Continual improvement key to Richard's way of working

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Electrical supervisor Richard Geurts is a man who knows what he wants and who finds ways of doing things better.

Eleven years ago, on his first day of sixth form, he went to a large electrical business and asked if they would take him on as an apprentice. They advised him to go back to school for another year.

Instead, Richard started electrical studies at Unitec, four days a week. He went back to the electrical business and worked as a volunteer on Fridays, until the course ended in August. Then he was offered an apprenticeship.

After 11 years in one place, Richard thought it was time to move on. He could see different ways of doing things, but didn’t have the opportunity to try them out.

Richard came to us with a lot of experience, particularly in project management. That has included overseeing the work of sub-contractors in other trades, especially mechanical services and data installations. He says it also reinforced his communication, time management and quality assurance, having to:

• work closely with design engineers, quantity surveyors, architects, and even clients
• manage outcomes if people didn’t turn up or failed to fully finish their work.

Planning is another strength. At one time he was working in a forest without cellphone reception. Advance planning had to be meticulous. It was not too different when he worked on a petrol station in Waiouru, with all the material coming from Auckland. Material had to arrive at the right time, while avoiding having too much stored on site.

Richard recognises that he’ll be learning about large HVAC systems in his new job, as he has worked only with smaller systems. But that’s fine – he likes to extend his experience.

That’s the way he is at home, too. He and his partner have owned their home for five or six years and, he says, he’s always renovating. He does everything, from tiling to building, giving anything a go. When he’s not working and renovating, he enjoys fishing and golf.