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  • 8/22/2019 Pa June2013 Burgess

    1/8 2013 Volume 19 I Number 4

    Honesty, integrity and trust. Three very important

    values that no company can do without. Burgess

    and Partners Plumbing Services is one o

    the most recognisable plumbing companies

    servicing Gauteng today and this year celebrate

    35 years o plumbing excellence. Founded in

    1978, frst as Chris Burgess and Company,

    the companys excellent reputation across

    residential, commercial and industrial customers

    bears testimony to its active commitment to

    providing quality, value and great service.


    Chris Burgess, CEO o Burgess and Partners,

    began his long career in plumbing as an apprentice

    working at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburgs

    CBD. Starting out in 1971, Burgess remembers his

    days as an apprentice as both intensive and highly

    rewarding. Concluding his training in 1976, Burgess

    spent a year travelling across Europe and the United

    States o America, and returned to South Arica in

    1978. Armed with his qualications and experience,

    Burgesss entrepreneurial spirit compelled him to

    open his own plumbing business, despite a serious

    lack o unds. Working rom his parents garage, he

    brought a riend on board who happened to own a

    truck and with little else but determination and grit,

    Burgess and Co had a truly humble beginning.


    For over a decade, Burgess and Company developed

    a sterling reputation and continued to grow. This

    reputation didnt just bring in a stable and satised

    client base, it also attracted top tier sta in various

    categories, allowing the company to broaden its

    activities and geographic ootprint. The companysmain ocus was plumbing contracting, specialising

    in housing, developments, oce blocks and new



    In 1992 Burgess introduced a name change and

    shited the companys ocus to the more specialised

    service industry, though still incorporating

    contracting. Refecting his vision, Burgess and

    Partners Plumbing Services sought to grow the

    business by using the strengths o its employees.

    Using his insight, experience and leadership,


    By: Nicholas McDiarmid publisher

  • 8/22/2019 Pa June2013 Burgess

    2/8 June 2013 Volume 19 I Number 4


    Plumbing Africa


    Plumbing Africa

    Burgess has ormed key partnerships, enabling the

    company to provide a rapid response, 24 hours a day.

    Each relationship is uniquely structured based on eachperson's area o expertise and personality. Burgess

    and Partners head oce is based in Edenvale, with

    all partners working rom home or local plumbing

    suppliers, sharing a commitment to the values and

    service standards o the company.


    Burgess and Partners has more than 180 years o

    shared management level experience and skills, with

    specialised teams positioned to take on almost any

    challenge. As a ull service company, the coordination

    o teams and skills is a highly specialised unction, and

    refects a level o institutional competencies that can

    neither be taught, nor bought but rather are earned

    over time.


    To ensure total customer satisaction in both

    technical and service areas

    To continually review and improve our service

    with the aim o widening our clientele base

    ensuring client loyalty and increase

    market share

    To ensure that our ees are comparable with

    the service we provide

    To maintain a business renowned or its

    innovative and passionate approach to

    customer satisaction

    To encourage growth, loyalty and commitment

    with all our employees.

    Burgess and Partners has a well-deserved reputation

    or integrity, and within the plumbing industry itsel, is

    highly regarded or improving the reputation o plumbingas a whole. Chris Burgess is passionate about training

    and standards and requently takes time out to share the

    knowledge and experience gained as CEO o Burgess

    and Partners, passing on valuable business principles

    and ethics.


    As a company that looks orward with a commitment

    to ongoing innovation, Burgess and Partners is grateul

    to be celebrating 35 years in the industry with all its

    stakeholders. Having built so much o its success on

    partnerships, Burgess and Partners knows its true

    value lies in the people who continue to champion the

    companys principles.


    "Born in Joburg 1969 and grew up in the Edenvale

    area, attended school at Edenglen High. Ater school,

    I completed my N1 and N2 over a year at Joburg

    Technical college and then the army called me up as

    a Sapper, perorming duties rom water purication,

    bridge building, mine sweeping, demolitions etc., on

    the Mozambique border. Towards the end o my mili taryservice my dad got me an interview with Chris and in

    January 1989 I started with Burgess Plumbing,"

    says Preston.

    Burgess sent Preston to the Building Industry Federation

    o SA (Bisa) or training, but it took our years beore

    I was t and ready to write the trade test. The syllabus

    was then and still remains anachronistic. I learnt

    more through popping into a van with one o

    Burgess plumbers.Continued overleaf 59 >>

  • 8/22/2019 Pa June2013 Burgess


  • 8/22/2019 Pa June2013 Burgess

    4/8 June 2013 Volume 19 I Number 4

    The talent pool nowadays is tiny, Preston says. We bring

    in totally untrained guys and drop them in the deep end.

    Their training is sharing our collective knowledge and

    lots o dialogue.

    Communication is vital as is passion, says Preston. We

    agree to disagree. Together we make better decisions.

    We have our dierent strengths and opinions, but it

    is always all or one, and one or all. One way I think

    o our style o communication is actually as over-

    communication. We work with such a broad array o

    people rom dierent cultures and languages, we sustain

    our messages over time. I think, regardless o the type

    o business, a large part o ensuring your sta have the

    right ideas, ethics, protocols, systems o understanding

    is repetition, clarication, refection, questioning and then

    starting all over again. You build this kind o company one

    day at a time.

    Burgess doesnt really have a boss, just responsible

    people who need to take care o business. Everyone who

    works here have honesty and integrity. Just this ethos

    alone has changed my lie; I was used to very regimented

    style, but the ocus on values and integrity has really

    allowed me to soten somewhat. It has allowed me to

    develop a more humane approach to our sta. I believe

    in the people I work with. Were a amily. Everyone eels

    wanted. I know I have been blessed in being part o a

    team o great people and partners that compliment my

    shortcomings in Chris, Darryl, Jason and the rest o the

    management team.


    Water conservation and the proper use o water is the

    way o the uture and plays a major role in the uture o

    plumbing, says Brainin and he should know: hes been

    in the plumbing business or 24 years, ater leaving the

    army and started as an apprentice in the amily culture

    o Burgess.

    Having people believe and trust in you gives you the

    tools and motivation to want to achieve excellence. Chris

    Burgess has been a mentor and role model in my lie and

    his approach to people and business has been a lielong

    learning experience or me. Burgess and Partners isone big amily with the same vision and a clear goal: we

    believe in creating a winning atmosphere amongst our

    plumbers and sta.

    Our morals values and intergrity have always been

    the oundation between ourselves, our sta and our

    clients. We constantly strive to have that 'amily' type

    environment when coming to work. This means that

    there is someone who cares and is prepared to listen

    and help.

    With all our individual qualities as partners, sharing

    a common vision, the company has been able to

    emerge as a leader in the plumbing industry and I

    believe that collectively with the Burgess culture a

    solution can be ound or any challenge, says Brainin.

    Our sta ethos will stand us in good stead to help us

    continue our growth.


    A riend led Jason Beyers to Burgess and Partners

    in 2002. Fresh out o school and armed with some

    experience in industrial rerigeration and a love o

    working with his hands, Jason joined his riend at the

    company as an apprentice.

    That apprenticeship lasted our years. I qualifed through

    a trade school the trade tests were antiquated then

    and i I am not mistaken, are antiquated still. The skills

    I gained working here were ar superior to anything I

    learned at least in my opinion.

    Most plumbers out there are an island. At Burgess,

    however, we have each other to brainstorm, share



    Plumbing Africa


    Plumbing Africa


  • 8/22/2019 Pa June2013 Burgess


    June 2013 Volume 19 I Number 4