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Skope Industry Undertakes Major Recruitment Drive

Skope Industries Undertakes Major Recruitment Drive

While many businesses in New Zealand are battling the current economic crisis, Christchurch-based SKOPE Industries Ltd is undertaking a major recruitment drive, with up to 50 new employees being sought for the factory alone.

Operating since 1945, and owned by the Stewart Family for more than four decades, SKOPE designs, manufactures and supplies commercial refrigeration and heating products globally.

At present, SKOPE employees around 300 staff at its manufacturing plant in Christchurch, which is the largest design and innovation centre of its kind in Australasia.

“Between 30 and 50 additional staff are required in the factory, in order to increase production and meet current order levels. Other areas of the business will also require additional staff to help meet growing customer needs,” says Managing Director Guy Stewart.

“We’re excited by such positive results during what are undoubtedly uncertain economic times. In part, this need to increase our staff levels is due to strategic partnerships we have been building with a growing number of national and international beverage companies.”

Since taking over the role of managing director seven years ago, a key focus for Mr Stewart has been the growth of international partnerships and relationships. It is the cementing of these partnerships that has enabled SKOPE to build its business at this time, and to enter otherwise inaccessible markets.

“For example, one large beverage company that we work with had moved from a local purchasing model to global procurement solutions. At first, this had a negative impact on us, as we were not able to provide products at a global price point. Our solution was to form a strategic manufacturing and intellectual property relationship with Haier, and this allows us to now offer a globally competitive solution using SKOPE designs. Our approach to business is more solutions focused than product driven.”

With around 80% of its commercial refrigeration products being sold to the Australian market, SKOPE has also benefited from the Australian federal government’s introduction of a tax rebate scheme that encourages companies to purchase capital goods.

“What this means for SKOPE is that we are now able to offer companies that were previously disadvantaged by the increase in RTD (Ready To Drink) Tax, which had negatively impacted on their revenue, a range of new products and technology that enables them to increase brand presence and supports the release of new beverage products into the market,” says Mr Stewart.

As well as recruiting new factory staff, SKOPE is also seeking three experienced engineers to help meet the increase in orders, and to support new initiatives within the business.

Alexandra Stewart, SKOPE’s creative director, says the need to increase the design department is also a result of the forming of new strategic relationships.

“In order for us to continue to deliver the most innovative products on the market, we need to understand the future needs of our clients. We can then work together to create new product lines of commercial refrigeration and heating solutions that meet their future requirements.”

The flow on effect is that the support and service fields, including purchasing, business analysis, maintenance and customer services, will also need to be grown over the coming months.

“Our purchasing team is very busy supporting the increase in production that we are experiencing as a result of these new partnerships. Much of the product being ordered is required earlier than the normal lead times from our suppliers, some of whom have their staff working nine day fortnights at present. The wider, positive outcome is that we are now seeing some of our suppliers being able to have their staff return to full working weeks,” says Ms Stewart.


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