NZ Manufacturer article
25 May 2015
EIS CEO Dean Addie talks business with NZ Manufacturer.
NZM: How is your company finding business at present?
Dean Addie: Business is going really well, we have been operating for nearly 20 years now and seen many positive changes over the years. The first 10 years saw us surviving and thriving as a typical Kiwi business with a good reliable client base and a small but efficient team. Then, 10 years ago, our industry began to face major regulatory and technological challenges, so we reviewed how we operated. That’s when we identified automation and electrical engineering as a key driver and turned our focus to advancing the technological side of our business. Now we have more than 50 staff and have had an average year on year growth of 20 percent over the last five years, and with all the sectors and markets we work in going extremely well, the innovations of our engineering and technology are set to lead us into a bright future.
NZM: How important is innovation to your business?
Dean Addie: Our work can be divided into three main areas -projects, consultation and operations, and for each of these areas innovation is of upmost importance. Technology is constantly changing, so innovation is critical - it drives success. It may sound trite, but we really believe in continual improvement and that tomorrow we will frown upon our business practices of today. Agility, openness and curiosity are key attributes to possess and our ability to innovate hinges on these attributes. We believe in innovative business models and enabling and fostering an innovative culture.
NZM: Where do you do business?
Dean Addie: As we provide solutions to businesses and partners in the industrial sector, we have a very widespread market. We work mostly with businesses up and down the country, but have also delivered projects to companies in Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia.
NZM: Where are your future markets?
Dean Addie: No matter where we are working or for what sector, we aim to help our clients achieve greater efficiencies and ultimately increase their profitability. Our projects span local dairy companies to a desert-based dairy farm in Saudi Arabia and a robotic project Canada - so when you look at it our future possibilities are endless, but what I can foresee is EIS becoming global food and beverage experts.
NZM: What is your focus for the next 12 months?
Dean Addie: Our primary focus is always our people and their health and safety, so they remain imperative along with our focus on innovation and technology. However, the near future also sees us heading into some structural changes in order to make room for the growth that’s coming. Essentially it means an improved management structure, a bespoke facility and national acquisitions to come, so as we head into our 20th year next year it’s looking set to be our biggest one yet.
NZM: Tell us more about the importance of health and safety in your industry?
Dean Addie: We operate in multiple significant hazard sites, so health and safety is the driving force behind everything we do. We believe that looking after our people and ensuring they are in an environment that allows them to return home safe every day is the most import thing you can do in business. We punch above our weight and remain a step ahead of the regulators, so for us when it comes to TRIFR (Total Recordable Injuries Frequency Rate) and LTI (Lost Time Injury) it’s not about measure, it’s about culture and getting the results. We absolutely believe that zero harm is attainable, so the best result for us is no one ever getting hurt. Our results to date have been made possible by constant education, continual improvement and engaging our team. We do however live in a constant state of worry that we are not doing it well enough, but that’s important as it reminds us that we need to keep improving. We also work passionately with other businesses to help them attain the same culture. Health and safety knowledge is one thing that should be shared with everyone. I deliver governance, executive and frontline engagement talks all over the country and our team assist others with operational training and procedural improvements.
NZM: What is the best piece of business advice you can offer?
Dean Addie: I believe you have to look after your people first, so the best advice I can give is to engage and empower your people. Follow the circle of business. Care for and train your people, as it’s your people who look after your clients and when your clients are well looked after they pay your business money, allowing your business to operate as a great corporate citizen, which in turn allows you to care for and train more people, who can look after more clients – and so it goes on.
NZM: What are your business values?
Dean Addie: Shared values, kept promises and positive personal statements are all an important part of who we are at EIS, but to me, personal integrity stands above the rest. In order to keep EIS’ integrity we adhere to three key ideals, firstly, people are our number one asset. Secondly, always give clients what we told them we would, when we told them we would, the way we told them we would and for the dollars we said we would. And lastly, always do the right thing – no matter the cost.
NZM: What is your favourite quote?
Dean Addie: There are so many great inspirational quotes out there, but my favourite has to be the Maori proverb – He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! - it translates to “What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!”.
NZM: What are your favourite business books?
Dean Addie: I read about four books a month on business and life, whether it’s a traditional book, audio book or on my kindle. I believe leaders are readers and leaders are teachers, so it is very important that we take what we learn and we teach it to others. My two favourites are Oh, the places you’ll go! by Dr. Seuss (I think that’s one of the best books ever written about how to succeed) and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (I read that about once a year). Two of my favourite places to go for great books and information are www.audible.com and www.summary.com.
To view the edition of NZ Manufacturer publication that features this article click here.
- Dean Addie/EIS feature in NZ Manufacturer - May 2015 edition
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