In September 2018, Foundation One was featured in Auckland Today Magazine. The text of the feature article follows.
Strategic commercial property maintenance no longer the sole preserve of the big and powerful
A multi-faceted Auckland enterprise is redefining what successful commercial property ownership maintenance looks like.
Until 2015, property maintenance companies were only interested in the easy money available from servicing only the largest clients.
Foundation One, the brainchild of the energetic and restless Daniel Nixon, is now putting strategic property maintenance within reach of smaller companies too.
Daniel’s strategic acumen follows a successful career working for major organisations in Australasia including GE Capital, Jones Lang LaSalle, Education Queensland and Australia’s Department of Public Works.
In 2015, the year Foundation One was launched, competitors were preoccupied by large companies with large property portfolios, and not in tune with the distinct needs of mid-sized companies. Those mid-sized companies were also unaware of the benefits of working with a strategic partner who understands their unique requirements.
“Mid-sized companies mostly didn’t appreciate the value of a strategic approach,” Daniel says. “In fact, a typical scenario had a property owner managing maintenance themselves and engaging a wide number of tradespeople to deliver specific services – building, electrical, and so on.
“The work quality and customer service skills of these tradespeople varied wildly, leaving mid-sized building owners without a reliable source for maintenance work.”
Foundation One’s vision was to deliver services to these companies that would mean lower cost of ownership, less stress for the facilities manager (or their equivalent), and greater value from the building – for example, the ability to charge higher rents while leaving tenants fully satisfied.
Adopting a comprehensive, long-term view of a commercial property and its maintenance enables Foundation One to enhance the long-term performance and value of its clients’ assets.
To deliver on its vision, Foundation One has built an extensive range of operations across many trades. That means clients have a single source they can count on for almost any maintenance task, which saves time, money and concerns about working with unknown tradespeople.
But scale is only one part of the equation. Even more value is delivered by the company’s strategic view.
“We don’t just look for what needs doing right now,” Daniel says, “but for what will need doing in a month, a year and in 10 years.
“We help clients tackle issues early, before they become a problem, and we help them plan maintenance over time in a way that increases efficiencies and maximises the value of the building. Our focus is always on helping owners gain maximum return on their investment over the long term.”
Foundation One’s reputation for quality has seen it offer large capital works assignments, which the team relishes. “These are an inevitable and critical component in the life cycle of any commercial building,” he says. “Our work can range in size from minor cosmetic work to major structural projects requiring multiple collaborators.”
The biggest challenge, he adds, is finding the right people. “We set high standards and simply being a skilled tradesperson isn’t enough. You also need strong customer service skills. Maintaining quality standards, ensuring purchasing power is leveraged to clients’ advantage, and offering a 24/7 commitment are other key ingredients.”
Recent work has been in bathroom refurbishments, common area refurbishments, office fitouts and shop fitouts. Another growth area is coffee shop, kitchen, hair salon and bar renovations. “We love all of it,” he says.
In its early days, the company branded itself as an all-round property maintenance company. Growth, including the addition of top specialists to the team, has seen specialist divisions developed, including air conditioning and electrical, and fire.
“Our specialised services work to keep costly equipment running effectively, anticipate and mitigate problems, extend the life cycle of assets and reduce operating costs.”
Foundation One clients benefit from the company’s strategic partnerships; a network of nationwide suppliers who provide services and materials at a competitive cost, a saving which is passed on to clients.
Promising transparency, seamless integration and timely, clear communication, the business employs a ‘do it once, do it right’ philosophy.
“All of our services have robust quality control systems at their heart to ensure that not only are all building code and safety requirements met, but work is finished to a standard that leaves clients and their tenants enjoying a building that is appealing to be in and works as it should.”
Foundation One is nearing completion of a major new project for Cobb-Vantress NZ. Construction of the Avian Transitional Facility (ATF) began in February of this year near Huntly and will wrap up within the next few weeks.
The facility is a multi-million dollar poultry farm and hatchery, developed to produce grandparent broiler chickens for the Asia-Pacific area. Eggs will be brought into the country, hatched, the chickens raised and tested for disease, and after a few generations will be shipped back overseas.
The ATF hatchery consists of a complex, high-tech ventilation system, along with mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems, all controlled under quarantine and maintained to a negative pressure, ensuring any accidental contamination is contained and controlled.
Foundation One completed the Mechanical ventilation, electrical and control, and plumbing works for the facility. The company also undertakes regular servicing and maintenance for HVAC systems, preventative maintenance, technical support, and on and off-site management.
As a result, building owners and managers can sleep at night, knowing their biggest asset is being looked after and performing at its optimum level.
The Cobb-Vantress project required a high level of coordination and project management due to the remote location and the nature of the project, which is why Foundation One chose carefully when hiring the right team of experts for the job.