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WIDE SPAN SHEDS
REALITY CHECK

by Wide Span Sheds,
last updated 13/12/2017

Wide Span Sheds’ latest innovation takes customers and franchisees to the next level

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With demand for steel buildings growing nationwide & our new AR app putting us further ahead than ever, there's never been a better time to join Wide Span Sheds

With demand for steel buildings growing nationwide & our new AR app putting us further ahead than ever, there's never been a better time to join Wide Span Sheds

Laurence Greig 'Like many parts of NZ, Taranaki is a land of opportunity for Wide Span Sheds'

Laurence Greig 'Like many parts of NZ, Taranaki is a land of opportunity for Wide Span Sheds'

Wide Span Sheds has delivered competitors and customers alike a reality check with a new Augmented Reality (AR) app. The in-house developed program overlays virtual information on top of the existing environment so that customers can see exactly what their finished building will look like in situ. 

‘Wide Span Sheds products include everything from small domestic buildings to large commercial premises, and provide a quality of engineering with features and benefits that win fans wherever they go,’ says Jay Higgins, Wide Span Sheds’ Australasian Business Manager. ‘The new app brings benefits that will turn the steel buildings industry on its head.’ 

Because of our reputation as early adopters, Wide Span Sheds franchisees in New Zealand were the first to be introduced to this game-changing technology. New Taranaki franchisee Laurence Greig says he came away from Jay’s AR presentation feeling even more enthusiastic about his new business. 

seeing the future

The process starts with the customer and franchisee (or franchisee’s consultant) using the company’s proprietary software to custom-design a steel building to meet the required use. ‘Whether it’s a garage, a warehouse or retail premises, no two structures are ever the same,’ says Jay. ‘The software enables the customer to specify sizes and create internal layouts then calculates engineering specifications and material quantities, generating a quote on the spot. 

‘With the calculations all done, a key stroke brings up a QR code on screen containing the AR app and all design information. The customer simply points their smartphone or tablet at this until the screen changes to show the “anchor”. This can be as simple as a photo of a table in the showroom, or a photo download of the actual building site. Now for the AR moment: the customer points their device at the anchor and, in the blink of an eye, their custom-designed shed comes to life, creating a three-dimensional illusion on their smartphone or tablet screen. 

‘The customer can walk in and around the building they helped design, experiment with different colours and profiles of the Colorsteel roofing and cladding, shift the position of doors, and more. These are the sort of details that are otherwise only picked up once building has started, when changes are expensive. It’s potentially a massive time and cost-saver for the customer, and means increased efficiencies and fewer hassles for the franchisee, too.’ 

land of opportunity 

Laurence Greig is all for new ideas. Originally trained in law and a consultant to central government for much of his career, eight years ago Laurence connected with Dr Shaun Holt to investigate using pharmaceutical-grade kanuka honey as a treatment for such medical conditions as cold sores and acne. The resulting business, HoneyLab, is now valued at 25 million dollars. Last year, Laurence stepped away from operational involvement and retired to Taranaki. However, he soon found himself bored and started looking for business opportunities. Enter Wide Span Sheds. 

‘Not knowing anything about steel buildings didn’t bother me – I knew nothing about pharmaceuticals, either,’ laughs Laurence. ‘The low entry cost of $95,000 +gst appealed, especially as a third of it is for helping set up high-visibility premises. Rather than ongoing royalties, the franchisor receives a small percentage of the total value of the Bill of Materials on each job, which seems fair. Wide Span’s use of quality New Zealand steel also impressed me, as did the company’s commitment to service. 

‘What enthused me most, though, was that, like many parts of New Zealand, Taranaki is a land of opportunity for Wide Span Sheds with commercial and industrial growth areas and the dairy sector. Clear spans of up to 27 metres width and over 200 metres long make a very compelling animal welfare and financial argument for winter barning. The spans even enable horse owners to build indoor arenas and stabling under one roof.’ 

part of the community 

Wide Spans Sheds’ Taranaki premises are easily seen from State Highway 3 and are already attracting a lot of attention. Because Wide Span Sheds buildings are delivered direct to site, franchisees do not require large storage areas and generally employ contract assemblers, although they are free to employ their own assembly teams. 

‘Wide Span Sheds is a way for me to help give a chance to others who may find it hard to get into a trade, and the iwi I have spoken with are very supportive. The flexibility of the franchise system also allows me to market through agents such as agriculture machinery outlets, so it’s a chance to be totally immersed in the community.’ 

Wide Span Sheds is part of the Steelx Group of Companies, Australasia’s fastest-growing supplier of pre-engineered shed and steel kit buildings. With three franchisees established in New Zealand since 2009, Laurence now having snapped up Taranaki and another two recently sold, the company is now looking for franchisees in just six more areas of the North Island. 

‘With demand for steel buildings growing nationwide and our new AR app putting us further ahead than ever, there’s never been a better time to join Wide Span Sheds,’ says Jay. ‘Call us now to find out more.’   

See this advertorial on page 51 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 26 Issue 4 

Contact details for Wide Span Sheds

For more information and advice on buying a franchise get your FREE copy of Franchise New Zealand magazine.

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advertiser info: franchise business opportunity

industry home and building investment $95,000 +gst number in NZ 3 and globally 450+ FANZ member no
contact Peter Darnell telephone email find out more listing

advertiser info

industry home and building email phone
investment from $95,000 +gst
FANZ member no
number in NZ 3
number globally 450+
contact Peter Darnell

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