Under the leadership of Lynn Johnson $446 million worth of offshore and national supply contracts have been secured by Victorian SMEs, and for this she has been awarded the 2014 Women in Industry Excellence Manufacturing Award.
Johnson was chosen to lead the development and implementation on the SME engagement program at Industry Capability Network, Victoria and delivered the initiative with success during what was a tough two years within the manufacturing sector.
Johnson’s focus in the development of the program, which has attracted international attention and developed opportunities for local SMEs worldwide, was to understand the requirements of both key clients: buyers and suppliers.
As an example of how the program works, Johnson was involved in the Victorian government’s new tram tender and took on the role of advocate for local manufacturers involved in the project.
This involved working with the supply chain team of one of the multinational rolling stock manufacturers bidding for the work.
With her technically trained background, Johnson began the process by understanding the buyer’s requirements and researching who best within the industry could meet their needs and standards.
She then led the supply chain team who had local and international representatives around the three states to facilitate the introductions and engagement between the parties.
This enabled the supply chain team to understand the capability of local manufacturers.
As a result of the advocacy program, the first new “Made in Melbourne” tram was recently released.
Another area in which Johnson has helped manufacturers is in local government procurement activities.
Since the inception of the SME engagement program, ICN has started working with five councils, including Kingston, Cardinia, Casey, Geelong and Wyndham.
David Pallant, operations manager at ICN Victoria, said the success of the SME program can be attributed to Johnson’s vision, enthusiasm, organisational and people management skills.
On the night, Johnson dedicated the award to her hard working team.
“I’m very proud of the work I’ve been able to lead and the team of dedicated professionals that work with me because their roles are key in ensuring we have a strong industry.”
Johnson said it was important for women to know the wealth of opportunities available to them within Australia’s manufacturing industry.
“The industry can continue to advocate through initiatives like these awards to encourage women to join the sector," she said.