Continued growth the key to manufacturing success

With the bulk of the manufacturing GDP coming from local SMEs, it is good news to know that they are continuing to thrive even with the immense pressure coming from overseas imports.

At the back of an exciting 2017 for the industry, something that Australian manufacturing should continue to provide is a compelling value proposition for its customers when competing against cheaper exports. How can manufacturers achieve this? According to some of the winners from last year’s Endeavour Awards – the key lies in being able to design and manufacture high quality products locally.

The topic of overseas competition from low-cost nations was one of the key points out during a few of the presentations at last year’s Supply Chain Conference in Sydney. In the Business Council of Australia’s report Offshoring, Global Outsourcing and The Australian Economy, it says that economic and social changes brought by globalisation and technological change is an ongoing challenge the country is facing.

Competition from overseas as well as the ongoing business restructuring required to meet this increased competition from overseas, low-cost imports means that local manufacturers’ abilities to create job opportunities in some sectors, especially those requiring relatively lower skill, becomes increasingly limited – which has been re-examined and recalibrated with new advanced technologies and reskilling.

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In particular, growth and activity in the Australian economy over the last three decades has shifted from relatively low-value manufacturing to higher value services-oriented industry. Managing director of Redarc, one of Australia’s most successful manufacturers and winner of the 2017 Manufacturer of the year said that the maintenance of a strong market presence as an Australian manufacturer was important when competing against the low-cost overseas market.

“Innovation must pervade everything we do and we cannot accept the status quo – we must continue to strive to find a better way. In this light, I am hoping that we will get continued support from the government for research and developments for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the coming months and years,” Kittel said.

He also added that among platforms like Australia’s premier manufacturing awards, the Endeavour Awards provide the perfect platform to remind Australian businesses that the best is still yet to come. “In my opinion, I think that the Endeavour Awards is a platform for manufacturers around the country with industry wide recognition and acknowledgement of the commitment of their teams,” Kittel said after the 2017 Endeavour Awards night.

With more established companies like Redarc leading the way into 2018, this has encouraged start-up companies like Yumarr Automation, led by directors and founders Nicky Guenther and Holger Salow, to burn and shine bright in Australia. Operating from facilities in Australia and Germany, they provide sensor-based automation solutions for various heavy industries like mining.

screen-shot-2018-02-06-at-11This recent start-up, which was the winner of the Outstanding Start-Up award at the most recent Endeavour Awards, has identified the growing optimism in the adoption of automation technologies for these industries and they are a big believer in safety. At the moment, they are technology partners with big mining names like Rio Tinto and Atlas Copco.

“Automation can allow the complete separation of the machine operator from the hostile situation and to monitor and control the machine from a safe remote location,” said Guenther.

As for receiving the award, they have described it as a great honour and hope to reap more at the coming 2018 edition.

“It was a great honour for us, especially as a start-up, and an enormous acknowledgement from the industry to be chosen out of many other outstanding companies with remarkable solutions,” said Salow.

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