Australian manufacturing alive and well with ACO innovation
Why keep Australian manufacturing afloat in the construction industry.
Construction is an indicator of the economy, and, importantly a key factor to creating local employment. The level of construction is driven by public or private investment and is a powerful lever in driving Australia’s GDP. Where imported products will dampen its effects, Australian manufactured products act to multiply the impact that construction has on the economy.
Manufacturing is critical to Australia and is tantamount with protecting home-grown businesses, resources, ideas and innovation. Australia’s long term economic growth and living standards are enhanced when our country’s manufacturing sector is diverse and healthy. Not only does Australian manufacturing by itself yield a direct significant contribution to the GDP, it also sustains local skilled service industries and related producers; provides employment to a diverse workforce; and motivates itself to innovate by investing in research and development. Keeping jobs and skills in Australia is also highly satisfying and rewarding for local enterprises as is the positive effects of dependence and trust on other related local partners. Because manufacturing has so many substantial links with many other sectors throughout the economy, its output stimulates more economic activity across society than any other sector. To demonstrate this, when the Australian car industry began closing its doors, the adverse effect of this contagion was felt and continues to be felt for many years, driving its perpetuity in the media cycle.
Unfortunately, due to the perceived value of cheap imports, there is an ever increasing tendency to source manufactured product overseas for many projects in the Australian construction industry. This will invariably lead to a decline in demand for Australian entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians skilled in designing, developing and commercialising the next generation of innovation. Additionally, many importers give little regard or are simply oblivious to Australian legislative requirements, quality standards and supply expectations. They do not carry out thorough due-diligence, leaving the construction industry exposed to untested and non-compliant products. In turn, these products become expensive and disruptive to replace and in some cases, there may be legal ramifications.
Australian manufacturing keeps customers more contented. Products are delivered in more agreeable time frames and more importantly they are better adapted for the application. Additionally, an Australian manufacturer’s ability to collaborate with the customer or liaise and negotiate with other partners is a valuable bonus to the industry. In construction, local manufacture opens the door for builders to tap into the supply chain which can inevitably result in significant project savings.
Why ACO is successful
ACO is proud to be a family owned manufacturer since 1946, developing products installed throughout Australia and export regions from its Emu Plains manufacturing plant. John Sordo, head of Marketing and Product Management, expresses it simply “In order to remain competitive in manufacturing a sustainable competitive advantage needs to be established. Successful Australian companies tend to know their customers better and are more empathetic to their challenges. They focus on quality, local adaptability, ethics, environmental sustainability and total project cost from cradle to grave”. He adds, “These key success factors will define a manufacturer, its leadership in best practices, the supply of premium products, its reputation for service, the way it communicates and the way it troubleshoots”.
ACO’s success comes from its ability to commercialise innovation, market its competencies and support its customer base. For instance, ACO’s cumulative influence on the Australian landscape architecture community was evident in its participation at the International Festival of Landscape Architecture as supporting corporate partner of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA). Furthermore, ACO is also a corporate sponsor of Consult Australia and will continue to participate and support the Australian Consulting Design Community operating in the built and natural environment.
ACO is an industry leader in water and cable management products manufactured from durable materials designed for Australian conditions.
Recently ACO has also been able to demonstrate its versatility to provide solutions for light rail infrastructure. It’s off the shelf systems have been adapted to several Australian light rail track designs to provide efficient surface water drainage to rail and track slabs.
ACO also provides its customers with bespoke drainage systems for both internal and external applications either to visually harmonise with urban environments or to integrate into wash-down and threshold areas in and around buildings. All systems are designed to address hydraulic performance and specific user and legislative requirements.
ACO invests heavily in its dedication to customer service and technical support. ACO’s qualified representatives are able to deliver comprehensive support to customers from design conception to installed product. ACO has an established technical advisory department offering fully documented project specific design services to support its drainage and utility enclosure products. The department is staffed with qualified engineers with many years’ experience in the industry.
In such a competitive industry, customers want lifetime value not just the cheapest product. ACO’s hands on service ensures customers can engage ACO’s expert team beyond a simple transaction. Operating in the same market as its customers allows ACO to easily collaborate with all stakeholders. This allows the Australian manufacturer to draw from its competencies and offer customers value based solutions – Australian owned, designed and manufactured