Today, OTEL – an acronym for Onehunga Transport Engineering Ltd – occupies a vast factory on a high-profile site in the neighbouring industrial and transport hub of Penrose.
The factory – tucked below the road at the corner of Great South Road and Church Street – has more than 11 bays, but already OTEL is feeling the space pinch.
Pierce moved his operation to the new site at the beginning of 2016, after the company outgrew its premises on nearby Neilson Street.
In the early days, the business grew steadily. “I started in Victoria Street in December 1995, and took over the next-door property about three years later,” says Craig Pierce. “Then I took over the next one as well.”
He did operate another company, OTEL Utilities, for the purpose of importing Altec insulated aerial units from the United States, but in May 2011 merged the utilities arm with the main company.
This year, Craig decided to sell the business and it changed hands in June to new owner, Kane Metcalfe although Pierce is staying on for a year or maybe longer to ensure there is a smooth transition.
Kane says moving to the new factory was “an excellent and timely decision.
“The location is positioned perfectly for high industrial traffic volumes on Church Street, making the most of our large signage facing the road and easy access for our customers.
“It also makes doing business in the area very efficient, being close to motorway on and off ramps, suppliers, service providers and our customers.
“Nothing we need is very far away which means we can run stock levels quite lean and freight costs are reduced.
“The site has an extensive yard area which makes vehicle movements and unloading import containers very easy.”