Real Life Stories: Simon Archer on Driving Business Results

Driven by autonomy, variety, and a sense of ownership? So is Simon, Coresteel Buildings Commercial Manager, who has worked with the business since 2019 and made the most of every opportunity.


There is an abundance of opportunity at Donovan Group for anyone seeking an exciting career, says Simon Archer, Commercial Manager of Coresteel Buildings, a division of Donovan Group specialising in large-scale construction buildings.

“We are starting new initiatives all the time. There is never a dull moment.”

Simon himself joined the commercial and industrial brand associated with Donovan Group in 2019 having come from a varied career working with highly innovative architectural and construction brands across a range of including as owner of his own business.

“This opportunity came up with Coresteel. I had a good background with the required technical and architectural understanding and I was well connected to the industry. The major difference was building out of steel not timber,” says Simon.  “I haven’t looked back.”

Now he is responsible for Coresteel Building’s business performance. It’s a big, multi-faceted and challenging role. He explains that the role primarily involves liaison between Donovan Group who design and manufacture the product, and the franchisees. Franchisees are in equal parts customers of Donovan Group, and also a powerful sales force that is a key reason for the group’s massive market share, says Simon. There are over 20 Coresteel Building franchises extending from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Simon’s job is to support the franchise network and ensure that its business goals are met. He says that the role is varied and all-encompassing and never more so than the last two years. “We’ve had a lot thrown at us,” he says.

Massive supply issues due to the pandemic were not unique to Donovan Group or Coresteel Buildings, but nevertheless had to be resolved. Procurement processes were revised, more stock was sourced offshore, and timeframes were extended to allow for delays.

Growth of the business, while welcome, has had to be carefully accounted for to ensure that the business could meet its customer commitments and keep up with ever-increasing demand. This has involved co-ordination from the head office down to franchise and customer level, says Simon.

Simon is driven by the autonomy of his role. He is accountable, responsible and has a sense of ownership of the business brand. He takes pride in making that fly and achieving growth.

“It’s a reasonably complex business with a number of different brands,” he says. “There is a lot of opportunity to get involved, whether in design and engineering, sales and marketing, manufacturing or on the shop floor as a labourer, welder or production planner. There are many opportunities across the business.”

To learn more about Coresteel Buildings, visit

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