Changing the way Australia thinks about hot water
Ten years ago, Apricus Australia was founded as a small household operation in New South Wales by Michael Humphreys. Today, the company consists of more than 1500 suppliers and 150 warranty holders. They are now Australia’s leading evacuated tube solar hot water supplier.
The Apricus solar hot water system is a high-quality, highly-efficient way to generate hot water for a household or business. All of their products are compact, sturdy, lightweight and weather resident, and were designed in order to save the end user money. They also come with a 15 year warranty, which guarantees the customer will earn their investment back in savings.
In the last seven years the company has grown to not only become a national supplier, but has also opened offices in the US and France, supplying more than 30 countries.
Making a difference
Chris Taylor, Managing Director of Apricus Australia, was first brought onboard to help oversee the business development of the company.
“I originally was a lecturer at a university, and my involvement came about when I was invited to develop the business plan for the manufacturer of the product,” he recalls.
At the successful completion of this, Taylor was asked to stay on and “basically run the business.” At the time, he saw that it was an excellent product, and the company had a great vision – so he happily signed on. He also felt that he had spent a lot of time advising people on how to grow a business, and now he had the opportunity to put his theories into practice.
“The product was good, and the principle of the business was to provide an environmentally friendly product that works – and that sat with me quite comfortably,” he says. “I knew it was something I could get involved with that could really make a difference.”
At the onset, Taylor and the Apricus team knew they had a great product. Their challenge was to build the business and make it “relevant” in all sectors – a challenge they have since overcome.
“Today, we are everywhere. We distribute the product nationally,” he says with some pride.
The Apricus advantage
Apricus Australia does not just produce an efficient energy saving device at a great value – they also back it up with great service.
“We have built the success of this business off of its values,” Taylor explains. “Our culture sets us apart from the general market. We have a product that works, we have great people, and we run our business on the ‘good bloke factor’ – where we work hard with people to provide the best levels of support that we can.”
As part of that philosophy, Apricus Australia takes pride in operating honestly and openly. For example, Taylor says they will never make a promise unless they know for sure that they can deliver it.
“People are not used to being treated that way,” he says. “By staying in close communication, and being honest the whole time, we make sure our customers walk away happy.”
Taylor says that dialogue with the customer is important because it enables Apricus to adapt to meet their needs. To help facilitate that conversation, they have a dedicated team on the ground, all throughout the country. They call them “relationship managers,” and they are there to respond promptly to any issues that might arise on site, and they are available to clients when they have a question or concern.
“They are not there to sell, they are they to build and support relationships,” Taylor explains. “We have built this business around a B2B model. We run it in a way that a brewery might run their business model. So what we do is support our customers, who are then able to sell our product to their customers.”
Apricus Australia’s customer service does not end once a deal is made. Beyond that point, they still go to great lengths to keep the relationship strong and make sure the product is living up to expectations.
“We take our after sales service very seriously,” Taylor comments. “We stand behind the product and we support the product.”
As a result of their intense customer focus, Apricus Australia has formed many lasting client relationships. They have also fostered a lot of support and enthusiasm for the product among their client base.
See it. Get it. Believe it.
Apricus Australia’s superior product, combined with their exceptional customer service, makes them an industry leader nationwide. That fact has earned them repeated recognition from the industry, ever since early on in the company’s development. Most recently, at the 2013 Australian Business Awards, they received the coveted accolade for Service Excellence in their industry classification.
Taylor credits that award to the “service culture” that is embedded within the company – which is something that he and his team work hard every day to maintain.
“There are two things that come with this award,” he says. “The first, obviously, is a sense of pride. For me it is a reinforcement of the principles, the values and the culture that we try to live up to.”
“People see that,” he adds. “They get it. They believe it.”
“And when people to see us get this award for Service Excellence, they get an idea about how hard our team works,” he says. “You really couldn’t ask for a better endorsement. The award is an acknowledgement that what we set out to do has become tangible and real.”
Apricus Australia’s quality has also been rewarded with record growth over the last few months. Taylor says that is an encouraging sign, and proves they are “ready to do what they have set out do.”
“We want to change how hot water is done in Australia,” he says simply.
With Apricus Australia’s solar hot water systems, Taylor believes they can truly make a positive impact on the Australian market. He says the company’s history of growth and continued awards success is proving that belief right.
For more information, please visit their website at: Apricus Australia
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