Can you tell me about this announcement, where will you be operating from, how big is the site and when do you hope to have it up and running?
We are really excited to announce to the industry that as of this April we will be fabricating blinds from Wetherill Park in Western Sydney. This new site gives us around 2000 sqm of manufacturing space which is significant boost to our capacity to service our growing East Coast customer base.
What will you be manufacturing out of the site?
With over 100,000 Ziptrak® Outdoor Blinds under our belt, the new Sydney site will primarily produce Ziptraks in the first instance, with the aim of potentially doubling the existing capacity of our South Australian Ziptrak production over time. We will then look to expand the product range being made in Sydney to include our Folding Arm Awnings and a selection of other products to support local customers as required.
Where is the machinery coming from?
This is a strategy that we have been working on for quite some time, in fact we were very close to pushing the go button in 2019 but pulled back last minute. Machinery and equipment procurement and production planning has been ongoing since this time with the goal in mind to get things up and running from an easily accessible Sydney location as soon as the time was right.
And the staff, how will you be operating the site?
Our HR and Ops team have recruited a local workforce to staff the new site, with operations and production mostly managed remotely. Several key team members will spend considerable time in Sydney particularly over the next six months, and daily administration tasks such as purchasing, and accounts will be managed by our head office team in Adelaide.
Will any staff or management be drawn from your existing workforce, and if so how will they operate?
We can see some great benefits from involving our existing team in training and in the site set up and bedding in. Over time we will rotate management through Sydney to support the local team and to assist customers as necessary, however it is the intention that the location will operate as a satellite site and be reasonably independent on a day-to-day basis with the support of Pinz head office in Adelaide.
How long has this been in planning, and why Western Sydney precisely?
As I mentioned earlier, this is not a new idea for Pinz with the expansion into Sydney to service the East Coast being something that we have been planning for a number of years. We were extremely fortunate that a last-minute decision by our senior management team to hold off didn’t have us signing a lease just before the COVID pandemic, however we really feel like the time and the new location is now right. Western Sydney has always been our goal with a great choice of commercial properties and reasonable access from Sydney airport for staff traveling to and from Adelaide. Wetherill Park is ideally located close to major transport routes providing easy access not only to the greater Sydney metropolitan area, but also south to Canberra, the South Coast, Southern Highlands, the NSW Riverina, up through the central, mid and north coasts and on to Southeastern Queensland.
What will your east coast customers notice about your operations once the site is fully up and running?
We work hard every day to give our Australia wide network the confidence that we can effectively and efficiently supply them from our head office in Adelaide, however there is no doubt that recent supply and logistic chain challenges have made providing this confidence increasingly difficult. We want our East Coast customers to feel the benefit of Pinz being their local supplier on the ground in Sydney, with the significant backing that Pinz can provide being a national supplier with a proven track record.
One of the other key benefits of this new Sydney operation for our local customers is in providing a convenient collection point for all their Pinz products including those still being fabricated in Adelaide. This also allows us to create a distribution hub and offer our own delivery service along with using local couriers and freight companies specializing in deliveries throughout regional NSW and beyond.
What is the medium-term vision of the site, will you look to expands its range of production?
Short term – Ziptrak, Ziptrak and more Ziptrak! And then moving on to servicing our east coast folding arm awning network from Sydney which will help to overcome the logistic challenges that these large products can create. From there we will assess the rest of our product offering and make decisions based on what will provide the greatest benefit for customers in that market.
What will happen to your current manufacturing operation in Adelaide by freeing up more space?
This move will allow us some greatly needed breathing space in Adelaide, at least in the short term. We are currently spread between three sites in Adelaide’s west and growth over the past 10 years particularly has seen us busting at the seams. Although our team is exceptionally good at increasing efficiencies and improving production flow, this move will allow for further growth company wide and an increase in capacity that aligns with our strategic plan.
Anything else you would like to add about the announcement?
For retailers in Sydney and the east coast who haven’t dealt with Pinz before due to the perceived challenges of interstate logistics, we hope that this announcement will provide the confidence to partner with Pinz as their new local supplier.
For the rest of our existing Australia wide retailer base, it is business as usual with the added excitement and confidence that comes with partnering with true national supplier!
National Sales and Marketing Manager