Fritsch Bros Pty Limited is a long-running, family owned and operated automotive (auto-electrical and mechanical workshop) and electrical contracting business in Temora, a country town in the Riverina region of NSW – almost halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and close to Wagga Wagga.
Jarrod says that working with ICN NSW has been a great help to the business and created opportunities for it, as well as giving them the option to expand on the business’s current skillset, whether that be within or outside the region.
“Working with ICN NSW has helped to promote our business and also that of Temora because there are a lot of opportunities and strong skills in regional areas, which can often be overlooked,” says Jarrod.
It’s a family thing
First established in 1948, Brendon Fritsch and his family are all involved in different aspects of the business. “My dad, Brendon, began as an apprentice in the business in 1966 and then bought into the business in 1974. He’s still on the floor and involved in the day-to-day management of the business. Dad is supported by my mum Margaret, my sister Karissa and brother-in-law Mark. My wife Dawn and I assist from afar in a behind the scenes role. The business employs four qualified tradespeople and has recently taken on a new apprentice,” says Jarrod.
“On the automotive electrical and mechanical servicing side, we do everything from maintenance, services, safety inspections (checks), installation and emergency breakdowns for cars, through to transport and heavy machinery, with the servicing of our farming community a major part of the business. We’ve also noticed an increase in work on caravans, camping trailers and motor homes with more people travelling in Australia due to COVID.
“In addition, we also do industrial and commercial electrical contracting, which includes telecommunications, automation (PLC) and security (CCTV). We’ve worked on everything from mining-related laboratory testing facilities, school facilities, piggery facilities, farms and have held mining maintenance contracts. These projects and on-going maintenance have been from home base in Temora, to northern NSW and all the way to Port Hedland in Western Australia,” says Jarrod.
Getting in touch with ICN NSW
When he heard about the opportunities at Sebastopol Solar Farm, Jarrod reached out to Geoff Reardon, ICN NSW’s Riverina and Murray Regional Manager, to find out more. Geoff knows Temora well, having grown up in the area and now working in the region.
“Geoff talked to me about the opportunities on project and then gave me all the information I needed to get Fritsch Bros. registered on ICN Gateway and to submit an expression of interest (EOI) for the project,” says Jarrod.
“Beon Energy contacted us directly to continue the EOI process. We were awarded a couple of short and longer-term contracts to maintain vehicles and to service the temporary generator and site generator. Beon then asked us maintain a generator at one of their solar farms in Wagga Wagga. In addition we’ve also been doing some auto electrical and mechanical servicing back at Temora for some of the workers and people they recommended us to. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t reached out to ICN NSW in the first place,” says Jarrod.
Making the most of opportunities
Winning this work and the third-party flow on effect has meant that the existing staff have been kept very busy and that the business has been able to take on another apprentice to support them.
“There’s significant value of reaching out to ICN NSW and getting registered on ICN Gateway because you never know what may eventuate from it. You may be looking for a contract, but something else could pop up that you’re not even aware of. A business looking for prospective suppliers can see your profile and approach you that way. And there’s also opportunities for ongoing work that can come from the initial contract,” says Jarrod.
Fritsch Bros. is always searching for new opportunities and contracts, within and outside of the Temora region, and one of the tools used to search for new opportunities is ICN Gateway.
“The notification emails give you an indication of what opportunities are out there in the local and wider market, which is useful if you want to take on more work or are thinking about expanding further beyond your local sphere,” says Jarrod.
Building confidence for contractors and suppliers
Jarrod recommends going along to the information sessions that the ICN NSW, project representatives and local council organise to discuss opportunities in the region.
“Brendon went along to the Sebastopol Solar Farm session to obtain further information and to have a chat with Geoff. Geoff was instrumental in the session and actually highlighted Fritsch Bros. as a local supplier, which was great.
“So he was really working for us from the beginning, and I think that in itself gave Beon confidence that we were a local supplier worth dealing with. It’s challenging for companies to come into a regional area not knowing which local suppliers are reliable and which aren’t,” says Jarrod.
“I think that’s where a local rep can provide such valuable insight, particularly when they know the local area and businesses, as well understanding the contractor and what they need. That support gives both sides of the camp the confidence that they can work together.
“Geoff’s been a fantastic asset to ICN NSW and obviously an asset to Fritsch Bros particularly in this solar opportunity. I have previously thanked Geoff, but I just want to acknowledge what he’s done in promoting Fritsch Bros. as a business and reputable supplier.” says Jarrod.