For high-end architectural hardware designers and manufacturers Halliday + Baillie, continuing to operate their business in New Zealand has presented many challenges. As they have navigated these challenges over the years – and continue to do so – many of their counterparts have closed or moved operations offshore to reduce costs.

“In our industry there are more businesses closing than opening,” Halliday + Baillie’s Tiffiny Hodgson says. “When this happens, you inevitably lose talent overseas, or those skilled people leave the industry, which is something that we need to stop happening.”

One of the saving graces for New Zealand manufacturers though, is the global reputation of New Zealand as a brand, separate from any individual company’s branding. It is the notion of New Zealand as being a somewhat exotic, niche market that often attracts global buyers to New Zealand products, and it’s something that has intertwined itself with the Halliday + Baillie brand as a central and defining part of their marketing.

“New Zealand has a reputation for high quality. While our labour costs are higher than in many traditional manufacturing countries, with that comes a higher quality and stringent standards,” Tiffiny says.

“Separately to that, our distance to the market adds another cost to any product in the process of getting the product to the market. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as the higher price tag in many situations is related to the notion that our products are of higher quality, which they are.

“Often in sales meetings overseas, it is evident that as a New Zealand designer and manufacturer, we are seen as interesting, exotic and a niche producer, which is great thing. We offer something different.”

Halliday + Baillie specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke and high-end architectural hardware, with a particular focus on sliding door hardware, and currently offers 157 product lines, most in 12 different finishes.

“Over the last few years we have had a real increase in export sales,” Tiffiny says. “That’s because what we’re seeing is a seachange in that people are no longer just equating ‘value’ with ‘low cost’ and wanting things quickly and cheaply. There’s been a backlash to this attitude over the last three or four years with people returning to the idea of quality.”

That’s linked too, to sustainability and the knowledge that a well-made product will last for decades. And in the case of Halliday +  Baillie’s products, while they are of high quality, they are also beautiful, well designed products that are also functional.

It’s this notion that has allowed Halliday + Baillie such success as a New Zealand company on the global stage, and allow them to continue operations in New Zealand. “We are always focused on constant innovation and put a significant amount of resources into research and development.”

In order to stop companies closing their doors in New Zealand and create greater competition on our shores, Tiffiny believes more needs to be done to allow businesses to operate in a less risky climate and foster this sort of creativity and innovation.

Visit Halliday + Baillie on ArchiPro here for some inspiration about what can be achieved in New Zealand, and peruse the latest in beautifully designed functional hardware.