Staying true to Australian made

G&G Engineering has acquired a new business to add to its portfolio of services. A year after its acquisition, Manufacturers’ Monthly finds out how Bollards Direct is making its mark.

From humble beginnings, G&G Engineering has made its name through a pursuit of quality. Two cousins from Melton in Victoria started an engineering workshop out of their backyard garage in 1973, beginning with general engineering and fabrication work for the local community.

Today G&G offers a diverse range of services, including road and bridge works, (a VicRoads/D.O.T. prequalified provider) building/construction, structural steel, mining, agribusiness, general engineering, project management, and equipment installation.

The business can essentially be broken down into roads and bridges, specialised maintenance in the manufacturing environment, and specialised custom-made projects.

Having confronted the volatility of the industry over the COVID-19 pandemic, G&G’s management team embarked on acquiring a business to add to its repertoire. Ron Parker, operations coordinator said the acquisition of a national company, Bollards Direct continues to provide G&G with another revenue stream.

“When G&G took over the business there was three core products,” he said. “So we’ve been concentrating on expanding the product range. They had a 90, 140 and 165 millimetre in-ground bollards, whereas now we have got surface mounted bollards to compliment the in-ground bollards. We are looking to add stainless steel bollards to our range and entering into the lucrative tender market.”

The previous owner of Bollards Direct grew the business through attending car shows in different states around the country. Now, the company has, and continues to grow its national distributorship. The bollards are wholly manufactured in Melton and then channeled through distributors in every state. The company offers supply only or supply and install options to suit its customer’s requirements.

“We assemble it all,” Parker added. “We buy steel and send the steel to pipe laser cutters who profile cut it to our specifications. We then deal with different laser cutters as far as the different components are concerned.”

A problem for local SME manufacturers is the competition from cheap imports. Especially considering a surge in steel prices over the last few months, Australian made products are competing with challenging price points. However, the compromise on quality is the obvious trade-off, in which Bollards Direct, with the backing of G&G Engineering’s years of expertise, “We believe we have a quality product and that’s why we are at the top end,” Parker explained. “The emphasis is on helping Australian business as we continue to expand our range, looking at down-pipe protectors, and wheel stops which will complement the bollards.”

Recently showcased at MotorEx – the largest car show of its kind in Australia – Bollards Direct has a new product, looking to fill a void in the market.

“There’s a gap in the market between the 90 mm and the 140 mm,” he said. “The 114 (Midi) is actually lighter than some of the 90 mmm bollards we sell. We see an opportunity in the market where customers can buy something of a higher quality than the imported bollards out there. Highlighted at MotorEx, we are extremely pleased with the public’s interest in the Midi and look forward to the markets reaction in the coming weeks.”