1st April 1984

BTSL originated in 1984, when Brett Houston, a QS working for a building company at the time, saw a need for subcontractors in the Auckland region to be better represented in the tendering arena. Starting in the back room of his house, he launched ‘Subcontract Services’ and it quickly gained momentum. Soon after that, with the desire for the company name to better reflect the benefits offered to both main contractors and subcontractors, Building Tender Services Limited was born.

Some of you will remember our first office in Stanley Street - a large floor space with storeroom, photocopier and plan printer, as well as many plan viewing tables. Before the digital age arrived, we would receive hard copy sets of documents for current tenders in the Auckland region, that we would photocopy to provide a “library” of documents for our subcontractors to browse through. In those days, most plans were A1 size and so scrolling through those plans required large plan viewing tables. It was busy and we got through reams and reams of photocopy paper!

In 1998, we decided to relocate to an office on the North Shore of Auckland, and so Saturn Place became our home for the next few years. It was a bustling office with a large storeroom to house the vast paper copies of all archived jobs, and large tables for subcontractors to scroll through the mountains of paper issued with each tender. We needed multiple carparks too, so that we could accommodate the many visiting subcontractors.

Dawn of the digital age

The advancement of technology was beginning to infiltrate BTSL and in 1998, Brett’s sister, Kaye Sinclair, joined the company. With the newly acquired plan scanner and printer, we could scan all sized plans and documents. This allowed us to provide digital copies for main contractors, as well as a set of hard copy reduced files for their use.

Gradually sets of documents started to be accompanied by a compact disc and we could transfer the pdfs to our computer allowing us to print a set of documents instead of scanning. Welcome to the 2000s!

It became apparent that the digital age was here to stay and so in 2005, we launched our first website. We faced many challenges due to the size of digital files back then, but we worked through the teething problems one by one until a smoothly operating portal existed. As well as our website designed for subcontractors, we also introduced a main contractors portal allowing easy access to documents and reports. Since then, the website and the work desk have undergone many, many upgrades. With the Auckland area firmly established, we began to expand our areas of interest to include the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

In 2016, Brett retired and the company was taken over by Kitai Hong who had been working for BTSL since 2009. With Kitai at the helm, we have been working towards a nationwide coverage and our business development manager, Celia Coyne, who joined the company in 2021, has been at the forefront of this.

An evolving service with the same vision

Zoom forward to the present day and we have a small office with next to no paper. Everything happens digitally - no more copies, no more plan viewing rooms, and a lot less carparks are required at the office! The early vision of Brett’s back in the 1980s for “a service that would benefit both subcontractors and main contractors” has not changed and has thrived to become the modern and effective business that it is today. We remain committed to that original sentiment. Where will we be in the next 40 years!?

“Maximising Results, Minimising Effort”