Watertight Group – Specialists in plumbing maintenance
Joanne Tonks and her husband Paul are the dynamic duo behind the Watertight Group. With over 25 years in the plumbing industry, they have grown a small family business into a highly specialised organisation with an impressive list of clients.
Part of their success is their ability to maintain the values and culture that make a family business truly unique, whilst offering exceptional services.
Plumbing is in our genes
Plumbing certainly runs in the family for Joanne and Paul. Paul is a plumber, his father was a plumber and even Joanne’s father was a plumber!
There was never any doubt that the family was destined for Watertight. Joanne tells us …
“Paul’s parents started a small plumbing business in the local area in 1993.
We helped them grow from their small beginnings to a turnover of around $7 to $8 million annually by the time they were ready to retire. By 2013, with 9 grandkids arriving in the space of just 5 years, they were keen to have a new focus.
We managed their business while we started to grow our own and this is how Watertight began … as an offshoot from the original family business.”
A clear focus
Watertight Group started by focusing on civil works. This involved water main renewal and sewer main renewal for Sydney Water, but they were determined to make connections within the facilities maintenance industry.
By 2016, their hard work had paid off and they were contracted to the Sydney Opera House. As the plumbing facilities maintenance team, they have continued to grow and attract more high-level clients.
They now service all Sydney Catholic Schools, TransGrid, Transdev Australasia, NSW Port Authority and many more.
Specialising in maintenance plumbing has enabled them to grow to a size where they can service large clients, but also have flexibility to customise their services and uphold their reputation for quality. Joanne explains …
“We are definitely bigger than a small plumber down the road, but we aren’t a huge maintenance facility company that tries to do everything for everyone … we only specialise in plumbing … but our service levels are comparable to those of the larger companies.
We have our own proprietary software that we do all of our work through … we load the details of all client assets and maintenance requirements … making sure it’s customised to their needs and limits their risk.”
Maintenance saves money
Watertight can install new services when required, but their primary focus is maintenance.
“Our mission is to be the most sought after water maintenance contractor in Australia. Currently we service clients all over New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and into south-east Queensland.
It’s important to us that we keep our family business style of service. Rather than sub-contracting out to other service providers, everyone in the Watertight team is fully employed. All our planned maintenance is completed by our team … we send them to the location to do the service call. By focusing on well planned maintenance we’ve had less need for emergency call outs.
This has been a big part of our success … we have been able to prove with some of our larger clients that regular maintenance minimises the need for emergency breakdown servicing, which of course saves them time and money.”
An example of this is the progress they have made with the Sydney Opera House. When Watertight first started to service the iconic Sydney building, they were told to expect up to 80 call outs per month due to the age and complexity of the facilities. Watertight’s team of dedicated plumbers have been able to reduce these call outs to less than 10 a month. Their commitment to finding the source of the issue and professionally repairing it has resulted in massive savings.
Supporting our community
As one of the founding organisers of the Georges River Light the Night, Joanne understands the importance of community. The event, supporting the Leukaemia Foundation, raised $75,000 over the last three years.
Watertight partners with many other local businesses for the October event. These include PRD Nationwide Panania, Charlie’s Liquor Daystar, First National, Bankstown Sports Club and Panania Diggers.
The company also supports the Lion’s Soccer Club in Milperra and the East Hills Bullets Netball club.
“We’ve been part of Business Network International (BNI) Australia and The Executive Connection … but we feel it is important to contribute through as many avenues as possible … the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce was a good choice for us. We truly believe that local businesses should link up and support the wider community.”
So many possibilities
Joanne grew up in Milperra, while Paul grew up in East Hills. They have both been in the area for 40 years and they know that Canterbury Bankstown offers so many possibilities.
“Sydney Metro Airport, Western Sydney University, Defence at Moorebank, ANSTO, CSIRO … there are lots of great organisations in our region. We hope to see a strong business hub development that offers our local community exceptional employment opportunities.
We are so lucky in this area, we are 30 minutes from the city, we are going to be sitting in the prime spot between two of the largest airports in the country, we have universities on our doorstep and we are on one of the major motorways … we are in such a good location … plus the diversity in our community is really unique. I really appreciated that when I was growing up and I’m glad that my kids will be able to experience it, too.”
To find out more about Watertight Group visit their website: watertight.com.au or call 1300 745 758.
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