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Source: NZ Plumber

Hamilton-based company iPlumber was crowned Master Plumber of the Year award at the 2020 New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held online from a safe distance in front of a virtual audience because of COVID-19.
As its name suggests, iPlumber is a forward-looking company using modern technology wherever possible to streamline its business operations and provide proactive communication.
Over the past 10 years, company director and Certifying Plumber and Gasfitter Jamin Saes has grown his business from a sole trader to a team of four.
Jamin and his team use trade-specific job management software for job management to track jobs, manage documents and streamline admin.
This technology benefits their business and their customers. “We use it to upload photos, record hours, job info and materials, and access prices from suppliers.” It is also used to invoice and take payment on site.
Fleet management software helps them get to jobs quicker. “GPS in the vans ensures our people take the best route to a job, which ultimately means the guys do less driving, so it’s good for time management and reduces fuel emissions-it’s a win-win.”
An environmental focus means iPlumber try to be paperless and recycle items whenever possible.
The business focuses on residential maintenance and renovations, with urgent, 24-hour and general service options.
iPlumber won the 2019 Waikato Master Plumber of the Year award last September. Jamin believes the company’s strong communication was key to their win-and to their large number of happy customers.
Technology is used to send clients automated service reminders by text and iPlumber’s new website includes a 24/7 LiveChat function answered by real people in the United States. This means customers aren’t left hanging and the team is better placed to prioritise urgent jobs.
The company has recently been engaged by PAK’nSAVE Hamilton-the largest of the nationwide stores-for their ongoing maintenance and is also carrying out a total upgrade of a local retirement home.
Good presentation is important at iPlumber, with tidy, sign written vehicles and a clean-cut team in uniform.
The company has reaped financial rewards from heavy investment in rebranding, online marketing, business coaching and staff training.
Good team mental health is promoted through a workplace culture of regular social functions and keeping work hours to a set limit.
iPlumber’s plan from the start was to stand behind top-quality customer service by being on time, doing the job right and offering a 15-year labour guarantee. If anything isn’t right, it’s fixed efficiently and at no cost to the customer.
Integrity is central to iPlumber’s ethos: “If you are going to do something, do it right and do it where, when and how you said you were going to do it,” says Jamin.
The Master Plumber of the Year award recognises a Master Plumbers member that can clearly demonstrate business acumen and drive for success. The winner exemplifies the highest levels of professionalism and service across five key business areas: customer service, marketing, image, business performance and personnel. The winner receives a poumanu trophy, a certificate and $2,000 for marketing purposes.
The New Zealand Plumbing Awards are normally presented during a gala dinner which is the glittering finale of the annual New Zealand Plumbing Conference.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in this year’s conference being postponed until 2021.
However, Master Plumbers decided to celebrate and honour our 2020 awards winners – those who have contributed to the Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying sector in New Zealand – in a virtual ceremony using cameras in multiple locations and Zoom technology.
The ceremony aired on Facebook as a live Watch Party at 7 pm on Tuesday 19 May.
Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers NZ Inc (Master Plumbers) is the national membership organisation for plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying businesses, with 18 regional Associations and Branches across New Zealand. Companies go through a Quality Assurance programme in order to become a member. We provide members with a wide range of resources and training opportunities to support them in staying up with the latest technologies, products and compliance requirements. We advocate on behalf of our members and our industry.
Masterlink, a group training scheme owned by Master Plumbers, provides managed mentored apprenticeships across New Zealand, with Regional Managers supporting the apprentices and the businesses who host them during their training.
NZ Plumber is the award-winning, bi-monthly magazine for New Zealand’s plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers. It is owned by Master Plumbers.