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Lessons learnt in business with Supacrete

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Just like their logo suggests, Supacrete have a few powers we can all benefit from so let’s hear what Don Mahoney - Owner/Operator and Jeff Burgess - Right Hand Man, have to say about what makes Supacrete the marvel it is today.

Highlights over the last 30 years?

As you can imagine there’s been plenty! Both of us have sat on the NZ Ready Mixed Concrete Association Council and also both had a stint as the President of the Association. Projects wise it has to be our involvement in the Victoria Park Tunnel to local projects such as the Hewletts Road Flyover and and the majority of concrete in to Tauranga Crossing at The Lakes, Tauriko to name a few.

Another highlight is winning the Regional Business of the Year Award in 1997. Since then we’ve also won best regional business category awards in 2009 for Innovation Enterprise, Health and Safety and Manufacturing Distribution. All proud moments.

Some of the biggest challenges during this time?

The difference between “then and now” is concrete limits are continuing to be pushed. If you look back to 30 years ago to the types of projects we were involved with to the projects like the Tauranga Crossing you can see just how far the concrete industry has come. What concrete is being asked to do today is miles ahead of where it used to be. This new concrete technology is a landscape that we thrive in whilst also being continuously challenged around an anomaly of factors.

With 3 operations to manage; manufacturing, on-road and on site; we know we must adapt quickly and communicate clearly across operations that naturally incorporates health and safety. It’s at the top of our list to ensure the job is done right, done safely and to the highest standard.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Customer is King is one! We believe this wholeheartedly and we also think that our loyal suppliers are King too. Without the product coming in we can’t get the product out - it’s that simple.

The other piece of advice was from Lindsay Grace of Grace Team Accounting himself. He told us “Build It and They Will Come” so we did and they did! We set up the manufacturing plant and haven’t looked back. We’ve always focused and will continue to focus on our smart supply chain formula that works efficiently for ourselves and our valued customers.

Best business advice you could give?

Possibly not very exciting but be conservative, make sure you can “tick all the boxes” which includes financials. It may have taken us longer to grow the company but having a rock solid foundation was important to the way we wanted to run the business.

What services and support have you received from Grace Team?

Lindsay Grace has by far been a constant support over the last 30 years. He tells you like it is and that style suits us to a tee. He’s different from other accountants because he doesn’t go back and look at what you’ve done he wants to know what you’re doing next year and in our case the year after that, year after that and so on. This stargazing approach has allowed us to grow and drive continuous improvement year on year.

Lindsay is the guy we ring when we need up front advice we can trust. We remember Lindsay when he’d rock up to a meeting and he’d be in shorts and long socks. Shows you how long we’ve been working together!

Proudest achievement so far at Supacrete?

The fact that we’re still here after 30 years! Some of our proudest achievements by far have to be winners of the Business Award in 1997 as well as our category awards we’ve won. It’s gratifying for all our team to be recognised in our speciality field.

Last but not least, where did the logo come from by the way?

When Don’s son James was around 4 (he’s now 18), he came home with this very cool colouring picture that he’d done at pre-school of Superman but instead of being coloured in the traditional colours he was coloured in our brand colours; the yellow and green. We sent this idea off to the sign writer and it’s been our proud company logo ever since.

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