Established: 2016

Location: N/A

Contact Name: Iain & Beth Coughlan


Business mission and vision:
Our mission is to support our clients with scaffolding that is well designed – right first time – by friendly, approachable and professional team members. We strive to provide our clients with a reliable and effective service that enables them to efficiently progress a project without having to incur downtime and inconvenience (while scaffolding is repositioned) – hence our focus on ‘right first time’.
Our vision is not to become the largest of scaffolding firms – our vision is to;
– be widely recognized for consistent delivery
– day after day, week after week etc
– be widely recognized as a company that values and respects its client relationships, that consistently acts as a true and trusted business partner
– be widely recognized as an innovative business that constantly challenges the status-quo
– Lift our staff by providing both professional and personal growth opportunities.
From ‘grass-roots’ origins we have built our business on ‘business ‘101’s’ and in doing so have developed a strong reputation for consistent performance.

“We specialize in the design and installation of scaffolding, principally for the residential sector. ”

Two elements – caring and enquiry. We genuinely care about our clients objectives and we seek to act in a manner which best supports desired outcomes. We care to go above and beyond – to not only meet but exceed expectations. We are driven to enquire – to pause and proactively ask questions in order to uncover areas where we can add value – to identify and resolve issues before they are able to take-root.
Scaffold Direct was formed, as simple as it may sound, to install scaffolding right the first time. From our residential construction origins (and users of scaffolding servicers) we noted the general lack of attention to detail, the lack of timely communication and the lack of proactivity and we thought…..we can do better. Every day we strive to deliver what we sought as users of scaffolding services/systems – well designed scaffolding, installed right the first time, by friendly, caring and engaged staff.
A great question – there were numerous challenges and when we look back it is with a real sense of accomplishment and pride. We started without a lot of working capital – very much the quintessential ‘smell of an oily rag’ Kiwi SME operation. Against this backdrop not only did we have to build up our scaffolding assets without Bank financing (scaffolding does not typically attract traditional Bank funding) but we also had to acquire operational assets – such as trucks, a forklift and yard facilities (our home’s front garden was our first yard!). In the early days – Iain was the Head of Everything, winning business, designing scaffolding, installing scaffolding, checking scaffolding, taking down scaffolding, raising invoices, building operating systems, chasing late paying debtors. As business volumes grew, we were able to employ a staff member to take on some of the day to day load – which has expanded into the team we have today.
Two words = Working Capital. Scaffolding is expensive to buy and is not typically financed by Banks. Every item of scaffolding we have had to be purchased out of working capital – fully internally financed. This placed considerable pressure on day to day working capital which often proved very difficult to manage. Mid way through 2020 we secured traditional term financing through a main trading Bank which was a massive step forward for the business. This was a game-changing moment for us – it is allowing us to build strength into our working capital, it is enabling us to invest into additional staff resourcing (with Beth joining the team in September 2020 with a focus on administration, process and systems development) and it is enabling us to progressively develop our day to day operational capabilities. Very much our ‘defining moment’.
Everything – perseverance and overcoming adversity have been the very core of our success. Time and time again we were faced with significant challenges with few options/solutions at our disposal – a scary place to be. On numerous occasions it felt like we were caught in a corner with no way out. If it wasn’t for a belief in perseverance and sheer dogged determination to succeed with the vision of our business we may well have not made it through various pinch-points (which the vast majority of start-ups have to find their way through). We have found that reaching success is not a linear journey – it often feels like one steep hill climb after another with over-grown paths and strong head-wins. It is a true test in self belief, resilience and a desire to succeed.
We have built up a significant scaffolding asset base that enables us to service our client base in a timely manner.

We have built the asset foundations of our business from good old-fashioned hard graft – a dollar earned with as much of the dollar reinvested as possible.

We have expanded our client base and retained repeat business

We have built a team of committed and hard-working individuals within an industry which is physically demanding and exposed to the elements – come rain, hail or shine, 20 degrees of 4 degrees, scaffolding has to be installed to enable projects to proceed in line with set timeframes.

Our inherent resilience. The scaffolding industry is highly competitive with approximately 50+ operators in the Wellington region alone, it is not for the faint hearted. We are proud that despite the level of competition and working from very limited resources we have carved out a niche for ourselves.
On occasion we will contract out specific jobs to a fellow scaffolding firm with whom we have established a strategic relationship.
Two staff members are now working through their Scaffolding Apprenticeships and we have recently completed further Health & Safety training.
We have no documented testimonials to hand.
We enjoy ongoing repeat business from clients who have used our services from inception – a point of validation and pride (given the extremely competitive nature of the industry)
The ability to give something a go, to identify an opportunity/concept and to have the freedom to try and do something with it. This sits alongside family – it enables us to take time to spend with our children. Whilst this is always a juggle we value being able to watch our children swim or play team sports.
As a small business we currently have a limited ability to be involved in the community or via sponsorships however as we grow and as resources expand we will be looking to support the community in which we operate. At a personal level, as Owners of the business we are actively involved within our Church and we seek to support those around us.
Much in line with our above point, as a small business we have limited financial and time resources. We do however have significant influence over the wellbeing of our staff and we seek to provide them with personal guidance (in the hope that it not only lifts them and provides direction but that it also has a positive ripple effect within their wider families and communities). Our staff are our greatest asset and we will always seek to help them get develop and grow.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to apply for the Web Genius Kiwi Business Heroes Award – it has been very much appreciated.
Thanks for your vote.