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New Zealand Start-up, Consultex Partners with Flow

Paul King
June 12, 2020
Consultex asbestos and hazardous materials surveying company in new zealand

We are delighted to announce our first New Zealand based clients, and reseller partners, Consultex. Four ambitious entrepreneurs, Ben Alford, Chris McNoe, Jake Davenport, and William Morris-Whyte, started the company in Auckland and Dunedin.

As well as being close friends, Ben, Chris, Jake and Will are experienced surveyors and clearance assessors, with ambitions to grow the business and implement a positively driven culture. They plan to expand Consultex quickly, despite the coronavirus epidemic.

I spoke to one of the managing directors, Ben Alford about the bold decision to start a business in the current climate, and why Consultex chose Flow Mobile Surveying to run the software side of their business.

Consultex managing director, Ben Alford, shares his feedback on the Flow Mobile Surveying app.

Tell me about the Consultex team, Ben!

The four Partners Jake, Chris, William, and myself, all bring a positive culture and a driven attitude to succeed. Each partner has different skills; which complement each other, day in and day out.

I've worked in the hazardous material industry for nearly a decade, both in the UK and here in New Zealand. Over the last decade, I've worked my way up from trainee clearance analyst to branch manager, gaining a degree in environmental sciences along the way. My experience is mostly in asbestos surveying, but I'm skilled in other types of hazardous materials as well.

William started in asbestos removal and made the transition to asbestos consultancy. In a few short years, he was able to graduate from a trainee consultant to regional manager for New Zealand's largest asbestos consultancies. He has an excellent eye for detail and enjoys delivering an exceptional service for clients.

Jake came from the UK as an asbestos surveyor and became a full asbestos consultant in New Zealand, where he managed a small team and some significant contracts. Jake came to New Zealand to change his life. He became a father over here and accomplished great success within his career.

Chris is a qualified asbestos consultant and former asbestos removalist, which gives him an exceptional understanding of the industry. He is an Otago rugby lad who knows the New Zealand market exceptionally well and has a real drive to succeed.

As a team, we are good friends with a great working dynamic and shared values, so we are confident in our ability to work together and win new clients.

Why did you start Consultex?

I've always been ambitious, and I know there's a pressing need for good independent asbestos consultants.

I've been here for 4 years. I was self-employed before I left for New Zealand. I built up the Dunedin branch and had it rough at the start, and I even slept in the office. I have grown into the work a lot and travelled a lot, that's why I am ready to do what I'm doing now.

Now I mentally feel settled to run something of my own.

What is your purpose and vision for the company?

We want to use our expertise to improve the standard of the Hazardous materials industry here in New Zealand.

Consultex will act as an independent Hazardous materials consultant. Our primary service is asbestos surveying and removal. We will also be offering mould consultancy in the short term. In the long run, we will provide health and safety risk assessments for buildings as well.

I'm in the unique position of having worked in the UK and New Zealand asbestos surveying industries, so I can see some clear ways to make improvements. And by using the latest, cutting-edge software, we can offer clients a quick survey turnaround.

My goal is to provide trusted, independent, and client-focused advice!

Tell me about your experience starting Consultex during the Coronavirus epidemic.

I was pretty worried about starting the company at the start of the outbreak; I realised it wasn't the best time.

But now my worries are mostly gone. We have just confirmed around 20 surveys to commence this week, so it has been an excellent start for Consultex. New Zealanders love an underdog, and a lot of our business contacts have given us a helping hand to get the business off the ground.

Chris, Jake, William, and myself are keen to get started and put our ideas into action.

It's exciting to see things moving in the right direction, and I believe Consultex has a lot to offer during these difficult times.

How do you find doing business in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, it's best to self-market. I'd say it's best to be personable and be yourself.

Most of the time, people in New Zealand prefer to pick up the phone, rather than send an email. We like to have a proper conversation and business is done mostly by personal referrals, so we tend to have robust networks.

Why did you choose the Flow Mobile Surveying App?

I wanted a surveying software that was easy to use, with quick turnaround times for clients.

It was also essential to have flexible templates. Consultex offers asbestos management, demolition, and refurbishment surveys, as well as four-stage clearance work.

My experience of the Flow Mobile Surveying App is that it's fast and straightforward. So it ticked the right boxes there. I love the way it immediately updates our desktop surveys, and the layouts are smart too.

The fact that it works on Android and Apple devices is advantageous too. It means we don't need to worry about extra hardware costs as the team grows.

In the past, I've used software which was clunky or slow, so the Flow Surveying App is a welcome change. I'm excited about what it can bring to our small team.

Co-founder William Morris-Whyte explains how Flow Mobile Surveying has improved efficiencies at Consultex

We're delighted that Consultex has also partnered with Flow. Tell me about that, Ben

Yes, I am pleased to be able to promote the Flow Mobile Surveying app, I think it will do very well in New Zealand.

As a company, we are very excited about the opportunity of working with you guys moving forward. Your product is something we could promote easily and gain traction over here, and New Zealand is a growing market for the asbestos surveying industry.

I know your brother David from my days working at Lucion Environmental, and it’s clear he’s a real professional and perfectionist when it comes to web development. So I’m looking forward to seeing how the product develops over the coming months.

What’s your most memorable survey?

When I worked at Lucion I saw an asbestos canoe, it was bizarre!

For more information visit consultexnz.com

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