How to keep dairy pumping
Product testing and providing a desireable place to work is the ethos behind a sucessful engineering firm, as Mike Bain reports for our Business Matters series.
Does small town New Zealand hold the key to the country’s success?
Starting an engineering shop in a rural Waikato town surrounded by equine and dairy industries has paid dividends.
But Reid Engineering’s success has nothing to do with horses but rather, the waste of dairy cows.
The Matamata company was started by Ken Reid in 1947 which became Reid and Harrison in 1968.
Now under the ownership of the Dalley family, the multimillion dollar company’s 800 sqm footprint on Waihou St has come a long way since starting on Peria Rd 70 years ago.
Guiding the company and product development is chief executive Keith Cooke, who is keen to ensure Reid and Harrison maintains both its reputation as a supplier of farm effluent pumps and ‘‘as a desirable place to work’’.
The company’s success was built on the early development of its Yardmaster effluent pump systems.
It was designed by Ken Reid and the systems aims to move effluent, to separate the content, which can then be pumped.
Almost over half of New Zealand dairy farmers would have the system working on their properties, said Cooke.
The ethos of ensuring customer satisfaction has been the foundation of success for the company.
It was based on a programme to train and upskill all who were associated with the company, to ensure farmers had confidence in both product and people.
Matamata is the base from where the design, manufacture and tests were carried out on every pump before heading to the customer.
The development of a testing pond simulates the average dairy farm operation giving readings to ensure optimum performance.
Cooke said the company is collaborating with a Hamilton company to develop a revolutionary software programme for the dairy industry.
Recent expansion on site has seen a move into manufacturing stainless steel separators for the cheese industry, resulting in the establishment of an apprenticeship programme.
Cooke is confident of the company’s future, with Matamata being ‘‘ideally placed to base ourselves to grow our domestic and international customers’’.
Keith Cooke is chief executive of Reid and Harrison, a company which takes Matamata to the world.