It’s now more than twelve months since Matt Woodley was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of Donovan Group, charged with bringing formalised structure to the vision of Donovan Group’s directors.
One year into the job, we talked with him about the year that’s been – and what’s ahead.
“2022 was another year of exceptional growth in all parts of the business,” says Matt Woodley. “We have progressed and improved across many different aspects of operations.”
Overcoming pandemic-related challenges
While it’s mostly back to normal now, like almost every business in construction, Donovan Group had to contend with challenges brought on by global supply shortages. These were overcome by thinking outside the square and sourcing product from international sources while local supply was on allocation. Fortunately supply chains have normalised and local supply again matches demand.
Knocking on America’s door
This year Donovan Group has significantly expanded its reach into the United States, making connections and forming relationships within the industry that will enable it to start to deliver its unique IP under license in the coming years.
New territory in the Pacific
KiwiSpan was especially notable for growth this year: it achieved three new license territories in the South Island including Nelson, Tasman and Southland. The MODNframe system is receiving its very first orders. Across the Tasman, Australian projects are starting to benefit from the DonoBeam and DonoBrace systems, with a number of builds now complete in the Australian market too.
Efficiency improvements – people and plant
The Donovan Group team has expanded its management expertise in manufacturing and operations by bringing in new people to the business. Five key appointments include: General Manager NZ Operations Fraser Haldane, Commercial Manager MODNframe Warwick Stichbury, Chief Financial Officer Kent Hutchings, Chief Commercial Officer Oliver Foote and Chief Information Officer Andrew Cammell.
Investment has also been made in new manufacturing equipment and new more powerful computers for Donovan Group’s Design Station business combined with new software planned for introduction early next year bringing greater efficiency and increased capacity.
The sustainability quest continues
When Monash University confirmed that Donovan Group was creating steel buildings with up to 40% less embodied carbon, that was significant news. At the same time, Donovan Group has also been working with Monash to audit the carbon footprint of its New Zealand operations. This has involved making continuous and incremental improvements to the likes of transport choices and electricity suppliers, with a goal of moving towards a net zero position.
Donovan Group also launched its sponsorship of The Live Ocean Foundation, and involved staff in environmental and wellbeing initiatives to help achieve both environmental and human sustainability.
What’s coming next?
“While the market and economy is uncertain we are still optimistic about our opportunities, “ says Matt. “We are planning for continued growth domestically and internationally.”
“We have developed software solutions for building design and engineering that give us an opportunity to provide value to specific international markets. Next year we will begin to apply those in the United States and continue to ramp up our operations in Australia.”
“Growth depends on the macro situation, what is happening with the markets, and like most business we are cautious about what next year will bring. However, we are also optimistic about what we can achieve. We have a positive and engaged team and a network of builders and technical experts determined to deliver great products to market. Donovan Group’s programs to support that are strong too.”