Schneider Electric’s national sales manager, Ras Jayawickrama.

The French-owned but global technology supplier, Schneider Electric, is certainly making its mark in New Zealand where it has been a key player for the past 20 years. But to most people, it is less than well known although its products appear in most local buildings.

The international giant has played a key part in commercial building developments and is now recognised as an important supplier in the increasingly technical hotel industry.

National sales manager Ras Jayawickrama is proud of the company’s New Zealand role in energy management with its integrated solutions in a particularly diverse market.

In addition to its international products, many from Europe, the company bought the well-known 80-year-old local company PDL some years ago and also owns the Clipsal brand from Australia. With its head office in Auckland, the company is also spread through Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch with its 300 staff providing distribution and field service.

“We are seen as a technology specialist with a great product reputation that includes off-the-shelf and customized solutions for industrial projects,” said Ras.”Being in touch with the world market’s trends and innovations is critical and it adds to our R&D investment as manufacturers.”

The company’s technology now available covers many solutions for hotel guest comfort as well as extensive energy savings. It believes that smart buildings are the real emphasis in construction today and being in the solutions business means it also has a strong interest in connectivity.

“The technology trends in hotels means sophisticated controls and internationally we have developed specific hotel solutions in a variety of languages,” said Ras. “So being up to speed internationally, we can talk to our customers about trends in the technical space. Of particular interest recently has been our work in attacking wastage and ensuring continuity with automated reports.

Part of the company’s success has been in its $20m worth of stock holding and its 24-hour, 365 days a year technical support.