Manufacturing News

Diversify to survive, NSW manufacturer says

A NSW manufacturer says imports from China and the high Australian dollar are threatening the manufacturing sector, and companies need to diversify in order to survive.

ABC News reports WE Smith Engineering general manager Steve Gothard said while the Coffs Harbour-based company had downsized over recent years, a move into the construction industry had boosted its bottom line.

Gothard said the company's decision to diversify came after the difficulty in competing with cheap imports.

“We're losing orders due to projects and clients going overseas to places like China,” he said.

Gothard said his company had identified an opportunity to move into on-site work with other businesses, and the change in direction was a main focus moving forward.

“We see there's a big opportunity in repairing the lower quality goods that are coming in from overseas and also installing and refurbishing goods on site,” he said.

While the change may have benefited WE Smith, the construction industry has faced significant pressures of its own, and the NSW Government last year announced an inquiry to investigate weakness in the sector.

Late last year modular homes maker Trade Fusion collapsed into administration after a failed attempt to branch its manufacturing business into the construction sector.

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