Sumich Plumbing and Drainage

Grit and determination underlies this family’s success



Sumich Plumbing and Drainage was established in 1991 by Chris Sumich, providing Aucklanders with plumbing, gas fitting, drainage and roofing services.  It’s a family business, with Chris’s son John managing the workforce and wife Eileen overseeing the company’s finances.

 

Chris says the secret to his success and longevity in business is “grit and stickability”.

“You have to have grit to be able to survive during the good times and the not so good times.  Having the stickability to attend to your core business and not getting distracted from that.

“We always are working on our business, always putting in effort.  You don’t always get it right, but the secret is to put it right.  That’s what’s earned us an enviable reputation in the industry.”

Sumich’s core business is plumbing, drainage and gas and all aspects of its maintenance for businesses of all sizes.

“We have had projects that come in from all over the North Island,” says Chris.  “We have completed an apartment and retail development in Paihia in the past.  We make a conscious effort to concentrate our business in Auckland, but referrals do come via construction companies who are working on projects outside of the city.   In some regions there’s a shortage of tradies.”

Staff numbers have fluctuated at Sumich, depending on the state of the economy. They’re sitting currently on around 14 staff plus contractors.

“We’ve essentially been growing our business again since 2007 when the GFC hit.   We are in a period of growth at the moment, which is dictated by the market.  The economy is in reasonably good shape and we’re seeing the trickle down from an upturn in the construction sector.

“That upturn may have hit a couple of years ago, but we’re only just seeing it now.  It takes a good few years for all the design, planning, consents and initial construction to take place and there are a lot of new developments breaking ground.   The construction industry is gaining traction this year, which we’re seeing steady growth from.”

When Chris started the business back in 1991, he says the business grew incredibly quickly.

“Within the first 12 months of operation I had six staff and a fleet of vehicles.  It became obvious that I needed an accountant who could support that growth and take the business to the next level.”

It was through his lawyer that Moore Stephens Markhams Auckland (now retired) director Geoff Hatten was recommended to him.

“For 20 years Geoff was a part of our family. He looked after both our personal and business affairs.  When Geoff retired, the reins were handed over to Jess Gilmour, who is an advisor and principal with the firm.   She’s taken the mantle and is our lead accountant.”

Although Sumich runs Infusion software in the business, Chris says Jess “does everything”.

“Jess looks after our taxation and financial management.  The data we give her from Infusion is accurate and comprehensive.  So it’s a good reporting tool and we only find we need to meet in person a couple of times a year.”

The Sumich family also looks to Jess for financial advice.  “We often need to know the implications of a capital purchase for the business or for tax purposes.  She’s great and only ever at the end of the phone.

“Jess is a valued part of our business and our family.”

www.sumichplumbing.co.nz

Published Winter 2016




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