Innovation is a critical business accelerator in today’s current climate and is increasingly being embraced by trade industries. We spoke to Ben Sharp, Managing Director of At Height and Washco Limited - two exterior cleaning companies, about the role innovation plays in business.
Ben says the first area in which they innovate is administration “Innovation enables us to run our company more efficiently and it keeps us competitive. There is a continuous search for greater productivity and efficiency.”
Ben’s companies have recently implemented a cloud-based software called UReview that enables them to record staff performance “It enables us to visualise team performance and conduct online appraisals, we can even engage our customers to provide reviews.”
Both of Ben’s companies have embraced Site App Pro “Our processes used to be paper-based, the guys would write down their daily pre-start meeting and send a photo of it, but now they use Site App and we get emails of the tasks being completed.” Ben also enjoys being able to manage his sites remotely “we operate in several cities across New Zealand, so we need Site App Pro to provide full visibility of our sites.”
Taking inspiration from overseas
Equipment is also another area in which they innovate “over the last couple of years we’ve researched extensively into what equipment is used internationally. We’ve then sourced (some of) the products that use ground-breaking technology and implemented them in our business.”
What stands in the way of innovation?
Ben believes New Zealand’s geographical distance from the rest of the world is their biggest challenge as it restricts the equipment they can import. “Many international businesses won’t bother shipping to New Zealand as our order quantities are too small.”
Secondly, the unknown. “We stuck to our paper systems for years, without knowing the change it could make to your business.”
New Zealand businesses should share more
Ben believes New Zealand businesses should share knowledge and have more open communication “the whole industry would benefit if there was more sharing. We could come together to share experiences and learnings, and everyone would benefit from that.”