Posted: 22 November 2018
Pictured above: the original ENI team of 25 years.
When John Down launched ENI Engineering in October of 1993, it was just him and his business partner. “I've always loved making stuff,” he recalls. “And as I've got older, I've really enjoyed organising others to make stuff too.”
After a few months John and his partner took on two staff members. Today, that’s grown to 70, with several of them having been with the company almost since the beginning. “We've got a very good culture in our business, so we're a safe place for people to work,” he says. “I’m particularly proud of the development of our people. A number of them have come to us fresh from school, with minimal or no qualifications. And they've been trained through the business. They've completed apprenticeships and are contributing members of society.”
After 25 years in the metalwork industry, John looks back on the development and progress of ENI Engineering with a great deal of pride. “We've got what I call a 'can-do' attitude. If a client has an issue, we'll take ownership of it and deliver a solution,” he explains. “Often we have to do that under some very tight timeframes. And often the issue involves some very complex fabrication. But those sorts of challenges are what we thrive on. Customers acknowledge our positive, proactive and highly ethical way of working with them.”
Businesses across sectors like manufacturing, utilities and construction, choose ENI for its innovative ability to make metal work for their project or product. That’s built on a breadth of services and capabilities, deep industry experience, exceptional people with exceptional attitudes and above all, a commitment to quality.
‘’Our clients typically want to achieve something significant,’’ says John. ‘’For example - to make a real difference in their market with a clever product, or create an outstanding experience in terms of a structure. Our job is to help them realise those aspirations, to make it big.’’
Over 80% of ENI’s work is in the Canterbury region. Having weathered the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, ENI has made a big impression on the CBD rebuild, with several projects around the city aimed at attracting people back into the CBD and showcasing the new Christchurch as a beautiful, liveable city. “Being involved in the rebuild has been really special for us,” says John, referring to the metalwork at the Margaret Mahy Playground, the street-scapes through Evolution Square and down the South Frame, and the Manchester St bus shelters. “Right now the development in our CBD is an exciting time, and we've loved being part of it,” says John.
Customer relationships are an integral part of ENI’s 25-year history. “This is a business where relationships really matter. And although we make stuff, we see ourselves as being in the service industry,” John explains. “What people want, and how we deliver it is really important. We don't have a large customer base, but those we do have we get to know really well.”
ENI are able to offer their clients the very latest technology the metalwork industry has to offer. “We've always invested in the latest technology, from lasers and punch-folding through to robotics and powder coating,” says John. “It's through that technology that our clients have been able to stay ahead of their game and remain competitive. We've been able to provide them with world-class technology.”
Having recently celebrated ENI’s 25th anniversary, John is looking ahead to the next quarter century. “Our key ambition is to continue to grow, and to offer challenges and growth for our staff,” he says.
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