Brown Drainage began life in 1973 when Dick Draper formed the Company with his business partner, Paddy Higgins. The Company was established on the principle of strong family and work values and a commitment to getting the job completed and done well. The firm gained a reliable reputation within the Greater Waikato and surrounding areas and has continued to grow stronger based on these ethics.
Dick’s eldest son, Michael (Mike) decided to follow in his father footsteps and join the family business under the watchful eye of Dick. Mike progressed through different levels and applied his hand at all aspects of the drainage game from labourer, to now being the CEO of this dynamic business.
Starting at grass roots level
Mike attended Technical Institute and gained his qualifications in NZ Certificate in Engineering. He became a labourer for the family business in 1981 and started putting his academic ‘know-how’ into practice, whilst he was still completing his qualification.
“There is a huge difference from learning in the classroom to actually getting ‘hands on’ with the job. I was lucky that I was able to put my knowledge to the test straight away and learn the practicalities of the job. As it was my father’s firm it also meant that I was able to learn all aspects of the business”
2005 Mike and his wife Sherie decided to buy the Company from Mike’s father, with a view of him staying in the business as a consultant to the firm. However, after a short time, Dick decided to retire completely, leaving Mike and Sherie with the exciting challenge of picking up the reins. They had to learn a lot about business, workload and managing people very quickly!!
Bringing the business into the 21st century
Mike & Sherie took the opportunity to personalise the business, by upgrading and maintaining the systems needed to run a business of this high caliber in the 21st century.
One of the challenges that had to be addressed were issues surrounding drainage work and resource consents as they had changed so much over the years. People had woken up to the fact that both environmental and Health and Safety issues are of vast importance and how it affects the Community as a whole. This included making work sites safer and tidier. These problems are now so much more in the forefront. Mike and Sherie realised that Brown Drainage & Construction Ltd was going places and wanted their vibrant business to continue to grow bigger and better, endeavoring to grow on the ‘clean green’ image that is required in this industry.
“It was a challenge to start with” says Mike, “but once we sat down and really thought about which direction we wanted to head in and considered our long term vision for the business, it was really exciting.”
We decided we needed to make changes to the business to deal with the high expectations that councils and communities now have. For example, tidy work sites are now a high priority and limited disruption to the local Communities whilst work is being performed. These restrictions were not so significant back in the early days when my father first started the business, environmental issues were just not such as important in everyone’s lives.
We are all aware of the effects drainage and construction can have on local Communities and the surrounding areas. We are now a Company committed to tackling these issues head on and producing great solutions for everyone concerned.”
Improvements to the business benefit you
So who are Brown Drainage & Construction today? They have grown from a small team of 4 to around 10. Development and up-skilling their team members has allowed them to take on larger contracts and more challenging work than ever before. They have retained valued older and highly skilled members of the team who have been with the Company for many years. This has ensured that the history and the original work ethics that the Company was founded on remain intact.
Quality Control and communication is an area that Brown Drainage & Construction take very seriously.
They have put systems in place to maximise high efficiency.
This has helped to up skill the team and maintain a high standard of workmanship. As the Company is progressing, investments in new branding, including signwriting for vehicles, machinery and uniforms for the team have been made. This is promoting a more professional image, that makes them more easily recognisable and creates a feeling of belonging.
The benefit of this is that it offers assurance to the Community, that improvements to the area are being undertaken by a skilled and professional workforce.
As Brown Drainage & Construction are now a larger team, the crew are well set up and organised for contract work, large or small. As soon as a job comes in, they can action it straight away. Delays will be vastly reduced and financial targets adhered to.
Brown Drainage & Construction feel that communication is one of the integral parts of running a modern business and maintaining outstanding client relationships. Brown Drainage & Construction hold weekly team meetings along with Management meetings so that all members of the team understand and have input into the fine tuning of the Company.
Mike and Sherie believe that the biggest investment one can make in life is to invest in yourself. Therefore promote and encourage team members to improve themselves and go the extra mile. Regular training courses are at the forefront of team improvement which make them a highly motivated goal achieving team.
Award winning improvements
Mike and Sherie felt that Brown Drainage & Construction had more of a reputation for being just a Drainage Company when they provide more services than just drainage.
Early in 2007 they decided to re-brand the Company to include the construction side into the Company name. On the 5th September 2007, they launched Brown Drainage and Construction Limited with an exciting future ahead.
Their main reason was to make people aware that over the years, they had completed projects involving large concrete structures, earthworks, fish passes, fish stops, service culverts, sub-divisions, road construction, hiring of dewatering systems and other construction machinery.
Brown Drainage and Construction Limited is a Company with over 100 years experience in their Management team alone and is a Company that you can trust and depend on. This was shown when they won the ACTION INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR 2006 award.
They can help you to achieve your construction project with less stress, outstanding communication, a positive and fun attitude and a huge amount of knowledge and skills at the same time giving the most important person – you the client – value for money.