From asking ‘what do I need,’ to defining company values, to encouraging inquisitive minds, Victoria’s leading manufacturers shared their secrets to ‘creating new opportunities’ at the Victorian Manufacturing Showcase at the end of October.
Hosted by the Victorian State Government in collaboration with the Industry Capability Network (ICN) and partnered by Matthews Steer, the showcase featured a line-up of the state’s most accomplished manufacturers and was attended by 400 delegates.
Recognising the strategic importance of manufacturing to Victoria, the Victorian Government recently released the ‘Advancing Victoria’s Manufacturing’ blueprint. The blueprint aims to cement Victoria’s status as Australia’s home of manufacturing. It provides a vision for Victoria’s manufacturing industry, positioning Victorians for the jobs of the future, enabling business growth through commercialised innovation and new market opportunities, and drawing on areas of strength where Victorian businesses and researchers are clear global leaders.
The Manufacturing Showcase exposed delegates to the thinking of a selection of the Victorian manufacturing leaders who are currently achieving success on a global scale. The following are some of the speakers’ insights on their strategies and tactics for ‘creating new opportunities’.
Brian Hughes, Composite Materials Engineering: “I find ideas in everyday life. I can't design, manufacture, or draw, and my wife won't give me a drill, but if you just look around you every day and you stay inquisitive you come up with things you need. Most of my ideas come to me in the shower, walking down the street or talking to people.”
Paul Hughes, Integra Systems: “Align your personal and business values with those of your customers. Values are an integral part of what you are, your culture, and your people. Your values are everything. Nurture those customers who value who you are, and what you do. If they don't value who you are, then bigger isn't necessarily better. If you stay 100 per cent true to your values it enables you to move towards the horizon with confidence.”
Sean Morley, Impresa House: “Be open and prepared to embrace opportunities and change and adapt your business. We have created multiple new businesses by asking the simple question: ‘what do we need’? At every stage we question what we need to set ourselves apart from our competition, create better products, and work more efficiently. This sets the stage for the creation of new ideas and new businesses. Ask yourself the question and see if there may be an opportunity open to you.”
Jeff Connolly, Siemens: “Digitalisation could contribute $140 to $240-billion to the Australian GDP by 2025, based on existing technologies, but from an Australian perspective we've been slow to pick up on that. I encourage Australian manufacturers to get out and see what's happening in the world, adopt best practices and apply them to manufacturing here. It's about competing – being better than the next guy. In this great nation we have a lot of people who can do, they just need to get going. The risk is if we don't do something fast, we will miss out on what the ‘phygital’ (the physical-digital world) has to offer manufacturers.”
Stephen Wooster, Matthews Steer: “When you’re looking to create new opportunities for your business it’s important to have a plan in place, and processes for tackling challenging as they crop up. It’s vital to think ahead of the curve and to be prepared to do things differently rather than accepting the status quo. Have a curious mind and invest in technology that will move your business forward. Collaborate, and gather the right people around you to help drive success.”
With a number of government grants currently in place to support the growth of manufacturing including the $20-million New Energy Jobs Fund, the Sector Growth Program, the Local Industry Fund for Transition, the Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program, and the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Program, and some of Australia’s brightest manufacturing stars leading the way in Victoria, this state’s manufacturing future has never looked brighter.
If you are a local manufacturer and you are interested in accessing a government grant to help your business create new opportunities, speak to the Matthews Steer team today.