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.

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place -

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.

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