Locally Sourced Solutions
Employing New Zealanders and supporting local businesses is a key source of pride for the team at Clearlite Bathrooms and Athena Bathrooms, but being local is paying extra dividends for the company in the midst of the Pandemic.
While other companies who moved their production offshore are struggling with supply chain issues and massive increases in the cost of shipping, the company has been able to manage their way through with minimal delays.
Athena & Clearlite General Manager, Tony de Ruiter says that while the company isn’t immune to what's going on in the rest of the world in terms of supply chains, in general, “if we've got resin, which comes out of Australia, then we can produce shower trays and baths in various shapes and sizes, so it gives us quite a bit more flexibility”.
“If we've got acrylic, we can put a mold in the machine and produce the product. We aren’t waiting on a ship to arrive,” he said.
The company has two brands, Clearlite Bathrooms and Athena Bathrooms, specializing in acrylic showers, baths and vanities, plus mirrors and storage towers. Clearlite and Athena Bathrooms have complimentary product ranges - both with an outstanding reputation throughout the country. The company sells exclusively through plumbing and building merchants nationally.
de Ruiter is proud of the fact that they’re a local employer of over 80 staff based in Auckland, plus a team in Christchurch, which he says “punch above their weight in the South Island, with about a third of the business versus 25% of the total population.”
“About 70% of what we sell is either made by us in our Glenfield factory in Auckland or it's made by a local supplier. For instance, all of our hinged and pivoting door showers - the door sets themselves are made in our factory, the aluminium is extruded down in Hamilton and the PVC seals are done in Avondale while other components we source are also made locally.
So aside from the team that we're supporting through weekly wages and salaries, we're also supporting a whole lot of other local manufacturing businesses,” he says.
“We'll never be the cheapest but, equally, we make sure we've got good quality products at a fair price,” de Ruiter says.
“Our key objective is to provide superior solutions to the building industry and homeowners that not only meet broad design requirements but are also safe and of the highest quality. Manufacturing trusted products using quality materials is crucial to ensure our products are made to last. Overall, it’s about being a responsible manufacturer with an understanding of our customer – the New Zealand consumer.”
Left Image: Cashmere Classic Floorstanding Vanity / Polished Edge Mirror / Sierra Moulded Wall Shower.
Right Image: Clearlite Factory showing shower doors stacked ready for packaging.