Why BDO is positive Australian manufacturing will grow

Photo Left to right: Ryan Pollett, National Manufacturing Leader; Cynthia Dearin, Dearin and Associates; Ingrid Marsh – Director of Industry and development at NSW Treasury; Shane Swift, Associate Director, Technology Advisory and Bill Cole, Partner, International Trade.

Manufacturers’ Monthly talks to sponsors of the Endeavour Awards’ newest category to find out what the business services firm knows about Excellence in Growth in the manufacturing sector.

In highlighting the best in Australian manufacturing, there are a number of categories to choose from.

“We’re in the business of growth,” says National Head of the Manufacturing and Wholesale Industry Team at BDO, Ryan Pollett, when explaining how the business services firm came up with the new ‘Excellence in Growth’ category for the Endeavour Awards, alongside event organisers Prime Creative Media.

“BDO has a background in helping businesses grow and we’re really passionate about this sector. As a firm, we’ve been working with manufacturers in this country for several years and have been part of the growth story of manufacturing,” Pollett said.

“Through what has been a challenging period, Australian manufacturers have shown resilience and they’ve come through the other side and are now doing well – we want to highlight those stories.”

“There are plenty of growth stories out there, and we’re really looking to celebrate them.”

“A lot of people out there tend to be negative about the industry, but it’s important that we’re  optimistic, because that’s how we build momentum.”

“These industry issues are close to our heart and so, when we became aware of the awards and the opportunity to consider sponsoring them, as a firm it’s something we leapt at really.”

BDO is a full solutions provider, whose services span audit, compliance, tax, financial management, sustainability, international trade, and technology solutions for a range of industries.

“We can offer support in any way that a business might need it,” Pollett said.

“It’s our role to try and encourage growth, to advocate for it, and to support our clients in a practical sense in terms of their strategy; be it on the tech advisory side, working with them in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies to suit their business, or mobilising their people – we work with them on their journey and on their own growth story.

“For example, one of my clients has been going through a period of growth, they’ve consolidated their hold in the industry and the next step for them has been to make some complementary acquisitions to be able to expand their product range, expand their customer base. So, we help with that.

“We help them identify targets and take them through the due diligence process on those acquisitions. They’ve now successfully completed a couple of those in the last two to three years and that’s really helped build their scale.

“We also do a lot regarding offshore-onshore trade, for example. We help clients with things like customs, duty, free trade agreements if you’ve got an international trade business. There’s a lot that we can do on the global side of things.”

While BDO provides services for many different industries, Pollett’s team focuses on manufacturing entirely, and their clients have contributed to their positive outlook on the sector.

“We’ve got clients that have gone from relatively small family businesses and they’ve grown all the way up to large scale multinationals, and we’ve been there every step of the way to help them through.”

Among the usual challenges Australian manufacturers face, including the scale of the country which makes it expensive to transport goods, BDO has seen a number of other challenges arise for their clients.

“Innovation is very important and there are challenges around fostering innovation within this country. I think that we’re getting right to a large degree now, but there’s still room for improvement. The tax incentives are not as good as they possibly could be in terms of R&D support. Having government collaborate with industry and universities is also a challenge, we see it as our role to act as an intermediary between those bodies.”

In keeping track of the industry’s success stories, BDO believes the key to success lies in the ability to move up the value chain.

“For Australian business to thrive, the ones that we’re seeing do that are the ones that are focussing on their area of specialisation and the value-add, rather than mass manufacturing. It’s more likely that those offering customised, niche, and unique solutions to clients or solving customer problems that survive.”

While the firm recognises the challenges that have arisen in the sector, they remain positive about the future of manufacturing.

“We’ve spent a long time working with these companies and trying to help them achieve their goals. We recognise it’s been an up and downtime over the years and there have been challenges along the way and there still are, but we’re advocates of the industry and we’re on board.”

The Endeavour Awards will be held at Waterview in Bicentennial Park, Sydney on Thursday 14 May 2020.

Nominations for Excellence in Growth are now open. To submit a nomination, visit the Endeavour Awards website at https://endeavourawards.com.au/nominate/