Based in Albury on the border of NSW and Victoria, Reform3D applies an innovative concept, leveraging large-format 3D printing technology to ‘re-form’ polymers into drainage products that are light and quick to install.

Founder Des Hagan devised the concept in 2017 after working in a range of industries, including agriculture, land development, project management, and a plastic pipe company. When he noticed a gap in the market, he started exploring ways piping could be produced, and the idea of using recycled plastic sourced from waste products from local manufacturers came about. Presently focusing on culvert kits tailored for civil projects and agriculture, these kits establish a fresh benchmark in industry efficiency and safety. By virtue of their lightweight construction and easy installation, they notably mitigate manual handling hazards, enhancing worker safety and reducing workplace accidents.

Now that his business is established as a practical way to support the circular economy, the challenge for Des is to get the word out about his products and how they can be used and applied in construction and infrastructure projects. This can be particularly due to the complexities of identifying procurement decision-makers in larger projects. Another obstacle arises from the fact that Des’s business is relatively new and introduces a groundbreaking concept: gaining consideration for opportunities becomes challenging when potential contacts are unaware of the company’s existence.

Connecting with ICN NSW

Des came across ICN NSW a few years ago and connected with Regional Manager Geoff Reardon, who helped him establish a profile on ICN Gateway and encouraged him to attend information days and meetings with Tier One contractors and Government organisations.

“He also volunteered his time to help me with an event pitching to Victoria’s big builders and contractors,” says Des, who now has around half a dozen applications in with civil contractors and councils to be a potential project supplier.

“Knowing what work packages are available or are coming up can be difficult,” Des adds, “It’s hard to find out what stage an infrastructure project is at or whether they are calling for tenders and where that information is.”

Without ICN NSW, Des says it’s a matter of trying “anything and everything”, and often tenders are closed by the time you find out about them.

As Geoff explains, he has been able to help Des identify supply chains and promote his business while also seeking out opportunities. In addition to supporting Des’s stand at the EcologiQ conference, he has fed through advertised opportunities, introduced Reform3D to foreign investors and provided guidance to respond to market opportunities. He has also shared his industry expertise to explore technological hardware options to enhance Des’s manufacturing processes.

Guiding projects in smaller towns

Reform 3D Geoff Reardon ICN NSW

Being based in a regional area, Des also understands the role ICN NSW has to play when it comes to incoming infrastructure projects in smaller towns.

The Riverina Defence project is an example of an upcoming project that will require a lot of resources.

“Local contractors have a standard amount they can supply, but this is three or four times that,” he explains. It’s good that ICN NSW is putting on information days so people are aware that these jobs are coming up, and they can be scheduled around or planned for.”

Building a larger network

Des’s products have been optimised so they can be shipped anywhere in Australia using conventional transport. This gives him the potential to rapidly expand his client base and reach his goal of increasing sales volumes.

Geoff touches base with Des once a month via phone or email to discuss opportunities and chat about what’s going on. “Geoff worked previously in civil construction so he understands it front and back,” explains Des, “He’s good to work with.”

Being a niche manufacturer means trying to reach a highly unique audience and marketing isn’t always easy. Des adds, “You have to refine your offer and find the purchasing officer and make sure they are aware.”

This is another reason why having personal support from ICN NSW can make a big difference; the platform can connect suppliers with the right people as well as open work packages, taking away the guesswork of knowing which projects are coming up and who to connect with.

 

Are you a local supplier based in regional NSW? Explore work packages via Gateway by ICN or reach out to your Regional Manager today.

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