- Garage Doors
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Fri, 13 Aug 2021
The Kaikaha Group is all about local. Enriching businesses in New Zealand - and specifically South Auckland - is a big part of their mana, their ‘why’. When Dominator South & East came up for sale, the decision to diversify into New Zealand-made garage doors aligned with the group’s local-centric vision. That was three years ago, but from a customer point of view they could well have been in the garage door business for a lot longer, with team members having decades of experience under their belts.
Above, from left: GM Damien, Installers Rod and Shaun, Storeman KP, Office Manager Marjorie and Sales Manager Dave. Missing are Head Installer Ian and Digital Specialist, Lara.
The team includes three full time installers and is looking to grow its installation and servicing crew with experienced staff. Head installer Ian - a garage door veteran of 30+ years and one of the country’s most experienced installers - trains new staff as they come along, teaching them skills that simply can’t be learned from a manual. Ian’s knowledge is also invaluable to Sales Manager, Dave Doidge who can confidently advise customers with backup from Ian close at hand.
Dave joined the company in late 2020 and has quickly become indispensable with his innate passion for giving people what they want, even if they don’t know what that is when they first decide to buy a garage door! Dave will pop out to see customers on site with samples in hand. He’ll talk people through the options, sharing nuggets of wisdom like how to figure out which door profile will suit your cladding, what a difference colours can make and when it might be prudent to upgrade to a thicker gauge door.
Above, clockwise from top left: Dave with Dominator Openers in storage; the cantilever storage system; large roller doors await their new homes.
Sometimes it’s good to get a feel for Dominator’s doors in action. Dominator South & East’s (SAE) depot and showroom is at 70a Business Parade South in Highbrook. If you’re planning a visit, it’s easiest to plug Fisher House into your navigation app and as you approach it will be hard to miss the green Kaikaha sign across the way. Inside, the premises includes a showroom with interactive garage doors and plenty of samples to get your excitement building. Customers can see what an insulated garage door looks like and hear just how quiet a Dominator Opener is.
The office and showroom space adjoins a warehouse that services the Kaikaha businesses and boasts an impressive cantilevered rack system to store Dominator orders awaiting installation. Motors and spare parts are good to go, so there’s no delay in supply and crew members tend to carry a full inventory of motors, remotes and parts with them for on-the-spot problem solving. Having the storage capacity works in customers’ favour, the team can load what they need for the job onto the purpose-built trailer and be on site as soon as they’re needed.
There’s a huge area to cover, from Mt Wellington south to Meremere and east all the way to Maramarua and Kawakawa Bay. Dominator SAE looks after the installation of new Dominator Garage Doors while servicing, repairs and insurance jobs are handled under Garage Door Solutions. A surprising number of people actually drive into their garage doors, which is the main cause of the insurance and repair work. If you don’t have a Dominator door, that’s not a problem, the team is more than happy to help out with repairs on any brand of door. Customers appreciate the fact that they won’t be turned away if they have a different brand.
When talking over best sellers and customer preferences, Dave notes that the flat panelled Valero is the most popular door and that dark colours are in favour. People also lean towards powder-coated colours with the ability to match specifically to unusual shades, and Smart motors with built-in smartphone operation are increasingly in demand. Dave has recently moved house and can’t wait to replace the existing noisy garage door in his new place with a Dominator Nevada in Ebony. After being accustomed to Dominator’s quiet openers and quality steel he’s shocked at the noise the imported steel door makes. Company shareholder Gordon owns a Sierra in Flaxpod - the matte version of Flaxpod is also a very popular choice.
Above: A new garage door can take a home from drab to fab... or from 'whoops' to WOW! Some of Dominator SEA's handiwork.
The Kaikaha Group’s dedication to supporting local is on track with the trend the team has noticed amongst Dominator customers. People increasingly ask whether the business is NZ owned (yes it is), where the steel is from (New Zealand Steel) and whether the doors are made here (yes they are). The confidence in quality local products is something that General Manager Damien Hond feels passionate about. He describes Kaikaha Group as “New Zealand Proud” and says that being part of the community is central to the Group’s vision.
Damien loves selling garage doors, “It’s very real”, he says. People are passionate about their homes and he values being able to make a difference, whether by installing a quieter motor or by matching colours with the range from NZ Colorsteel®. “You know the product is going to last them a long time and will be a real asset for that customer”.
Above: Some more transformative before and after shots of the team's work.
Dave has spent 45 years in the building industry, 35 of them selling building products. What he loves about his move to selling garage doors is that every day and every customer is different, from people excitedly buying their first home to the retiree set in their ways. “The different people make the job special”, he says. “Seeing the smile on their faces once the door is installed, I just love it.” “We don’t get called back - we do it once and do it right” adds Damien. “You don’t have to worry, you know the product is good and you know we have a great team so it’s a conscience-free sell”.
Backup from the Dominator Head Office and from parent company B&D has been a great asset over the past three years and counting. Having that network of experienced professionals to call on benefits dealers and customers alike. “The ten-year warranty is a huge advantage” says Damien, “it's the best warranty in New Zealand”. Speaks for itself really doesn’t it?
You can contact Dave Doidge at Dominator South & East Auckland on 021 684700 or via email email@example.com or find your local dealer here.