As General Manager of MiTek’s Home Builder Suppliers, Neil Lindegreen and his team provide vital services for residential home builders and their supply chains. We got him to tell us a little about the role and why this MiTek service is so important.
In a nutshell, our Home Builder Suppliers service basically surrounds the builder. We look after all the suppliers that provide services for residential home builders. We sometimes describe it as enabling the building envelope – items like bricks or drywall, plaster board, insulation, windows, doors, air conditioning, HVAC, roofing, kitchens, plumbing, electrical, steel detailing. Pretty much everything the home builder needs!
Multiple expertise across trades
We do the whole of home, take off and design and work for the suppliers, and occasionally, drafting, too. For example, a plumber would approach us to do their drainage system, their back of wall, their front of wall requirements, and we would produce build quantities for that. An HVAC or mechanical contractor would ask us to do a HVAC design and layouts. And again, as with everything we do, we would provide a bill of quantities. Using our services can really take the pressure off the suppliers. For example, I was talking to one plumber we deal with this morning –we’ve been we doing seven designs for him a day lately.
He was explaining that his workload has now increased, he’s up to 10 a day. We can take that design and specification load off his shoulders and allow him to concentrate on supply sourcing, delivery and installation. Everything from the drainage system, their bill of quantities requirements, plus their back and front of wall requirements. Back of wall is really things like copper pipe fittings, while front of wall is toilets, basins, showers, baths, tapware and so on.
We do a lot of work on the electrical side of things and more recently have been contracted by a number of security companies, for whom we’re laying out sensors and all of their comms-related infrastructure. We don’t just work on large multi-property developments – we are just as at home tackling single unit jobs. We try to be flexible and adaptable so we can provide what our customers need.
Support across the globe
Historically, most of our market share has come from Australia. We’re proud that we’re providing these kinds of services to many major names in the Australian market, customers like CSR, Canal and USG Boral. But more recently, we’ve seen a shift in focus and are growing our presence in South Africa, Europe and the US.
In the US we’ve just managed to win some work with Menards, the second biggest home builder supplier in the US, which is a great foot in the door. We’ve also been targeting the kitchen market there, an area which we have a lot of experience in – as evidenced by the fact we’ve currently got around 90 staff doing kitchen designs for four of the top five kitchen fabricators in the Australian market.
We’ve also recognized that there’s a niche in the market for the project builders. They require HVAC expertise, something they don’t have, but which we do. It’s another great opportunity for us.
An educated company
I sometimes get asked how I landed my role here. I’m a classic case: I used to be a customer of MiTek Dedicated Services. I liked what they did, and when the opportunity came up to join them, I thought, why not!
I’ve found the way MiTek works, its attention to detail, its commitment to training and development of its people, excellent. For example, as you can imagine the construction methods in Vietnam are not the same as those used in South Africa, the UK or the US. So, when we recruit engineers, we’re training them around all the relevant standards and building methods for each country, it’s an amazing education process.
Another great example is with language capabilities. Around 99% of our customers speak English. So we invest a lot of resources in English training and upskilling our staff – we have around 10 English teachers on the staff.
There are a lot of good reasons for working with MiTek Home Builder Suppliers. We enable seamless integration between the home builder and the suppliers. We’re fast and efficient. The time difference also works well as it means that a plumber, for example, can send us four or five project requests, we can work on them overnight and they’re back on the customer’s desk ready for review at 9am the next morning.
I’d say – got a project challenge? Think we can help? Let us have a look. There’s there’s no obligation. Test us out, let us go through our process, we have a look at the samples, reverse engineer it and then demonstrate our abilities. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed!