Building Up a Reputation
Only in the infancy of their business, KRGS has grown tremendously since establishing itself four short years ago, and are celebrating their birthday on June 7th. Clayton Blackman, one of the founding directors explains that the success that KRGS has had, and will hopefully continue to have, is based on a few common sense factors; their quality product, competitive prices, and of course, their outstanding customer service.
Based in Sydney, KRGS offers quality door products with competitive prices. They have developed a wide range of roller grilles and shutters for retail, commercial, and industrial use. “We supply and install Australia wide,” says Clayton. Some of their products include folding closures, shutters, grilles, folding doors, and trellis doors.
As trends evolve and change throughout time, KRGS has noticed an emerging trend of going back to the original. 10 or 15 years ago, KRGS’s products were often powder coated. The difference today is that many of them have a more natural finish. “People are going back to the original finishes,” says Clayton. Consumers are also looking for clarity, choosing to use clear roller shutters, explains Clayton.
One of the major trends today within shopping centres is a new focus on the aesthetics of the entrances. “Openings are getting much bigger. We’re opening up the shop for the consumer to come in and feel welcome. There are no more dark days of narrow width openings.” Openings now range between 4 and 5 metres wide.
Leading the industry
While no business is without its challenges, KRGS sees challenges as opportunities. Always developing new ideas, they are trying to become a leader in the industry. “We currently have a couple of new products that we’re designing. We’re doing a lot of research and development on three new particular products that we’re going to launch later on this year,” hints Clayton.
Contrary to most businesses, KRGS has actually improved their sales since the Global Financial Crisis. “It hasn’t affected us one bit,” says Clayton proudly. “We have actually been able to employee more people in the time the GFC has been on in comparison to the years before. Our figures continue to increasing every month.” This is a clear indication of KRGS’s position within their industry. Their outstanding service and products have helped them to remain in excellent financial and business standing, even through economic turmoil beyond their control.
Four years ago in Sydney, KRGS had only a single employee. Now they have expanded their business into Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne. One of the major challenges that KRGS faces is finding the right people for their positions. “In Sydney we’ve had the same long term staff for a few years now,” says Clayton. They would like to recreate everywhere else what they have done in Sydney; both within the factory and also for sales positions.
In order to combat such a challenge KRGS takes their training programs quite seriously. It is important to KGRS that their staff feels completely comfortable with their position before dealing directly with clients, and this factor is especially important on the installation side. “We don’t just drop our guys in the deep end. We want to make sure they can utilise the correct tools and machinery that we have in our plant and also on site. There’s always ongoing training and whenever there is a new product on the market we have training in the factory. We have to make sure we get the installation correct before we bring it to the customer,” says Clayton.
KRGS almost always uses their own installation crews. They have three crews in Sydney, and one in Melbourne as well as Brisbane. However, sometimes they do subcontract out some of the installation jobs when they are dealing with an overloaded work schedule. “Outside of our major cities, we’ve got agents we use all over Australia,” says Clayton. “We still manufacture the door and then we sent it to an agent and they install it on our behalf.” Clayton has built up a rather large network of subcontractors over the last 22 years in the industry.
Keeping with trends and also trying to reduce their own costs, it has been a wise choice for KRGS to ‘go green’. They have made a conscious effort to recycle aluminium, steel, and paper. Additionally they have tried to reduce the waste they create in the first place. “We’re pretty cautious about what we throw out. We try and order our materials to the right size so we don’t have large off-cuts,” says Clayton. In keeping their aluminium usage down, they have also managed to reduce costs, therefore creating even better prices for customers.
Hard work always pays off
The first five years of a business tend to be the most difficult and they also tend to be a preview of what is to come. KRGS only on its fourth year has experienced great success but not without its challenges. “I use the old saying, some days are diamonds and some days are stone. The first 18 months, there were a lot of stone days. And now, there are a lot more diamond days. It’s hard work really, whatever you put into it, you will get back,” says Clayton. He explains how hard work and dedication is bound to pay off for anybody, whether they are in business or any other profession for that matter.
Only just getting started
KRGS is only beginning to make its mark on the industry. Already experiencing a lot of repeat work, they plan to continue to build their client base. They have definite plans for growth and expansion into new markets. “I’d like to see us grow and expand into Perth and other states,” says Clayton. This shouldn’t be too hard for KRGS, as long as they continue to follow the principles they have been using thus far. “We pretty much rely on our service. We try and promote ourselves that way,” says Clayton. “Rule number one, if you don’t take care of your customer, someone else will.” It is a principle KRGS has lived by for the last four years and it has proven successful for them.