46 | CONTRACTING Wilton Contracting T T Russell Fredric Succession plan for family business The team at Hamilton based WCL Group. Wattyl Paint Centre are proud to supply Wattyl interior and exterior coatings to Wilton Contracting Group Ltd, servicing the Waikato area. 07 849 0203 | firstname.lastname@example.org Hamilton’s WCL Group, which built its reputation on a standard of excellence in painting and plasterboard services, is transitioning to new ownership. The business was established in 1999 by Hamish and Janice Wilton who are current directors but retired in April this year, with Luke Orr, Tim Wilton and Mike Young also being directors. Despite being retired, Hamish is still involved in the business which, with about 100 staff, is a significant employer. Today, WCL Group’s services operated under two divisions and comprise painting, plasterboard installation, stopping, ceiling battens and factory coatings. Luke, who is Hamish and Janice’s nephew, fills the role of manager and takes care of the day-to-day running of the business, including pricing, builder and client liaison, while their son Tim handles contract management as well as having the role of supervisor. This involves controlling painting operations “Although we are two different entities we run as a group, so we try and make things easier for our clients. They are only dealing with one company and one person for four different trades, and we can deal with the full process in-house ...” from initial paint to touch-ups and maintenance as well as being responsible for quality control and day-to-day supervision of staff and contractors. WCL incorporates WCL Stop The World, the plasterboard supply and installation and stopping arm of the business which is run by Mike as general manager and director. This, Factory Coatings and WCL Ceiling Battens are recent additions to the business. WCL Group’s succession plan involves Luke, Tim and Mike taking over the business from the start of the 2024 financial year. “It’s a family business, this succession plan has been in motion for quite some time now,” Luke says. “Although we are two different entities we run as a group, so we try and make things easier for our clients. “They are only dealing with one company and one person for four different trades, and we can deal with the full process in-house; it’s proving quite beneficial to all our clients for us to be able to control such a big part of the building process.” WCL Factory Coatings has its own 19 metre by 6 metre spray booth which is one of the largest in-house booths in New Zealand and the only one in Waikato. WCL is the first local business to specialise in eco-friendly water-based factory coating applications. This service enables products to be supplied either pre-primed or un-primed, with the first top coat applied saving time on site and making installation quicker and easier while also saving on scaffolding costs. The reputation of WCL, which has been built up over decades, means it is the go-to company for several franchise building companies as well as having the capacity to be a subcontractor on projects such as retirement home developments and other large scale commercial projects. For retirement villages, WCL offers ongoing maintenance and a refurbishment programme. Despite the business’ expansion and while the directors are always looking at potential ways to innovate, the focus remains on its core services and each division has staff with trade skills dedicated to the particular division. As part of the company’s values, WCL believes it is important to help its staff improve their skills and achieve their goals and is a big supporter of the BCITO apprenticeship scheme, and also operates its own in-house training and recognition process. The business model is one that is not only proving successful, but WCL’s clients “are loving the process”, Luke says.