Since its inception in 1995, Advanced Industrial Products (AIP) has steadily expanded to become one of Australia’s largest national suppliers of industrial hoses, valves, fittings, and associated products.
According to Paul Wood, Business Development Manager at AIP, the company’s success can be largely attributed to its commitment to customer service, together with a comprehensive range of high-quality flow control products – a range that is ever-increasing through new partnerships and the AIP team’s genuine enthusiasm for seeking out the best and most innovative products.
The range of AIP’s products and its depth of expertise might seem daunting to those unschooled in the field, yet Paul has an easy phrase that encapsulates AIP’s fundamental service: “Simply put, we supply a hose, anything that goes on a hose and anything that gets attached to a hose.” It’s an appealingly unpretentious description, and indicative of an underlying culture steadily nurtured over the past 25-plus years, with a clear objective in mind.
Although an impressively sizeable company today, the AIP ethos and values remain the same as when the company began. Paul says this is one of the reasons AIP has retained its staff.
“Take our external sales team,” Paul says. “Of the 14 staff we have on the road, I think only two of them have been with AIP for fewer than ten years. The experience ratio is roughly the same for our internal team as well.”
He adds that many of AIP’s staff boast years of experience stretching back well before the founding of the company itself. “Lots of our people have years and years of experience – 30-plus years in many cases, and even up to 40 years.”
“We certainly do well at hanging onto our staff, which is obviously a big positive for our customers,” he says. “They know they’re dealing with the same people. We make a concerted effort to have our customers deal with a new person each day, and soon enough they have established rapport with all of us. Whether the contacts are internal or external, this consistency breeds a familiarity that makes our customers feel very comfortable.”
Broad range, flexible service
While it retains its customer-focused ethos and a small business mentality, the AIP of 2021 is able to provide unique customer service benefits that are the special province of a larger supplier in the national market. This is due to AIP becoming part of Motion Australia’s business portfolio.
“The range of products we can offer our customers now is very impressive, and getting more so by the day,” Paul says. “Our customers can come to us and buy everything hose-related they need. Instead of having to shop around and go to four or five different vendors, they can consolidate all their orders, and buy at least a large majority of the products they need from one place – AIP.”
AIP’s Head Office is in Darra, Queensland, and boasts a 3100m2 warehouse with an additional 1000m2 warehouse in neighbouring Richlands. There are branch locations in Sydney, Melbourne, and Mackay. However, through Motion Australia businesses CBC and BSC, AIP has a distribution network that stretches across Australia. “We can get stock to you wherever you need it,” Paul says.
The products AIP stocks would constitute a near inexhaustible list. The company is renowned for its capabilities in assembling industrial hoses to precise, client-tailored specifications. But it also aims to offer everything that any hose-user could possibly need.
“We’ve got our own swaging and crimping machines, for instance, which are very important for the mining sector,” Paul notes. “With our hoses we do different sizes, flange patterns and all the associated components for hose assemblies. Mining companies like to deal with AIP because they will approach us with a specification and we will pull it all together for them – fluidity requirements, different lengths they might need, what fittings they want, just to name a few.”
AIP is not a manufacturer of products, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a true creator.
Paul says that “flexibility” is a key concept that informs all aspects of AIP’s business model.
“Our flexibility in diverse sourcing, our flexibility in distribution, our flexibility in assembling hoses to individual specification – these are simply different reflections of an underlying attitude geared towards problem solving and innovation,” he says.
It is in the domain of hose assembly that AIP truly sets itself apart from its competitors. All the individual qualities present throughout the organisation – depth of experience, broad network of business relationships, vast product procurement capacity in quality and quantity, customer service, dedication to problem solving and matching client specifications with components and assembly requirements.
“All day long, all they do is hose assemblies,” Paul says. “Customers approach us with specific requirements, and we use our in-house expertise and unparalleled component access to assemble the exact hose they need for the job.”
With mining companies among AIP’s largest patrons, rigorous quality and safety testing is a must, given the dangerous environments in which hoses are often deployed, he notes.
“Our customers have the option of us conducting testing under conditions appropriate to the hose’s real-life use,” Paul says. “When hose is assembled, we’ll set it to a pressure in line with its real-world working pressure, and for well-defined periods of time. Once tested, a test plate is attached to the hose with the required information on the actual hose.
This testing capability is obviously important for those hoses deployed in high-pressure environments – where risk mitigation and worker safety are paramount concerns. The testing protocol also provides invaluable information to the customer and can serve as a reference point in the rare event that there is a failure.
“It’s a starting point for a reciprocal exchange of information that – in the long run – is to the benefit of AIP and builds trust with our customers. If a hose isn’t working as it should be, we want to know why,” concludes Paul. “Our attitude is always to keep learning, keep improving – the better to serve our customers.”