Tassie manufacturer turns risk into opportunity.
It is an exciting time for Jayben - a Tasmanian manufacturer of heavy equipment drive-lines for mining and agricultural vehicles.
Not long ago the company was hit hard by the news that its main customer, Caterpillar, was moving its manufacturing plant to Thailand.
Now thanks to the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme and help from the Tasmanian Government, Jayben is likely to retain Caterpillar as a customer and is eyeing more global supply chain opportunities.
An Entrepreneurs’ Programme Facilitator worked with this innovative business, providing tailored guidance on how it could improve its supply chain relationships, maximise networking opportunities and better communicate its value proposition to potential customers.
“We learnt what it takes to be in the global supply chain and how to really make that jump from being a local supplier to being a global supplier.”
Chris Johnson, Lean Production Manager, Jayben.
Entrepreneurs’ Programme Supply Chain Facilitator Sarah Jones says Jayben responded well to the potential loss of its major customer.
“Losing an established customer is not without its challenges, but I think Jayben’s mindset and its willingness to change and diversify its business has put them in a good position to build a strong future,” Jones says.
A trade mission to Thailand, which included Tasmania’s Deputy Premier, allowed Jayben to practice some of the skills the Entrepreneurs’ Programme helped it to pick up.
Johnson says the trade mission, which included visits to Caterpillar’s Thai suppliers and factories, clarified what changes Jayben needed to make to become a supplier in the global marketplace.
“We are now setting up a warehouse in Thailand in collaboration with another Tasmanian manufacturer, so we can fully manufacture our products in Australia and then export them to a warehouse close to Caterpillar’s manufacturing plant,” Johnson says.
The company is participating in other Supply Chain Facilitation offerings to continue improving their competitiveness in international markets.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme provides practical support to build management and business capability, helping businesses to improve and grow.