Publish date: 31/08/2017

Kaiapoi-based forest and bulk transport logistics company Steve Murphy Ltd have recently been named as finalists in the prestigious Canterbury Champion Awards in the ACC Workplace Safety Category. 

This North Canterbury business started 38 years ago with one man, Steve Murphy, and one truck.  Steve’s son, General Manager Chris Murphy, came on board some 25 years ago.  And today they employ 50 staff and plenty more trucks to service their significant client base.  It is a growth that has happened steadily and organically says Chris.

They put a heavy focus on people and Chris fully adheres to the idea that it is people who make a business successful.  “I manage people, I don’t manage trucks.  It’s about empowering people”.  The mindset and attitude to staff management have changed hugely in the industry he says over the last 10 years or so.  And SML’s belief in their people seems to be paying off as they have staff who have served with them for decades.  It is a competitive labour market at the moment says Chris ‘but we have a real stable, core force of drivers’. 

The business has also achieved some other milestones over the last year as they were the leading contractor for safety performance working with forestry company Rayonier Matariki.  Not long after this they were told they had been nominated as entrants in the Champion Canterbury Business Awards, they decided the time was right to give it a go.

The entry process was not too onerous says Chris.  “It actually makes you sit back and think about the business” he says, admitting that he actually quite enjoyed putting together the entry portfolio.  Being named as finalists feels like a ‘true statement of where we’ve actually reached’. 

Now they are waiting to see whether the October 4th Awards Ceremony brings further good news.