Vertical Hoisting Solutions provides hoists for Tier 1 building companies in South Australia, both for renovation and new construction work. Thanks to great equipment and an even better reputation, they’ve grown extremely fast since they started in 2014. The business has had – and continues to have – plenty of work, and today owns 15 hoists and employs 12 staff. Here’s a look at their story.
Vertical Hoisting Solutions has been a client of Accru Harris Orchard for over 10 years, working with Andrew Jeynes, Director of Accru Harris Orchard’s McLaren Vale office.
When Accru Harris Orchard first started working with them, Ben was erecting and dismantling tower cranes for a national company. Ben still does some of this type of specialty work, but the firm has become a much bigger operation. The company recently moved to larger, purpose-built premises in Lonsdale, where they have a large undercover area and increased security for the hoists.
Despite their fast growth and regular dealings with South Australia’s largest building companies, they’ve been able to maintain their ‘family-owned’ feel, business values and down-to-earth company culture.
Challenges along the way
The company’s extremely fast rate of growth – and managing that growth successfully – have been the firm’s biggest challenges over the years. In order to meet customer demand, they’ve had to buy additional equipment and hire more people very quickly. Each hoist can cost between $80,000 and $500,000, so purchasing equipment and working out the cash flow to do that has required careful balancing of finances.
Finding, hiring and training good people has also been a challenge. As a small firm, they’ve had to work to find good people to fit in.
“Everyone is family here and the family values are very strong,” says Ben. He makes sure there’s flexibility for employees so that their work balances with their family lives.
With the right people and equipment in place, the owners have had to ensure plenty of work so that things don’t sit idle. Planning work accurately has been vital, and since hoists are onsite from as little as 8 weeks on up to 2 years, they’ve had to master scheduling of both people and equipment.
Keys to success
The main key to the company’s success? It’s simple: Hard work.
“You can’t underestimate the hard work you have to put in,” he says. “It’s also important to be incredibly flexible and surround yourself with good people.”
Ben is a self-proclaimed perfectionist and is known for going to great lengths to solve a problem. He has a great reputation in the industry, so that today Vertical Hoisting Solutions is the go-to firm for building companies in South Australia and has enjoyed being involved in some of the State’s largest building developments.
Accru Harris Orchard’s role
The Accru Harris Orchard team worked with Ben and Sally to change the business structure very early on because the company was growing so fast. They had acquired two hoists initially, but it quickly became apparent that they needed more equipment, and this required careful financial organisation and management.
“Andrew has been incredibly helpful, particularly with business planning and finance raising,” notes Ben, “but above all, he’s our mentor for anything financial. He always brings things back to our values and what’s right for us, for our family and for our business. He’s brutally honest with us, too, which we appreciate. Everything he has predicted for our business journey has happened.”
The Accru Harris Orchard team has also created a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund for them, set up separate entities for the hoist business to help manage assets, offered general business advice and assisted with the overall business strategy.
“Actually, I think the best thing we’ve done has been supporting Ben and giving him confidence in his own abilities,” says Andrew Jeynes. “We’ve been able to mentor him on how to gauge the impact of various decisions and how to structure the business accordingly. We bounce ideas off him and he does the same with us.”
At this point, Ben and Sally don’t want the company to get much bigger, but they plan to do more staff training and recruit an additional safety expert to help free Ben up from that side of the business. They also hope to achieve a better work/life balance themselves – and hopefully have a long-awaited holiday in 2020!
To learn more about how Accru Harris Orchard can assist you and your business, contact us today.