Business Central October 2023

54 | CONTRACTING Excel Taranaki T T Hugh De Lacy The unsung heroes of NZ industry Rebecca Barr, Industrial RAC Technician. Refrigeration and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) are the unsung heroes of New Zealand industry, keeping working and living environments habitable while being largely invisible, Excel Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Limited Managing Director Mike Tantrum says. Excel is a rapidly growing commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning business that was started up in Hawera, Taranaki, in 2005 by industry specialist Stephen Frowde, employing a handful of skilled technicians and an apprentice. It has since blossomed into a North Island-wide organisation with 300 employees, and branches in the Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Whanganui, Taranaki, Waikato, Auckland and Tauranga. “We’ve got our roots in every corner of the North Island, and we’re in the process of spreading our cooling expertise to the South Island too,” Mike says. The vital role refrigeration and HVAC play in everyone’s lives can be appreciated from Excel’s client list, which includes food processors, manufacturers, the Cook Strait ferries, hospitality, hotels and healthcare. It also has extensive experience in the dairy industry as well as the cold storage, food, wine and meat industries. It offers its commercial customers a wide range of refrigeration systems, from small bar chillers and ice-makers to cooling towers, packaged chillers, compressor skids, supermarket fridges and freezers. On-the-spot ongoing support is provided to commercial customers, and all services are aimed at reducing down-time, creating efficiencies and lengthening the lifetime of plant. Excel’s maintenance and performance contracts offer remote monitoring and on-line diagnosis, backed up by an express spares delivery service. “We’re the cool cats who keep all their systems running smoothly,” Mike says. Excel is supported by a network of local and international suppliers to meet their clients’ need for plant and materials, and works closely with the various sub-contractors who play key roles in its projects. “We choose our partners based on their expertise and dedication to quality, ensuring our clients receive top-tier service,” he says. In the midst of a grinding shortage of skilled labour nationwide, Excel is more than holding its own in attracting and retaining staff thanks to a strong focus on staff welfare, beginning with safety. “Safety first – always,” Mike says, adding that the company offers regular health and safety training, and runs a special apprentice training programme to help its technicians grow their skills. “We’re all about investing in our people and ensuring they have the best tools and knowledge to excel in their roles.” Excel is a big believer in nurturing the next generation of technicians, and it employs no fewer than 40 apprentices. “While we have an amazing team of seasoned pros, our growing demand means we’re constantly on the hunt for more skilled technicians, engineers, project managers and the like.” The apprentices get training that is “more than the industry-mandated standard,” Mike says. “Excel produces excellent tradespeople because we strive for excellence. “We recruit apprentices locally, giving career and development opportunities to those living in Aotearoa/New Zealand. “We deliver a nation-wide Annual Apprentice Training Week in addition to continuous on-site and in-workshop training, in which all apprentices engage in a series of theoretical and practical training sessions delivered by subject-matter experts.” Nor is training the exclusive preserve of the apprentices: Excel provides all its staff with the on-going training necessary for them to do their jobs well while continuously upskilling and improving their efficiencies. Proud to suppor t Excel Taranaki Ltd We engineer quality refrigeration solutions to meet with the exact needs of our customers. Providing quality solutions and parts, that are energy efficient and reliable. Unit 5-6, No. 589 Tremaine Avenue 06 355 4066 | ENGINEERED REFRIGERATION SOLUTIONS (06) 759-0414