MizCo is a Western Australia-based company specialising in the commercial, industrial and offshore industries.
The company saw the need for changes to be made since the onset of the GFC to mitigate and assist in connection with the high cost of Australian manufacturing and labour.
First came the product offer: the addition and merging of HVAC mechanical, electrical and instrumentation skill sets to bring to market a better offering, emphasising high-quality engineering all in the one brand, along with a specialist product line to meet client needs.
MizCo sought new clients and business areas but took great care not to neglect its existing long-term clients.
MizCo’s commercial arm is a specialist systems integrator based around HVAC systems, the core business of the company being anything electrical.
MizCo CEO Greg Mizza explains: “We don’t do lights and power points; our speciality has always been electrical work associated with mechanical services.”
That encompassed the electrical services that made the air-conditioning work, for hospitals, shopping centres, offices and further afield in the minerals sector.
We provided on site E&I support; nowadays, the terms of reference are broader, branching into the control systems sector.
In the early 1990s, a company approached Greg and his team and asked them to take on all its specialist HVAC Oil and Gas electrical and instrumentation work; “We effectively became their E&I division,” when they wanted to spread their wings and take on overseas projects.
MizCo became proficient in finding solutions both at home and abroad.
But the other company floundered during the GFC and Greg saw an opportunity.
MizCo was quite exposed so he approached a business colleague, James Watson, with whom he founded the MizCo Industrial Oil & Gas Division.
James said: “We are a ’boutique systems integrator’. Give us a concept and we will take it through to feed, to engineering, procurement, manufacture, installation, commissioning and handover.
“We are going to market to provide clients, whoever they are, with a turnkey solution.”
James adds that the solution can be applied equally well for existing sites or new builds, but primarily MizCo likes to focus on existing brownfield sites.
James notes: “That is our skill set. Typically we focus on smaller new builds and anything in the renovation sphere.”
This sector requires a particular set of skills because it can be a very dangerous business and there are many operational imperatives, including how to remove and reinstall major equipment without disruption to the rest of the site.
MizCo’s workforce is composed of skilled individuals who really know how to get their hands dirty.
He adds: “They can look at a problem and tell the client just what will be needed for a successful outcome.”
James says the company has ongoing projects in places as far-flung as Kazakhstan, West Africa (offshore) and Russia, while it also has works in Europe, PNG and Singapore.
But the team tries to concentrate on the time zones closest to Perth, which covers some exciting territories.
James explains: “We are focussed on servicing Australia and into Asia. Perth’s time zone is estimated to be the most populous, with around 24% of the world’s population, or 1.7 billion, as well as being a possible candidate for a future ‘ASEAN common time’.
“It works well for clients that we can easily have face to face meetings and telephone calls without having constant overnight delays in discussions or emails.”
There is no secret formula for making it big in these overseas markets, he says; just go out there and do it: “The key to business development is sales and forward planning.”
Anything his team does today is likely to take 12 to 18 months to come to fruition, so meeting clients face to face is equally vital.
For Greg, it is a disappointment that virtually everything nowadays is driven by price: “That’s the commercial reality of construction in Perth WA.”
MizCo, he says, has a very good name.
He adds: “Everyone loves what we do; we give them what they want.
“But when it comes to a bid analysis, because we often don’t work for the end client, they want the lowest price because they are scrambling to get across the line.”
Because of the company’s experience, MizCo is often used as a benchmark; tenderers come back and ask Greg to do the job cheaper, but his blunt response is always, “if we wanted to do the job at a lower price we would have quoted a lower price.”
In the commercial arena, “if they don’t want to pay the right money for it, we cannot deliver it.”
But in the offshore market, it seems clients take more account of previous experience and the other factors that differentiate a top operator from the herd: “There is usually a lot of pre-qualifying and you have to show a lot of case studies, financial qualifications and prove you are what you say you are.”
James says feedback consistently shows that MizCo’s bid documentation is the best and most detailed and accurate in the business.
He notes: “People don’t mind paying for quality documentation because it usually saves them money in the end.”