Meet Andrew Johnston, the founder of Elite Home Improvements (EHi) & now MD of EHi’s sister company, Elite Security Screens & Doors (ESSD).
Andrew has over 33 years of experience in the home improvement industry. Working in the family business (ESSD) as a teenager, he learned from his father Jeff how to make flyscreens & security doors. He also serviced ESSD clients as a sales rep/installer, where he developed his passion for design. Once Andrew gained his Carpentry qualification, he branched out on his own as EHi.
Launching EHi while still living with his father meant the two could continue their relationship & start a new one as supply chain partners. It was the best thing for both men, as individuals & family members. Ultimately, it was best for the businesses as well, as both grew strongly from the new dynamic. It wasn’t long before Andrew’s sister Nicole, a specialist teacher, stepped in as GM of ESSD to support their father Jeff to take the manufacturing business to new heights, with new software & new markets. EHi soon became the largest customer of ESSD, a great testament to the family’s shared knowledge of manufacturing, design, sales & installation.
EHi flourished, growing strongly for 8 years straight. Andrew recalls one key milestone, an especially inspiring staff meeting where the team “clicked” together, realising they had an inspiring team dynamic where everyone pulled their weight, striving to always exceed customer expectations. This led to record sales which they accomplished under their service motto, “EHi, the Same Guy”.
Andrew: “The year after that was one of the hardest, we grew so quickly but did not have enough systems in place to sustain such growth. There were many distractions in trying to set up systems to cope with the expansion we had experienced. What I learned from these growing pains above all else was …..Patience! I still expect a lot of our team, but I am always there to help. My strengths are my knowledge base & always being available to train hands-on & coach – now with the miracle of video calls I can often assist installers with a difficult installation or problem”.
Andrew’s advice to those new to the industry is “Listen carefully to the right people, have a go, learn from your mistakes, listen more & never stop learning. Always speak up until someone takes the time to help you find a solution so you can be successful. Get up early, work hard and you will succeed!”
These days, his own family is joining in on the act. With wife Kath, a professional photographer, the group has access to awesome quality photos. Daughters Finnlay, Ellah & Piper have all been involved in the businesses & it’s only a matter of time before son Beau joins the ranks of the 3rd generation to grace the payroll.