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With the world continuing to cope with the pandemic and global trade likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future, it makes sense to support Australian manufacturing.
Signed by Cooper’s Sales and Projects Manager
It’s fair to say, or should I say ‘fair dinkum’ to say that after packing up from the UK in 2017 and moving to Australia my family and I have absolutely fallen in love with this country, and we’re now proud to call it home.
As I reflect on the past 12 months, and the plight of many in other countries, I feel a sense of relief that we’re here too.
Australia has managed the Covid-19 pandemic pretty well, and along with the New Year comes a renewed sense of optimism, which will hopefully be reflected in the overall economic outlook in the months ahead.
One thing I’m really enthusiastic about right now is the opportunity presented by the current circumstances for the Australian manufacturing industry.
Prior to joining Signed by Cooper, I worked for a business in the UK that manufactures 90% in-house and outsources the remaining 10% to local British fabricators.
This is not uncommon in other countries. But here in Australia, it’s a rarity.
For many years Australia has become over reliant on importing manufactured goods from overseas, to its detriment.
But now the manufacturing industry has an opportunity to rebuild its reputation as one of the world’s best. And I don’t say that lightly. There is incredible talent in this industry, and by and large, companies are keeping pace with the latest technologies available. There’s no reason that we cannot reclaim a significant amount of market share.
The on-flow effects of a strong manufacturing industry are, as we all know, highly beneficial. Manufacturing not only utilises local resources, but it also creates jobs. Profits stay local too, which is great for the economy.
One of the significant reasons I joined Signed by Cooper was because of its ability to manufacture in-house. I’m working to improve our capabilities and capacity with better machinery, resources and equipment, which will enable us to increase our overall manufacturing capacity, and that in turn will enable us to be more competitive, because we must remain competitive.
It’s important for consumers to have a choice, but equally, I believe, it’s our collective responsibility as manufacturers and producers to make sure that the Australian-made options not only stack up, they are actually better quality and value for money than equivalent overseas options.
Times of crisis often present opportunity and right now, for the Australian manufacturing industry, there is an incredible opportunity to showcase exactly what we are capable of and to regain standing as a strong local industry, a backbone of the local economy.
During the pandemic, we retooled and repurposed our operations to manufacture weatherproof free-standing hand sanitiser units, face shields and sneeze guards.
Why? We saw an opportunity – to innovate and grow our business, to provide a valuable service to meeting supply when supplies were short. To keep our people in jobs. To do our bit to provide what was required to protect the local community from the spread of the virus.
We secured our first bulk order for face shields within weeks, and our team was delighted to be back on the job. Times were tough last year, and no doubt they will be for many in the months ahead, so we must all support each other.
For example, we are always sourcing local suppliers. We’re also willing to partner and collaborate in areas that are not our strengths to deliver the best results for our clients. But there are other things we can do too, more personal things, like buying coffee and lunch and supporting the local cafes, by buying anything and everything Aussie grown and Aussie-made.
And if your own budget is tight, you can do a lot of things that won’t cost you a cent, such as referring a friend or colleague, or liking and sharing a social media post so the company can reach more potential customers.
As cheesy as the saying is: ‘We’re all in this together’. We must all support each other so all local businesses come back stronger from the pandemic.