Trio: An enjoyable and purpose-driven workplace
Dynamic. Growing. Evolving. These are the three words Nick Crossman uses to describe the tech industry in the Manawatū, and he would know, having worked in this space over the past decade.
Tucked down the northern end of Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North is a team of talented developers responsible for many of the apps, websites and software local businesses use to better connect with their customers and other stakeholders.
Trio Technology is a local software development business that has worked with many companies around the region, the country and internationally. Their key areas of focus are web development, app development, e-commerce and software development to help businesses with their digital transformation.
Starting the company
Nick Crossman started Trio Technology in 2010 with two others who were managing the web division of another local company. Rather than watch their web division fade into the background as the company evolved, they split into a new business to maintain their work, contacts, enthusiasm and passion for working in this space.
Today, the business has 11 staff, who enjoy the variety of clients and interesting projects as well as the challenge of working with new technologies.
Trio Technology takes pride in many of their projects, particularly their work for a large business across the Tasman which they’ve been involved with for 7+ years - a testament to their quality of work and reliability.
While many businesses are challenged with keeping a steady flow of new work projects coming in as others get completed, Trio Technology is in the fortunate position of having good word of mouth, referrals, repeat business and a growing confidence for business owners to invest in new projects and systems that keeps the team busy.
Rather than offering a broader scope of services, Trio Technology’s focus on software development is intentional and gives them specialist expertise. They outsource design and other services locally.
Offshore software development might be cheaper in dollar terms, but can never compare to the quality, support, and delivery of a local business, Nicks says, "It’s a shame many local businesses look elsewhere. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening in our region and the ability is definitely here".
There are many opportunities for local businesses to collaborate and combine their skills to work on bigger projects for local clients if they search closer to home and take the time to explore ways in which work can be kept in the region.
An enjoyable and purpose-driven workplace
If you think working in software development means dull office cubicles you’d be mistaken. Creating an enjoyable work environment is a priority for Trio Technology, which is evident upon visiting their office. Although remote work is an option, Nick notes having the team together onsite is a major business strength.
Staff are treated to lunch at one of Palmy’s many restaurants and eateries each month. Nick says this is small in terms of cost and time, but the team enjoys it a lot, and it contributes to an engaging work environment where they feel valued
It’s not uncommon to see their foyer packed with bikes and the team making their way around the block midday for an active break, in the warmer weather at least. Nick says that these walking sessions are a great way for people to share ideas that might not happen otherwise. Plus it’s a great chance for the staff to interact with their wider team.
Get involved in the growing Manawatū tech community
Palmerston North is an easy place to do business. With a close community and open networks, they experience many random connections outside of the workplace that often lead to client work, referrals and strengthening business relationships.
There is more work than developers in the region. Growing a team with the right people isn’t always easy in the Manawatū as the technology sector is somewhat hidden from view.
This is part of why Nick co-founded ManawaTech, to help increase the visibility of the local tech companies in our region. He shares a passion for supporting and growing the local tech community and is excited to see what’s to come in the next decade.
Nick's advice for students looking to enter the technology sector is based around preparation and passion. He recommends having a digital portfolio and demonstrating skills in the space which is more engaging than a generic CV. Likewise, showing a clear drive, interest and commitment to learning outside of study are appealing characteristics. This is seen among the current team and their interests, including an avid viewer of SpaceX and RocketLab launches.
Other ways to get involved and to establish yourself in the region include attending industry events and networking with people to find common interests and opportunities.