As members of the South East Victoria business community, Pitcher Partners are acutely aware of the inevitable decline in automotive related manufacturing as the major automotive brands retreat from the Australian marketplace. However, innovative business owners are seeing this as an opportunity to breathe new life into their operations.
Ace Wire Works in Hallam is a 3rd generation family business that once supplied thousands of wire components for car seating and headrests to Holden, Ford and Toyota. Today the production of automotive components accounts for only 15-20 per cent of Ace Wire’s business.
Robert Tigani and the Pitcher Partners Consulting team have been advising Ace Wire Works, along with a number of other highly skilled organisations working in metal fabrication, plastic injection moulding, electrical componentry and engineering, on transition strategies. These businesses represent decades of manufacturing expertise, customer care and intellectual property and deliver tangible benefits to the Victorian economy in terms of jobs and trade. Each is seeking new industries in which to create and deliver value.
With the assistance of the Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program, a Victorian State Government grant initiative, Ace Wire Works have been working towards developing opportunities in high-end furniture, retail fittings and fixtures and storage systems.
Managing Director Sam Harris said, “In years past, the downturn in the automotive sector would have significantly impacted our business, but we’ve been diversifying over the past five to ten years.” Pitcher Partners Consulting is playing a key role in assisting Ace Wire Works to unlock their potential as they enter the next stage of business evolution.
The tenacity and inventiveness shown by Ace Wire Works and others tells a story of commitment and a willingness to change, and it’s paying off. They are securing other grants to support further investment in new technologies and equipment that will enable them to bring even more of their manufacturing processes in-house, creating jobs and growing local capabilities.
Narre Warren North MP Luke Donnellan, who visited the plant recently, reinforced that the funding would help Ace Wire Works and similar businesses identify and target new markets, saying, “We are helping them … put themselves on a strong footing for the future.