“…Our particular model is that to an American customer we appear like an American supplier.
...Our customers in America ...don't have to know that they're dealing with an Australian company…”.
Pat Boland, owner of ANCA, (Melbourne, Australia) quoted on Australian Broadcasting Commission
period leading up to 2013. Now that the Aussie dollar is in retreat (trading at 92.62 US cents on June 28 2013) there
is hope that existing Australian exporters to the US can breathe a sigh of relief and reap better profits after a very
The launch this month of Australia’s Advance Manufacturing Council (AAMC) could provide another lever to boost
the profitability of Australian exporters. The formation of this organization is timely because there is no shortage of
headlines in America about a US state government or university announcing its latest investment in the development
of its advanced manufacturing industry. For example, the Connecticut state government announced a program last
week to educate high school and community college instructors about advanced manufacturing.
In contrast, most of the headlines about manufacturing in Australia have been about the decline of Australia’s
automotive industry. However, in June the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC, www.abc.net.au) aired a series
of stories on Australian manufacturers who offer a good news counterpoint to the decline of the Australian car industry.
One company featured by the ABC was ANCA in Melbourne which makes cutting tools for Boeing, Toyota,
Harley-Davidson and Rolls-Royce. The article revealed the company’s success was based not only on technical
leadership, but also on customer satisfaction. A key quote from the owner of the company is, “…Our particular model is
that to an American customer we appear like an American supplier. So we've invested in all the after, pre-market,
pre-sales activities, technical support. Our customers in America or Germany or Japan don't have to know that they're
dealing with an Australian company…”.
This focus on providing American customers with an American service package is key to ANCA’s success in the US.
Services such as 24 hour customer service lines (phone and internet) that puts customers in contact with a real person
is expected in many US industries, as is being able to deliver stock within 24-48 hours.
1. If you have a great product you need to back it up with the level of service that the customer expects.
For example, industrial products that support just-in-time manufacturing operations require technical support in real time
from a qualified technical representative. This can be provided by phone or internet.
2. If you do not have a permanent US operation then find a supply chain partner such as a distributor or fulfillment
house that can supply customers with stock within days. That level of service will put you on an equal competitive
footing with your US competitors.
3. Band together with other Australian companies in your industry to gain government support for your export and
manufacturing efforts. The automotive industry and the members of the AAMC compete with suppliers outside of
Australia and so they realize that there can be much to gain by working together and sharing information with Australian
companies that they may have thought of as their competitor.
This is just one story about Australian companies creating new business models to find success in the US. If you
want to provide input on other successful Australian companies then comment on this blog or send me a message
via email or Twitter: