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Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Australia’s manufacturing sector?

According to The Reserve Bank of Australia, the manufacturing sector has declined steadily for the last 30 years, accounting for just 6% of GDP today, versus an all time high of 14% back in 1995.

Professor Roy Green from UTS also believes that Australia has relied too heavily on the mining boom – squandering the opportunity to build competitive industries.

So, is the Australian manufacturing sector facing an irreversible decline or are there examples of companies out there who are still thriving?

Bucking the trend

We chat to our customer, Glenn Casarotto, IT Manager at Actron Air – the largest local air conditioning manufacturer in Australia – to hear what he thinks. 

“We’re actually bucking the trend. Rather than moving manufacturing out of Australia to places like China, we source components from around the globe and manufacture everything here. We’re a family run business that’s growing rapidly and the fact we’re Australian owned and run is a key differentiator for us.”

But how is Actron Air managing to grow while others fall by the wayside? For a start, they’re leveraging the power of the cloud and big data to access and analyse real-time information and make business decisions based on key insights.  

“We’re working with technology that can perform diagnostics on faulty air conditioners remotely to see what’s wrong. We can then deliver remote updates to fix the problem without having to send a technician on site, which is a game changer for us”, says Casarotto.

It’s all about the cloud

They’re also transitioning their IT infrastructure to the cloud, which helps them stay ahead of the game. “Moving to the cloud stops us from constantly having to upgrade our on-site equipment. I don’t want to create a big octopus called IT where we have a bunch of IT people locked away doing upgrades all the time.

“Moving to a managed service with Enablis means I can trust them to keep my IT communications up to date and secure while my team focus on driving efficiency across our sites, out in the field and on the factory floor” says Casarotto.

Sweat your existing assets

Sammy Jammal, IT Manager at Fenner Dunlop, who provide conveyor solutions to the mining industry, also uses technology to drive competitive advantage. He takes data from sensors on plant equipment to help him spot bottlenecks in the production process, and then optimise it.

“Knowing that I now have a highly scalable fibre infrastructure that’s managed by Enablis means I spend less time worrying about managing and upgrading ageing equipment and more time focusing on sweating our existing assets so that we can increase production without increasing costs”. 

There’s a quiet revolution happening

Manufacturing in Australia is undergoing a quiet revolution where trailblazers such as Actron Air and Fenner Dunlop are using technology to drive growth and profit in a very tough market.

As technology drives every aspect of the business from the back office through to the production line, smart IT leaders are focusing on where they can use technology to add demonstrable value; and are outsourcing the rest of their IT communications to service providers such as Enablis.

To find out more about how we helped Actron Air and Fenner Dunlop, please read our case studies:

Actron Air Case Study
Fenner Dunlop Case Study