The History of Focus Distribution
It was like a beach invasion when all these people poured out of the little blue van way back in 1991. This is where it all started, Ian and Jenni and 2 others had entered our world. I never suspected at the time it was to be the beginning of a lifelong friendship and business relationship.
Ian and Jenni had arrived in Napier to investigate taking on the franchise distribution business for The Goodtime Food Company, a North Island pie maker. They won the contract and started to grow the business like crazy for Goodtime. Ian would rise at 2am and still be going at 3 or 4pm. I’ve never known a harder working man.
As the business grew we came to the attention of other companies wanting good, solid, reliable, refrigerated distribution of their fresh products, so Ian, Jenni and I decided to start a separate entity which we called Distribution Management Ltd, DML for short. We offered a fantastic service and had a great range of products which meant other “mainstream” distributors started to take note of our presence in their traditional markets. The pressure was on. At the time we just did not have enough capital to sustain a war so we sold Distribution Management Ltd to one of the established opposition.
Ian and Jen then went and started a new business in the printing industry and a few years later they decided to move to Napier and buy a motel business which did very well for two years.
One night over a wine or two we started to talk about the good old DML days. We analysed what went well and what not so well, and began to think more about the ideal distribution model that would allow us to meet the needs of customers in the food service channel, but fly below the radar and build strength before we were noticed by the big boys.
The Goodtime Pie Co. situation had also changed with significant growth in the food service area and a strategy to be less reliant on supermarkets which were being inundated with competing products.
Focus Distribution NZ Ltd. was born in November 2007. Ian and Jen sold the motel and Ian became the sole employee, Jen retired (temporarily).
The Focus Distribution model is totally customer focused. We approached the second biggest distributor in each region around New Zealand, who we know are the best, share our philosophy of providing exceptional service levels and want to build quality customer relationships.
This strategy has worked well and still does to this day. We work very closely with all the distributors in our network each and every day and develop personal enduring relationships with them.
16 years on, and Focus Distribution is in great shape with a network of 12 owner operated distributors across New Zealand. We however continue to look for the perfect distribution model. We are sure it exists. One thing we know for sure is that owner operated businesses outperform any other business model simply because they have “skin in the game”.
The rest as they say is history…
PS: For a full in depth look in to the services we provide check out the “Our Tailored Services” section