Are We Moving?

Manufacturing companies in Australia are dropping like flies. Ironically my company is surviving - just - because of manufacturing. If our competitors want to kill us off, it is similar to swatting a fly. One hit and we are dead. However, a good bush fly is fast, responsive and not easy to kill off. After 7 years of operation, we continue to be an annoyance to our competitors. That is some feat. We are competing with rivals with a combined history of a century at least. Not only are these companies colossal and rich, they are deeply networked into the market with huge presence. Against these odds, we shouldn't have survived.

However, we did and we are still surviving. The reason is simple. The big guns are unwilling to manufacture and we are. Being small and responsive, we are flexible and creative with solutions to tackle near-impossible demands of our clients and saved their ass multiple times. Though we didn't make a killing at those jobs, we have gradually built a reputation for being reliable.

The reason why I joined this company as a start up was that I want to grow with it from scratch. The downside is we will perish together if we get things wrong. We have a close small team, working together on siege mentality. I do not understand the in-fighting of certain members. Things get ridiculously childish at times but we are working to iron stuff out for good. We have better things to do than to nip on one another's tails. Like gaining capital share from the big guns that we have absolutely no right to. That's the fun part of this project and that is what keeps me interested in the job. My longest serving one by the way. I'm not afraid to admit I don't stay very long in every job I took up. They sucked.

We are making a very big decision. One that may make or break us. The management is confident but I'm not so sure. They have to be positive, they are getting the sales in. For the factory side, it is a lose-lose situation. If we do well, we'll be overloaded with work. Life will definitely be harder. If we don't do well, we'll be the first to be asked to go. We cannot win. However, I am still excited with the possibility of moving to a bigger factory. The potential premise is a fantastic location to work in. For one, it reduces my daily commute from 40 km to 13.7km, bringing the 42 minutes drive to a mere 19 minutes. The factory orientation, shape and space is perfect for what I have in mind, if we were to increase our stock by many folds in future. The gates are situated at the perfect spot and wide enough to facilitate our needs. The side lane is a dream. Long, wide and serving only our factory. No more sharing the driveway with neighbours. There is even a bathroom somewhere in the main building. Even the office folks will be happy with interesting rooms as their office. I don't think anyone will be unhappy with the potential new premise, even for the folks who will be travelling further for work.

If things go bad, the higher overheads will kill us. Go well and we will be able to expand for the first time after years of consolidating our presence. With company after company moving out of WA, downsizing or closing down, we must be insane to expand. However with such a cold rental market right now, it is now or never. The question is, will we finally move? I have been facing the prospect for at least 3 years. Each time, it did not materialise. Will 2017 be the breakout year? If so, there will be exciting times ahead. After hibernating for a year, I have rested adequately and am prepared to work my ass out.

1 comment:

  1. Go for it!, the best time to expand is during a recession. You also want to move up the value chain