Business Rural Summer 2021

52 | RURAL SERVICES » Baz Janssen Building The perfect blend of history and future Sue Russell F or someone always keen on building and com- ing from a dairy farming background, to meld the two into a building business that services the rural sector, is the perfect blend of history and future. Baz Janssen’s building company is based just out of Winton, nestled in the heart of Southland’s rich farming district. He established Baz Janssen Building Ltd in 2010. “When I was doing my apprenticeship I was lucky enough to do it with a company that did a lot of rural work,” Baz explains. In those formative years on his own, Baz also did an annual stint delivering AI services to farmers. He found this provided the added benefit of expos- ing him to potential clients. “Yes, I got around Southland and on to lots of farms which was good for getting my building busi- ness out there as well.” Today, over a decade later, Baz has a team of 15 staff, and offers a broad range of services. He has his own machinery which helps when it comes to running projects and having control over all aspects of how a build is progressing. “I think the fact that I’ve got the gear and the staff with the skills, across construction, earth- working and engineering, means that my farmer clients know I will be able to see the whole on-farm project through and that makes a big difference.” That includes pouring concrete, creating milking shed infrastructure, excavation and construction. When Rural South spoke with Baz he was actively seeking to employ more staff, a promising sign that there was plenty of work programmed ahead. Adding an engineering capability into the mix of services came about through employment of a qualified builder who really enjoyed engineering. For Baz, it just made sense to add this service to the company, given the nature of farm projects in particular he takes on. To position himself well to continue to provide his clients with the best possible service, Baz has recently restructured the company, employing a general manager to oversee jobs and liaise with clients. “I still work with Mike just as he settles into the role but it’s certainly working well and leaves me able to concentrate on sales and pricing future work.” Then there are allied jobs on farms such as building or upgrading farm houses, along with fixing farm infrastructure and building milking sheds, calf-feeding sheds and feed-pads. “A positive for the team is that the vast major- ity enjoy the variety of projects we do. They gain experiences across a wide building platform and no two days are the same.” In Southland, a lot of farmers are committing funds to meet environmental compliances, in effluent storage, irrigation systems and in water quality management. “We’re finding with all the gear we have and our building skills there’s plenty of demand for our services all year. The farm work needs to be completed in usu- ally tight timeframes, given the seasonal nature of farm activity.” Then every now and then a ‘different’ sort of project comes along, such as the Church/Com- munity Centre/Café in Otautau. The Otautau Church/Community Centre build is a large commercial build that will be used for church, community meeting and a café. “The church have been great to work with on this project and my staff have really enjoyed do- ing a build of this size. It will be great for Otautau to have a community building like this to use.” Asked about any impact from COVID Baz says he’s just beginning to feel some stresses play through. Steel and building products are a lot harder to procure and means that he needs to plan well in advance in terms of ordering mate- rial. “It just means you have to be thinking further ahead. We’re fortunate because we can store a lot of materials on site, to ensure we never run low.” With the team at the size it is now, Baz can have as many as six or seven projects on the go at the moment. “There’s a lot of flexibility for me in terms of where they go on projects, so there’s always plenty of work on our books. That’s a good thing when you’re responsible for employment of staff.” Farm Buildings Alterations Dairy Sheds New Homes Wintering Sheds Engineering Phone Baz 027 304 8600 Email READY MIX CONCRETE - GRAVEL WINTON HEAD OFFICE P.O. BOX 34, Winton Phone: (03) 236 6580 e: Te Anau: (03) 249 7051 Lumsden: (03) 236 6580 A new 54-bail dairy shed build in Central Otago (above). A 600-cow feed pad in Southland (below).