Vision and people are the key to success
Brendon wasn't fated to work for APL – in fact, he once trained to be a primary teacher – but you'd have to say there was always a good chance. His father was among the original Vantage manufacturers, and during the time Brendon worked for his dad he had plenty of interaction with APL. "I loved their can-do, solutions-based attitude and I saw them as New Zealand building industry leader. I wanted to be part of that."
First, however, he spent some years in the UK working for multinational company Hilti, during which he lived in the East London borough of Barking. "It's seen as rough and ready, but it was a great experience because you were rubbing shoulders with some pretty authentic characters." When he made the call to return home, APL was top of his list.
In 2006, he joined the company's Auckland office working in architectural support. A few years ago, he started looking after APL's volume build customers, and recently was appointed as Market Development Manager. "My job involves overseeing the activities of our exceptional Market Development Team based in Auckland and Christchurch and continuing to look after the relationship with our group builder partners at the national head office level. That's everything from negotiating putting in place national supply agreements to working with our manufacturing network to make sure those are seen through at the coalface."
It’s a significant role, with group builders accounting for around a quarter of residential business, according to Tauranga-based Brendon. “They’re a cornerstone for APL and our manufacturing network.”
So, having landed on the inside at APL, what does he think makes the company tick? Vision, answers the father of three. “And people. Those in senior positions have been very good at identifying people in key areas and then supporting them, having faith in them to do the job well. The culture of this business is outstanding.”