Business North August 2022

76 | ENGINEERING Active VMA World-class engineering solutions Sue Russell Active VMA is a Rotorua-based engineering business that has evolved over its 25 year history into one of New Zealand’s leading vehicle, machinery and attachments manufacturers. “We’re completely focussed on delivering world-class, engineered solutions that are fit for purpose to our customers” says Troy Jorgensen who heads up the organisation as General Manager. The business began in 1997 as Active Transport Engineers when the main core of business was servicing and repairing trucks and trailers but rather than just putting a patch on the problem there was always a drive to cure the problem at its root. This led the business to a point where they began re-engineering OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) products to specifically suit the requirements of individual customers and the unique New Zealand conditions that the products were being used in. These vehicles are often found operating in the roading infrastructure industry. Five years later with a shift towards more heavy engineering projects in the forestry and agriculture industries, the name changed to Active Engineering Solutions Limited. Not long after this the business became the sole New Zealand agent for the Italian FAE brand of mulchers. “We really want our clients to reap the benefits of our value-added engineering capability.” “We also have an association with SIMEX which is another Italian company that specialises in mulching and crushing machines that are very complementary to the extensive FAE product range. We started to provide TungChip which is a Tungsten coating that can be applied to the consumable mulcher teeth for added performance and durability.” With a move to new premises a few years ago to accommodate the increased demand for their products and services and the requirement for more space for the vehicles and excavators and the staff to work on them, the name changed to Active VMA to reflect the three distinct areas the business now operates in. Manufacturing truck bodies (Vehicles), excavator forestry guarding and modification (Machinery) and the sale of attachments for land clearing and mulching (Attachments). A measure of the success of the company and its capabilities can be seen in its growth and the fact that a lot of the staff tend to stay with the company. Testament to this is the fact that the first person employed by the company is still with Active VMA today. Of the current 65 staff employed by Active VMA, Troy and two others have clocked up over 20 years of service each while another four have more than 10 years of service. The retention of staff is largely due to the great working conditions and the good work/ life balance the company provides along with the commitment to their ongoing training. With upward of 50% of the staff within the business undergoing training in some form, there is a constant ripple of continuous improvement that flows through the business. “Other than the investment we make in our staff, one of the reasons why we have gone from strength to strength over the last 25 years is we really want our clients to reap the benefits of our value-added engineering capability. We know they get the best results by investing in the best possible quality up front and that this investment will pay for itself in reliability and in years of use.” Troy says. This is also echoed in the approach they take in developing their products - always applying the mantra of ‘Smarter, Stronger, Longer’. While Troy oversees the business on a day to day basis, he is supported at a management level with James Styles who is focussed on Business Improvement, Greg Smith as Operations and Finance Manager and an excellent sales team. Kev Walton has been with the business for over 22 years started as a fabricator welder in the vehicles workshop and is now the product manager for the Vehicles division. This enables Kev to provide advice to his customers that they know is reliable and can be backed by a wealth of hands on experience. Michael Lepper was employed over five years ago to take on the product manager role for the Machinery division. Since then, Michael has put his past life as the owner of a mechanical workshop to good use by ensuring the excavators than leave the workshop are always of a top notch quality. The Attachments division has Ray Copland as the product manager. Ray draws on a wealth of experience from previous roles with agricultural implement suppliers. “Whilst Active VMA has a proud 25 year history to draw on for its day to day solutions, we are in some respects, still in our infancy. “We have some ambitious plans for the company which we hope will take the company on to bigger and better things over the next 25 years and beyond. Watch this space!”