The Australian manufacturing industry may be struggling at the moment, but one family-run business in Central Queensland is thriving in such an environment against all odds.
The family also runs a 740-hectare farm, which serves as a testing ground for much of their equipment which they sell all around Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Kris acknowledges the challenges facing manufacturing businesses in the country and says it is very important to keep labour costs down to maintain competitive edge and survive in an increasingly hostile business environment.
“One of the big ones is how you design your machinery, so we went through a process, probably three years ago, of redesigning a lot of our machinery so that it was a more efficient and less time-consuming. So for example, we have what we call a ‘time holder’ and it’s now made up of three different pieces of steel and previously it was made up with 13,” she says.
“So the time to actually put that together has been greatly reduced, and because one of our biggest costs is the fact that we have very expensive labour here in Australia, so if you can actually cut down on your labour then you’re cutting down on a massive amount of costs.”
According to Ms Trevilyan, word of mouth has been a great marketing tool for the family.
“When neighbours started looking over the fence at what David had built for himself, they asked him to make them for him and then it just sort of grew from there. We still tend to find that word of mouth is the best sales force, because farmers use it, neighbours see what a job it does and, of course, farmers are very honest about how the machine operates as well.”