LOCATION: Melbourne, VIC
PRODUCT: ZINCALUME® steel, COLORBOND® steel
Jonda Sheetmetal has been a BlueScope Distribution customer for over 30 years. Jonda’s Manager Jake Nikolopoulos outlines some of the company’s history and explains how the relationship has lasted so long.
In 1974 John Nikolopoulos, then a 17 year-old plumber’s apprentice, spent hours in his garage working with sheet metal and experimenting with the skills he was developing on the job.
“He was always like that. He always wanted to come up with easier ways of doing things,” said John’s son Jake, Manager of Jonda Sheetmetal, the family business his parents started. “I think that even back then he saw that there was a good market for some of the little things that he was able to fold up from sheetmetal.”
One of those “little things” was an adjustable bracket which simpliﬁed the task of holding rainwater gutters on the roofs of commercial buildings and residential houses. “Before he came up with this idea, builders just used a metal strap attached to the walls beneath the roof to hold them up. Dad thought he could come up with a better idea. So he designed the prototypes in his garage at home,” said Jake.
The ﬁnished product, the Adjustable Box Gutter Bracket, is now one of Jonda Sheetmetal’s most popular products. “We supply it to all the major rooﬁng and plumbing centres around Australia. We ship them out by the pallet load all day long,” said Jake.
According to Jake, BlueScope Distribution played an important role in the product’s development. He said that, in order to ensure it had all the necessary safety ratings and could handle the loads involved, his father ﬁrst had the product tested by Swinburne University.
He then approached BlueScope to see if they were able to slit the coils at the widths, which would be necessary to make the brackets. “BlueScope Distribution was able to do that and we have used 0.75mm ZINCALUME® steel to make the products ever since,” said Jake.
The simple, ready-to-use unit comes in three sizes – 250mm to 400mm, 400mm to 650mm, and 650mm to 1000mm. Now a mainstay of the industry, it is fully adjustable and therefore suitable for all guttering jobs.
Apart from the Adjustable Box Gutter Bracket, Jonda Sheetmetal offers a broad range of products and services. These include safety cabinets, spa pump covers, and a range of rainwater products such as downpipes, ﬂashings, gutters, rain heads, sumps and trays.
The company’s machinery includes a CNC turret punch and a CNC plasma cutter. It has extensive welding, cutting and folding capabilities and, unlike its competitors, can deliver customised roll ﬂashings up to 8m in length as well as customized curved and rolled ﬂashings up to the same length.
Jonda’s partnership with BlueScope Distribution, which started all those years ago with the Adjustable Box Gutter Bracket, is still going strong.
He pointed to some wall cladding and fencing proﬁles he recently came up with as an example of how the two have worked together.
“Peter gave me the ideas for these products a long time ago. He told me that this was where the market was heading. That’s how our relationship is. He wants the best for our company and we’ve always been able to brainstorm these development concepts.”
“He visits us twice a week to do stocktakes and so forth. We always have a chat about business and if I’ve got any small issues that need solving, he either looks at them himself or points me in the direction of someone at BlueScope Distribution who is in a better position to help.”
This type of service, said Jake, explains why the relationship has lasted so long. Working together in this way, Jonda wins. BlueScope Distribution wins. Everybody wins.
For more information visit: www.jonda.com.au
Download Case Study: Case Study – Jonda Sheet Metal
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