Manufacturers’ Monthly learns from Moddex sales director, Joe Rowland, what it means to be a leading manufacturer of barrier systems for large-scale infrastructure and non-residential construction projects in Australasia.
Beginning as Sentaur Products in 2008, founded by managing director and CEO Alvin Rowland, Moddex provides modular handrails, barriers, balustrades and guardrail systems for Australia and New Zealand that can cut installation times in half.
Their products are both designed and manufactured in-house for a range of industrial, commercial, and civil applications. These are marketed as fit-for-purpose, simple to use and catering to the client’s requirements.
As sales director for Moddex, Joe Rowland leads and facilitates the enthusiastic sales and business development team. With 10 years of experience in working with professionals in the construction industry, he is focused on building strong and enduring relationships with the non-residential and infrastructure construction sectors.
Manufacturers’ Monthly asked Rowland what Moddex’s chief point of difference is, in comparison with other handrail specialists in Australia.
“We are an end-to-end supplier of industrial and commercial proprietary handrail system and balustrades,” he said.
“By end-to-end, I mean we control and support the process from foundry and fabrication through to final installation and compliance sign off. This is unique to Moddex in our industry.”
In addition to this, Moddex offers a variety of services such as in-house drafting, site measurement, engineering, and compliant installation. The company prides itself on pioneering better solutions for everyday challenges.
Low risk supplier
Touted as a low-risk supplier of handrail and balustrade systems, the risks that typically catch people out in relation to handrails are eliminated with Moddex’s solutions, Rowland said.
“From simplifying the process of architectural specification via proprietary systems, streamlining the CAD detailing process to ensure everything fits on site, and ultimately ensuring the compliance certifier will give the tick,” he said.
“We are also obsessed with maintaining high-quality standards – although Moddex may not be the ‘cheapest quote’, our product provides exceptional value and will outlast others many times over. This reduces the risk that asset owners face in the long term around the ongoing maintenance of their sites or buildings.”
Challenges faced in 2021
Reflecting on 2021, the manufacturing business faced challenges such as rapidly increasing raw material costs. However, the decisions they made to counter these challenges benefitted Moddex in the long term, according to Rowland.
“With rapidly increasing raw material costs now affecting anyone involved in steel products and fabrication, our decision in early 2020 to increase stock holdings significantly has paid off for us and our clients,” Rowland said.
“While many have been facing stock shortages due to shipping delays and increasing costs, we have been able to smooth through the challenges and supply our clients’ projects consistently while managing the passing on of cost increases to ensure minimal impact.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted many manufacturers and their supply chains, Moddex has managed to stay afloat and maintain an open line of communication with customers.
“Apart from a brief period at the end of 2020, COVID-19 has largely had no negative impacts on the business, and the government-fuelled initiatives have only helped increase confidence – particularly in Australia,” Rowland said.
“More recently, the slowed down and closed construction sites in Victoria and New South Wales have delayed our ability to deliver work, however this is more of a timing challenge.”
Also participating in this year’s Great Place to Work awards, Moddex was named sixth Best Place to Work in the country in August. The business was also dubbed Supplier of the Year in 2019 at the Australian Construction Awards, recognising the team’s design and engineering expertise and ongoing focus on efficiency, client satisfaction and open communication.
The year to come
Looking forward, Moddex is headed for good things in the coming year, including an exciting new range of products, while working hard on reducing its CAD detailing lead-times.
It is aiming to deliver a service within that area that is unmatched in its industry, which will give our clients the ability to get handrails manufactured faster and meet tighter deadlines than before.
“We will also be announcing the release of a new product family that has some excellent benefits for construction,” said Rowland. “Watch this space!”