Written by Richard Loader
In the three years Motueka couple Phil Collins and Tracy Spark have been at the helm of Think Water Tasman Bay the business’s customer base has more than doubled. The couple’s successful business growth has come about through hard work, aligning the team culture with building strong customer relationships and making operational changes to meet a changing market.
As part of the Australasian Think Water group, Think Water Tasman Bay specialises in a diverse range of water storage, reticulation, pump and filtrations solutions for residential, commercial and agricultural customers.
The company’s services include plumbing, drain laying, and heat pump systems. Phil and Tracy bought into the Think Water franchise in 2018, and worked alongside the business’s original owner, before buying 100% of the business in April 2020. While neither Phil nor Tracy had previously worked within the industry, they brought with their past experience in business ownership and a passion for looking after their customers.
Phil says satisfied customers have meant repeat business and referrals. “We’re certainly seeing rewards for customer satisfaction, and creating the perfect environment for both customers and staff. Customer service is a key part of that. It’s also about having a well-stocked shop, providing for the customer’s needs at a good price and satisfying the customer.”
Based in Motueaka, Think Water Tasman Bay’s showroom consistently carries between $350,000 and $400,000 worth of products including new pumps, filtration and plumbing fittings, pipes and tanks and everything required for installation.
“Belonging to the Think Water family is hugely beneficial. Any issues or concerns we may face are just a phone call or email away and the buying power through Think Water’s preferred suppliers is also hugely beneficial.”
When the couple first invested in the business they studied the Tasman region’s water requirements, highlighting critical areas where the business could evolve. “Water storage and reticulation, particularly with the region’s high volume of lifestyle blocks that are being developed, has been a key growth area for Think Water Tasman Bay. The volume of fire fighting water that lifestyle block owners are required to store on their properties has increased over the years and is now 45,000 litres.”
Noticing a high volume of quote enquiries coming through for water storage tanks Think Water Tasman Bay entered into an agreement with the manufacturer Bailey Tanks and now stocks a large number of tanks on site.
Previously, customers had a four to seven-week wait from the time the order was made to the time it was manufactured and delivered to the customer. Phil says he and his team offer a one-stop-shop service using the example of a lifestyle block owner. “We can help them with a wide range of needs including septic systems, water storage, pumps, irrigation, plumbing and drain laying, stock water – anything to do with water on that property we can do it all.”
With eleven staff onboard, showcasing a skillset including engineers, pump technicians, plumbers and drain layers and a filtration expert, Phil says one of the biggest challenges he and Tracy initially faced was getting to know each of the team members and their varying personalities. “Every person is an individual and what drives each person is different too. Leaning the skill required to encourage the best from each staff member is challenging but also very rewarding when you get it right. The major thing that we are succeeding with is that we work very well as a team.”
Polishing a staff culture that is professional, and customer-focused has been paramount in the successful business growth for the couple “We want our customers to be able to relate to all our team and to feel confident they will always get a high standard of work from our skilled team. If we can satisfy the customer will always come back.“
If you are interested in joining the Think Water Franchise Group please contact the National Support Office.