Manufacturing knowledge creates win-win for Victorian industry

A connection facilitated by Industry Capability Network (ICN) Victoria has created close to a million dollars’ worth of manufacturing for a local company and may also lead to further work for items that would otherwise have been imported.

The project required by electronic contract manufacturing company SRX will be delivered by Hofmann Engineering, which has plants in Cheltenham, Bendigo and Perth, and is a classic example of how ICN works as a business connector.
Late in 2014, SRX was looking for a company that could provide an aluminium extruded part that had to be machined to very high tolerance. One of ICN's business consultants, Peter Moore, met with SRX representatives and established what was needed.
With drawings provided by SRX and using the ICN's powerful database and knowledge, Peter was able to develop a list of Australian companies with the capability and capacity required for the work.
Peter provided details of the relevant companies to SRX, including Hofmann Engineering in light of the company's previously demonstrated machining experience.
At the early stage SRX wanted to remain as an anonymous client of ICN and both it and Hofmann respected the expertise of Peter and ICN.
Through regular contact with SRX, Peter was able to continue refining the list of companies to ensure the best options were available.
From the details provided by Peter, SRX worked through a short list process including meetings and visits and, as they say, the rest is history.
Thanks to the assistance from ICN, SRX found the best company and Hofmann Engineering earned good work.
In addition to this, SRX is now talking with Hofmann Engineering about two other products that are currently imported but, for quality reasons, SRX would prefer to have made locally.
Peter Moore said to win the first part of the work Hofmann Engineering had built tooling specifically to handle the job and was looking at dedicating a machine to do the task.
“This approach shows what Australian companies can do, especially around the type of quality control that is integral with many local companies,” Peter said.
“SRX had been having some problems with the quality of the imported product, but now with a local company providing the product it has much better control and better service.”
SRX General Manager Jeff Malone said the knowledge base and work of ICN Victoria had provided a win-win situation for SRX and Hofmann Engineering.
“We now have a quality local provider for this project, and we are talking to them about other possibilities. It gives us greater confidence in the products we will require and it also means we are spending our money in Australia and thus supporting local jobs.”
Hofmann Engineering Product Manager David Thickpenny said through liaising with Peter Moore the company had been able to meet with SRX and begin discussions and site visits which enabled us to provide a solution that works for SRX and has led to us receiving the order for supply of required parts.
“The other really good thing was that having had the chance to demonstrate Hofmann’s engineering and machining excellence, we are now discussing two other import replacement projects over the next few years, which would be another substantial project for us.
“These opportunities would not have eventuated if not for the assistance of ICN Victoria,” he added.