture exterior wooden products that are extremely detailed, airtight and unique to the market.
A new direction in a tough market
It has been tough the last three years because the number of housing consents that have been issued have been very very low so there have has just not been enough work around. But we wanted to be in the positon to offer new products and with the software and machinery we have invested in, we feel we have opened up another area of expertise for the company, manufacturing exterior wooden joinery.
We were just making doors until 12 months ago.
Along with the considerable investment in technology, we have introduced to New Zealand a product that not been introduced before - a standard window system with double or triple glazing.
If you look overseas trends, exterior aluminum windows in Europe have disappeared. Every window in Europe today has to meet a thermal standard and has to be rated. If it doesn't meet the standard, it has to be replaced. We believe there is a high possibility that things will change here and standards will be raised and will have to be met - and nobody else in New Zealand has invested this kind of money into the technology to make windows to that standard.
Reason for optimism
At the moment timber is generally having a major resurgence as more people realise that timber has the highest thermal rating of any material. If you went back five years, you would say that people are not interested, now everybody is aware of double glazing.
Investment in wooden technology is also very sustainable - especially the growth of timber use as professionals and users recognise it as being the only truly sustainable option as opposed to aluminium which is costing the country in energy use, money and the environment.
We have the ability to create door and window products exactly to the customers' design and dimensional requirements without additional cost and time delays associated with importing these products from off shore. We are very much about make to measure, working in increments of 1mm so we have huge flexibility.
We feel at the top of our game. We have always invested very heavily in the technology and we feel that we have got the facillity to world standards.
The Christchurch rebuild
Christchurch could be a big market for Renalldoors. It's slightly daunting, I was in the city recently and talked to people who were very enthusiastic about our wooden joinery. One potential customer, a builder, has the potential to fill a very considerable percentage of our output. So we wait with bated breath. Christchurch has a wonderful opportunity to change the thinking around timber joinery on a serious scale.
Capacity for surge in demand
Our capacity to produce the required output will be less of a challenge because we can increase our output by running the machinery for longer hours. It's not as if we have to pull the whole team in. We can do split shifts of 12-14 hours a day and seriously increase our output. We have 12 staff, and would be able to find more if we needed to.
How can a board help SMEs make sound decisions and take brave steps? What have boards done for some of our fast growing SMEs?