Trip of a lifetime for Shane22 November 2016
Each year, the Reece Roadshows welcome thousands of plumbers from across the country who come along to check out the latest product and tool demonstrations, attend special training seminars and take a stab at winning the great prizes up for grabs.
Shane Fens from Queensland was the lucky winner of the ‘Big Prize’ – an all-expenses paid trip for two to Munich, 10 nights’ accommodation, $5000 spending money and $1000 towards internal flights.
Having never been to Europe before, Shane was thrilled with the opportunity to visit Rothenberger in Germany and arranged additional visits to other world’s leading manufacturers across Europe.
Shane took the trip in September with his wife, Margie. The couple visited Roca in Barcelona, Armitage Shanks in Frankfurt, Nikles in Milan and Walraven in Holland.
“Each factory blew us away by their hospitality - they each organised private tours of the factory, transfers from the airports / train stations, put us up in fantastic accommodation and taught us the history of the brands,” said Shane.
“What stood out to me was how happy the employees were. Each company we visited had staff who had worked there for decades. They truly take care of their employees and this service and passion for the brand shines through in the products they create.”
Not only were the people wonderful wherever they went, Shane said he’d never seen such a polished production line in all the factories.
“Many of the factories were assisted by robotics, yet there was a lot of man power used for quality checking. The packaging, product customisation and logistics are all done by hand and every single product, no matter how big or small, was quality checked by an employee. Absolutely everything is done in-house and nothing is outsourced.”
Having seen the quality and technology behind some of the products, Shane was tempted to load up his suitcase with plumbing tools and equipment.
“If they [tools] weren’t so darn heavy, I would’ve purchased an entire suitcase worth! It’s great to see the precision that goes into the European brands and I’m excited to share my knowledge with my Aussie plumbing mates and with my customers.”