As one of New Zealand’s largest tile importers Tile Space supplies a range of quality tiles to retail, wholesale and commercial businesses around the country.
Founded in 1987 by Gordon Roberts, the Kiwi company operated as Heritage Tiles, importing tiles from all over the world.
In 1994, Peter Roberts took over the business from his father and a little over a decade later the company rebranded as Tile Space to better reflect its unique products and design.
Tile Space now is a national network with 10 stores in the North Island and 32 dealers nationwide. With 95 staff members, Tile Space employees are often on the move, supplying tiles to their customers and using a selection of Driveline Fleet vehicles to do so.
Tile Space started to rethink its company vehicle strategy in 2011. They wanted to consider workplace health & safety, especially that fact that vehicles were deemed a workplace. Historically, Heritage Tiles purchased older, second hand cars for its fleet outright; these included a mix of hatchbacks and station wagons. Those vehicles weren’t branded with the company logo and didn’t include any manufacturer’s warranty. Maintenance costs were relatively high and market values were depreciating rapidly. This prompted the company to identify a more viable fleet solution.
Stage One: From Ownership to Leasing
Peter Roberts reached out to Driveline’s CEO Lance Manins to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of leasing and financing vehicles. Due to the growth Tile Space was facing and problems with the existing fleet of cars, leasing vehicles seemed like the perfect solution.
In 2011, the company set about upgrading the entire fleet to new lease vehicles supplied by Driveline.
Tile Space employees were given Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 vehicles, each branded with Tile Space logo. The brand visibility on the new fleet was hugely beneficial to the business.
Stage Two: Streamlining
In 2015, Tile Space switched their entire fleet of vehicles to Mazda CX5 SUVs, one of the most prefered SUVs in the country. Staff benefited with a more attractive, luxurious vehicle that was much more practical than the standard station wagon they were used to.
During this period, amendments were made to workplace health and safety laws. Companies had a greater responsibility to provide a safer working environment for their employees and minimise any risk factors. Tile Space took the position that these vehicles were a deemed workspace and as such hazards needed to be recognised. As the sales reps were regularly loading and offloading tile samples for clients, moving to the CX5’s made more sense as the vehicles are higher off the ground, making it easier to load and unload the samples and aiding in reducing the potential for work place injury.
The upgrade in the fleet also enabled the vehicle to act as a portable office. All of the CX5’s come fully equipped with the latest Bluetooth technology, including handsfree calling, so taking calls from clients was done in a safe and legal manner.
Better still, Tile Space didn’t face a dramatic increase in cost from the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 fleet. Maintenance was included in the vehicle lease structure and the fleet was deemed to be the most appropriate for health and safety compliance.
A word from Peter Roberts, Owner and Manager of Tile Space
“We have a fantastic-looking well-branded fleet and I often get positive comments from people who see the cars on the road. Our staff are very happy with them too, which is very important to us.
The vehicle upgrade was an important part of our rebranding and we appreciated how helpful the Driveline team were as we went through the transition. We’ve found Driveline’s service to be efficient, personalised and nothing is ever a problem.
Lance gave us great guidance and set up lease arrangements to suit our specific needs. Everything has been smooth-sailing – or should we say smooth-driving! – ever since.”
Tile Space Ltd