Orders for parts flood in

Craig Walters and Mike Wheeler from BE Tech say June was their business’ best month in the nine...
Craig Walters and Mike Wheeler from BE Tech say June was their business’ best month in the nine years it has operated. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
While many businesses are finding it tough right now, a Dunedin engineering parts store has been humbled by its own roaring trade.

Bearing and Engineering Technologies (BE Tech) had its best ever month of orders in nine years of business last month.

Revenue was up 40% on the same month last year.

The company provides engineering supplies such as bearings and transmission products out of a shop in Harrow St, Dunedin.

It deals with a wide range of customers such as machine shops, gold mines, ports, freezing works and many others.

It was clear customers were choosing to repair equipment rather than buy new products, managing director Mike Wheeler said, and that could explain the recent success.

"For a business like ours it’s probably a good thing that they do that because we’re supplying a lot of the parts they need to actually repair their equipment."

BE Tech warehouse manager Craig Walters said the company’s success came down to being able to look far and wide to find the right products for its customers.

"I’m flying a bearing in from Hungary for a guy’s four-wheel-drive diff.

"Couldn’t find it in New Zealand, couldn’t find it in Australia or Singapore. I managed to find it in Hungary, so I talked to a guy over the weekend and got it on the way."

Both Mr Walters and Mr Wheeler said they felt for the businesses that were going through hard times.

"We do feel for the ones that are struggling," Mr Walters said.

"For us to have a big month when there’s not a lot of that going on ... it’s a good thing but you do feel for others."

They were also humbled by their customers’ loyalty.

"There is choice out there in the market," Mr Walters said.

"Customers can go to a number of shops that do similar to what we do around Dunedin, particularly with the prevalence of online shopping as well.

"For them to choose to constantly come to us has been very humbling."

The company had eight full-time staff — who Mr Wheeler said played "a big part of the result we had last month".

If the rate of business the firm had in June continued, Mr Wheeler would look at bringing in more staff.

"I certainly don’t think we can continue to run this way without putting more staff on.

"We just have to take it as it comes — see what the next few months are like. And just, whether it drops back, or it maintains what it’s currently doing ... we will have to look seriously at getting more staff on."



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