Category Archives: News

NZ Construction News: Collaborative networking the key to navigating the construction boom

With a chronic skills shortage and an abundance of construction work underway, it’s never been harder for the trade sector to manage workloads and retain staff.

However, NZ Trade Group (NZTG) has a solution that is working exceptionally well. With a nationwide membership network of over 120 trade businesses, NZTG is combatting the skills shortage head-on with a practical and collaborative solution for businesses aiming to thrive in the current construction boom.

Andrew Jameson, NZTG’s new general manager, explains the advantages of being a part of the collaborative NZTG network. “Even though there is a boom happening right now, work is not coming through uniformly. On one hand we’ve got member businesses who are struggling to resource the influx in jobs, yet there are others who are faced with project delays, resulting in the possibility of experienced tradies coming off the tools for a period of time,” he says.

“Take, for example, an electrical contracting business facing a three-month delay on a job which keeps 10 tradies on the tools – the business owner is unable to redeploy all of these contractors internally, and typically has to make the call to release them or absorb the cost, knowing that in three to four months he will need the staff again.”

Mr Jameson says NZTG facilitates a platform where contractors can gain from hiring and subcontracting their tradies within the NZTG network until the original job is ready to start again. “Or it could be that a contractor has a deadline to complete a job that they know they’re unable to meet. NZTG sends out a message to other member contractors in the area to see if anyone can spare some labour. The great thing about our network is that our members know and trust each other with their quality of workmanship,” he says.

Read the full article here

FPB Today: Give your outdoor entertainment space the WOW factor using innovation and technology

Any real estate agent will tell you that a well-designed outdoor entertaining area is a top selling point for a house. They’re not wrong: we Kiwis love our indoor-outdoor flow, and outdoor living spaces are our favourite places for entertaining, relaxing and enjoying quality entertainment with friends and family.

So, as winter starts to draw to a close, it’s time to think about stepping outside into the sunshine again and enjoying our backyards, decks and pool areas to the full.

Investing in your outdoor entertaining area is therefore a smart move. But what to do to get that wow factor?

You could get some cheap Bluetooth speakers. The market is flooded with them and they’re convenient, but they’re a huge let down in the sound quality department, especially if you have invested in a good quality system inside.

A much better idea is to look toward home automation. It used to be out of reach for the average homeowner, but in recent years it has become more affordable – and highly desirable.

When you’re planning your build or renovation, allow for an audio system with the capability to transmit to multiple zones – and, most importantly, outdoors.

The overall quality of your system will depend on the spec of equipment used with it. Entry level automation systems start with plug-and-play devices that have their own in-built applications, such as Integra home theatre amplifiers, Axium multi-room systems and Philips Hue Lighting. Mid to high-end systems are custom-designed, such as the Axium Control system that uses various connecting componentry.

We recommend that you get quality speakers designed for outdoor use. There are three main types: box (surface mounted), recessed (eave or soffit mounted) and simulated rock (which sit in the garden). There are many amplifiers that can be controlled via a mobile device app over Wi-Fi, which is a great solution and provides easy control.

Whatever your plan, NZTG recommends you first talk to a specialist installer to ensure you end up with the right system for you. This is key to ensuring your expectations are met and the best products are supplied and installed correctly. And, if you can’t stretch to all the equipment straight away, at least allow for the correct cables to be run to your outdoor area: many people overlook this and regret it big-time down the track. Remember there’s no substitute for experience and product quality.

Outside audio isn’t the only thing to consider: automation can control outdoor TVs and lighting too. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to home automation in general – think alarms, heat pumps, home theatre, multi-room audio, CCTV, blinds and fireplaces – and all can be controlled via mobile device apps.

So, when you’re building or renovating, plan for the new technology that’s available and put the required wiring in place at least. Innovative home technology is here to stay!

For a list of nationwide automation specialists visit the NZ Trade Group’s find a tradesperson tool.

Source: http://bit.ly/2bjSKvm

NZTG 2016 Conference, Fiji

Who said conferences can’t be fun for the whole family? Certainly not us! Our 7th annual NZTG conference in Fiji had it all – beautiful surroundings, sunshine, great friends and inspiring business ideas and products. 136 adults and 92 excited children attended this, our first, offshore conference and what a blast it was! We’d like to thank our members who made the commitment to participate and take the time out away from their businesses at this busy time. A massive thank you to J.A. Russell, HPM Legrand, Schneider Electric, Philips Lighting and all our preferred supply partners for your continued support of this annual event.

Have a look at some of our memories HERE

Enjoy more confidence in the electrical component of your next job with NZ Trade Group’s state of the art software

With some of New Zealand’s main centers seeing growing skills shortages in the trade sector and an increasing development pipeline, it’s never been more important to work smartly, efficiently and demonstrate value for money to your clients, funders, and contract partners.

NZ Trade Group helps trade businesses to get ahead, faster, through our unique combination of software, suppliers and services. Our purpose-built System Fox software for tradespeople is well-suited to assist a range of related groups with the electrical requirements of a construction project.

Our quoting system is more professional, more transparent, and delivers projects faster – meaning architects, builders, specifiers and designers can all have more confidence in the electrical element of construction projects.

Use an NZTG member for better quotes and job management

The electrical component of construction and renovation jobs can be far more transparent and streamlined for you when you’re working with a NZ Trade Group member using our exceptional, proven, cloud-based quote and job management software.

Purpose-built by electricians for electricians, our unique software gives you the opportunity to get ahead with the electrical component of the project from the initial quote right through to job completion.

You get clear value for money and no wastage

When you work with a NZ Trade Group member, you can clearly see the value for money through the professional quotes our software generates, meaning no wastage or misunderstandings about labour, installation or material costs.

We also provide a professional drawing service so plans are high quality and attractive for clients to follow; it’s a powerful selling tool. Our software connects these plans directly to our quoting system and parts ordering, so the process is fast, accurate, and seamless for the customer – and more responsive for you.

Our software reduces quote time, order time, job management time, variation time and invoice time; what more could you want from your electrical contractor?

The electrical industry is getting ahead faster with NZ Trade Group

Several of our 100-strong member firms have won major contracts with group home builders due to the strength and professionalism of System Fox, proving that NZ Trade Group’s software, supplier network, and services give our members the edge in the market. Could a more professional, transparent and efficient electrical service help your next project get ahead?

Next time you’re looking to engage an electrical firm for a project, make sure you find your local NZ Trade Group member with our new Find a Tradesperson search tool, for better quotes and more profitable jobs. We’ve got a sharp new website, with lots of useful info and features to support trade businesses.

Read the full article here

NZ Trade Group in the news

June-July 2015 New Zealand Construction News

Getting rid of trade cowboys through software, education and training

Andrewe Brown, founder of NZ Trade Group, knows that training, education and trade-specific software are the key to electrical firms in New Zealand getting a bigger piece of the pie.

NZ Trade Group regularly updates its trade software for its electrical members, and the upcoming release places an increased emphasis on trade business training for electricians who often need a guiding hand in running a successful and sustainable firm. Mr Brown is a firm believer that the electrical trade needs education and training if it’s to continue to lift its game.

Every year, the electrical trade contributes $1.785 billion to total construction spend in New Zealand, so the scale of the industry is significant. With construction levels ever-increasing, there’s potential for the value and volume of electrical trade to go up as well.

However, Mr Brown says that although there are many skilled electricians, few are taught about how to run a business, so the inevitable business hiccups can affect the success (or failure) of electrical firms and impact the reputation of the trade, as well as the quality of people doing the work.


WHAT’S BEING DONE?

NZ Trade Group offers its current members a three-legged ‘stool’ comprising software, services and suppliers. Underpinning each of these elements is training, mentoring, support and member education.

Training coverage includes all areas of a modern trade business, including leadership, culture, health and safety, HR, marketing and sales, as well as key operations. The training element of the Trade Group is delivered through a consulting model directly to businesses that request it.

Mr Brown says the training makes for a potent cocktail of knowledge and learning, with combined business and trade learning rolled into one consultation, which is highly tailored for electrical trades businesses.

“Our training team brings credibility to the consulting and learning we offer members, because we live and breathe our trade. We’re not trying to deliver theoretical management models or outside-the-trade advice and that’s a key difference,” he comments.

IMPROVING THE REPUTATION OF TRADES
Tradespeople want to run their businesses well, and they need trade-specific advice to be able to do that, Mr Brown notes. “It is one thing to be good on the tools, but it’s another thing entirely to be a good business person and employer. We’re trying to close the gap between those two things, and with over 100 member businesses in NZ Trade Group, our approach is meeting a key need in the sector.”

He says that everyone benefits when there’s a focus on ongoing training and education in the trades. “Skilled tradespeople can run their businesses better, new hires get higher-quality training, health and safety regulations are properly integrated into business practices, and of course construction partners and builders get better and more reliable service.”

He adds that there is a flow-on effect in that NZ Trade Group members are able to give consumers more professional, accurate quotes and an all-round better experience with the trade.

WHAT’S AROUND THE CORNER?
Mr Brown says that the latest version of NZ Trade Group’s proprietary quoting and job management software, which is being launched later this year, contains a number of updates that will benefit tradespeople, with a heightened focus on training and education.

“We’re excited to be bringing the updated software to market. Our new learning modules will deliver bite-sized courses to our members at the exact time they need it. For example, we know that around 70% of our members operate businesses with between one and five staff, so we are excited to deliver learning in ways that will be useful, relevant and timely for those businesses as they grow,” he adds.

“By closely linking the training and education to the maturity of the member business, we can ensure our members get training on inducting new staff as they bring them onboard, or managing a remote team once growth is achieved.”

Mr Brown says a key strength of the training modules is that a trade business will be able to prepare for growth in advance of experiencing that growth. “And in business, that’s what makes all the difference,” he concludes.

IMPORTANT Notice from the EWRB

If you intend to continue carrying out prescribed electrical work do not ignore this notice. You must act now before your practising licence expires on 30 June 2015.

Go to the Board’s website located at www.ewrb.govt.nz and click the Renew Licence Now button. It is $70 cheaper to renew online, but paper forms are also available from the forms section on our website.

We are aware that some Electrical Workers are finding it difficult to attend and complete competency training by 30 June 2015. Submit your practising licence application now anyway. When you get to the page of the form about competency, tick the box to say your Competency Programme is not up to date, but you are booked in for an update within the next 3 months and complete the rest of the application including photo upload and payment. Then we will hold your application in processing pending your confirmation that you are up to date. If you do that, you will still be able to undertake prescribed electrical work under your 2013/15 licence whilst you update your Competency Programme and the Register will display a message to that effect.

If you do not make an application by 30 June 2015 your current licence will expire and you will be unable to lawfully undertake prescribed electrical work until you have updated your Competency Programme and applied for a new practising licence.

In order to renew your practising licence:

·         You need a passport standard photograph in JPEG or JPG format (or a printed image for paper applications). Photo ID requirements are set out on the Board’s website located at www.ewrb.govt.nz and click the link to For The Trade / Relicencing.

  • You need to be familiar with the new Fit and Proper Person Rules of the Board as you are asked to certify that you meet them. A document detailing the new requirements can be found here.

·         You need to be familiar with recent changes to competence programme requirements. To find out more go to the Board’s website located at www.ewrb.govt.nz and click the link to Competence programmes.

If you need assistance obtaining a quality photo for your licence ID card, MBIE has negotiated a 25% discount for electrical workers when they purchase a photo (either printed or electronic) at one of the 150 PostShop stores nationwide that provide the service.  To receive your discount simply quote the discount code, BUILD or show the PostShop staff a copy of Electron issue 78.

Don’t worry if you cannot remember your RealMe / iGovt details. Click the Renew Licence Now link on the Home Page, then click the I forgot my username and /or I forgot my password links to recover them.

Regards,

John Sickels
Registrar of Electrical Workers

2015 NZTG Conference : Paihia, Bay of Islands

Something a little different this year – but a resounding success and we’ve had fantastic feedback so far.

When we settled on Waitangi as the location for our conference – the birthplace of our nation – we thought it appropriate to incorporate some Maori cultural awareness into the programme. We asked you at times to step out of your comfort zone, but hopefully you all thought it was worthwhile and feel enriched by the experience.

Our conference focus was career-long relationships and it’s evident this is in fact building year-on-year. There is a growing friendship and a shared bond between many NZTG members which is pleasing, and healthy relationships between members and their key suppliers.

A big thank you to everyone for making this conference possible – for your participation, input and generosity of time. Thank you to HPM Legrand for sponsoring our meet and greet drinks, Schneider Electric for sponsoring our partner’s lunch and J.A. Russell for sponsoring our Friday night BBQ. Thanks to all the suppliers who gave away stand prizes. A special thanks to J.A. Russell for backing us and our conferences every year.

What a great result – 104 delegates, 172 at the BBQ (including over 40 children) and 160 at our marquee gala dinner.

We loved seeing all the wives, partners and children having such a great time – may this continue in Fiji next conference!

Light Bulb Moment for Homeowners Through NZ Trade Group

Read the full article

Do you have an electrical job that you need done at home, at work or on your building site?

NZ Trade Group makes it easy for you to get a professional, transparent electrician service, with the simple click of a mouse.

Take a few minutes to learn why choosing an NZ Trade Group electrician is the best choice for you.

It’s simple: Save time, find a professional tradesperson near you

We’ve got a nationwide network of electricians, who you can be connected with at the click of a mouse. Simply visit the NZTG website to find a tradesperson and you’ll be connected with a professional electrician who services your neighbourhood. Simple, safe and effective.

Software: Benefit from accurate quotes, sent to you within just a few hours

Gone are the days of messily scrawled quotes that you can barely read, NZ Trade Group members have the option to provide their own clients with a professional quote via email, including an easy to follow layout plan, within just a few hours of doing a site visit to your home to create the plans.

As the customer, you are in control of the process, with no more guesswork or time-consuming (and old fashioned) quoting systems.

Supplier network: You get the best products, transparently priced

NZ Trade Group has a strong supplier network, including J. A. Russell Ltd, so members get access to the best products on the market through our group buying power – and those benefits are passed directly to you as the customer. You can see exactly which products and services are included in your quote, giving you a more transparent and flexible experience with your electrician.

You can also choose which product brand you’d like for your job, which is updated in your quote so you can make a decision without creating delays for your job to get underway.

Services: NZ Trade Group members are the cream of the crop

The services and support we provide for our members mean you get an electrician who operates to higher standards of practice; our members train new staff better, they embrace the latest health and safety regulations, and they run their business properly. That means no cowboys, no cutting corners, no dodgy jobs, and no inaccurate quotes.

The result for you? Your electrical needs are taken care of quickly, professionally and to the highest standards. Feel the light bulb moment for yourself by getting an NZ Trade Group member to look after your next electrical job.

What Our members say