Designing totally unique, custom made hose reels can be a tricky business. With so many different factors coming into play, rarely can we rely on our own experience alone. We’ve always consulted with customers and other industry experts as part of the quoting and subsequent manufacturing process, but a recent article over at Fast Company got me thinking more deeply about how we approach our design process and the benefits of a design born out of unbiased individual thought.
The article talked about the loss of uncorrelated wisdom in today’s hyper-connected world. The author wrote about how in our increasingly switched on and connected world, constant sharing of information can lead people to reshape their own opinions based on the opinions of others, resulting in a thinning of original ideas and diverse thinking – the very stuff that leads to innovation and creativity in problem solving.
Sharing everything you come across seems to have become the done thing of late – but fast-forward 10 or 20 years, and the increasing relatedness of everything and everybody might just be stamping out diversity, independent thought, and uncorrelated wisdom.
So what’s this got to do with hose reels?
A customer comes to us with a great depth of knowledge in his or her own field, and we come to the table with our vast experience in hose reels.
We gather the raw information from our customer and our technical guys retreat to their cave to design the best possible solution.
This is where the magic happens – of course consultation with our customers is always necessary at the outset, but the process that comes afterward, the quiet to think and sketch and gather unanticipated ideas is what really sets us apart when it comes to designing the ultimate solution for our customer.
So there remains an important place for independent thought within the over-arching team effort that is building a hose reel. And whilst we enjoy collaborating on projects – a little bit of independent thought at the heart of the process is how we ensure that we design the absolute best hose reels for our customers.
How does this affect you?
If you’re looking for a custom made hose reel, you can contact us here. But here’s a few things to keep in mind before you do:
Give us as much information as you possibly can at the outset. We’ve got an online form to help you out. The more info you can give us, the more accurately we can determine the best reel for your job.
Leave it with us. If it’s a unique job that we may not have tackled before, we’ll need cave time – we promise we’ll get back to you as soon as we’ve got a preliminary design and price for you.
Read through your quote carefully. To avoid any headaches down the track, take a good look at your quotation and the drawings and other information we provide to you. Alterations and fixes are easy on paper – not so easy in steel.
In a nutshell – the best path to getting the perfect reel combines both collaborative problem solving AND independent contemplation, to produce a strong, practical, beautifully designed product.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Aussie and Kiwi manufacturers are a pretty hardy bunch.
We’ve weathered plenty of stormy economic times and predictions about the demise of the sector both here and in NZ, but when loopholes are discovered that permit cheap imports to land on our shores, local manufacturers need to band together and support their own.
We all strive for a competitive edge, but there is a difference between those displaying ethical competitiveness and those that gain a head start from evasion and half-truths.
The frustration felt by many reputable manufacturers in Australia and New Zealand is expressed succinctly here by Steve Hart, Editor of New Zealand’s widely read DEMM Engineering and Manufacturing magazine.
"It appears the engineering and manufacturing industries – both here and abroad – are doing themselves no favours when buying cut-price goods. Whether they buy cheap imitations, or counterfeit parts that look great, but which can cause more financial damage than they are worth, some firms are essentially selling rubbish – crossing their fingers as their products leave the yard.
Competing on price, to undercut firms that stick to using quality parts and who employ skilled and qualified trades people, is a race to the bottom for the country. At some point the price-cutting has to stop and firms trading on quality, service, and that look after their clients’ interests, will forge ahead. That day can’t come soon enough.
It’s not just a counterfeit parts and sloppy service issue. It is a communications challenge for many business owners.
Customers need to understand how one firm can apparently provide a product for much less than their competitors. Those with good reputations, and who see a future for themselves in the industry, need to tell their story and explain why they may appear to be a bit more expensive than the joker down the road. You shouldn’t just shrug your shoulders and allow customers to walk away and buy over-priced rubbish. Whole life cost should play a major part in helping customers understand what they are paying for.
It seems that too many business owners or buyers are also looking at the bottom line price and not factoring in exactly what they are getting for their money. If something is too cheap to be true, then it is probably a knock-off that’s destined to fail – causing downtime, injury or death.
It is getting to the point that more time should be spent establishing that the items ordered are fit for purpose and are coming from a reliable and trusted source. If in doubt, contact main dealers directly and refuse to use counterfeit parts.
Trade on quality and reliability – not price."
Does this resonate with you? If so, we’ve got some tips for fair competitive manufacturing that we’ll share in the next few weeks.
Keep an eye out for an upcoming post from ReCoila’s Managing Director, Michael Pawson, on how to pinpoint imports that could be affecting your business.
This article originally appeared in DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing May 2013 issue. The full digital edition can be found here. Authored by Steve Hart. Reproduced with permission.
This article was originally published on Industry Update.
Some manufacturers may be exploiting the term “Australian Made”, an industry leader claims.
Mr Michael Pawson, managing director of ReCoila, a leading hose and cable reel company, says industry needs to learn more about the term Australian-Made. “The importance in supporting Australian-Made can never be understated, yet the term itself may need some closer investigation,” he says.
Mr Pawson says his company, which supplies products locally and overseas, constantly battles fierce competition from imported products, many of which are inferior to locally manufactured items.
“With the overall local component of manufacture effectively disguised, end-users are exposed to potentially inferior products on the belief they are in fact quality locally made product.”
This can lead to unexpected maintenance costs, warranty costs and failure costs as well as “other headaches.”
Mr Pawson says education should be encouraged about the true stipulations of Australian-Made and how it is potentially open to various degrees of exploitation. “Local industry should buy local product, he says.
“It is our obligation for the future success of local industry, local employment and technological advancement in the global market. Those supporting this ethical approach to succession should have faith that when purchasing Australian Made it truly is Australian Made and the buck stops here.”
Australian Made Campaign Chief Executive Ian Harrison says the green-and-gold Australian Made kangaroo logo is Australia’s registered certification trademark for country-of-origin claims. The logo is trusted by 88 percent of Australians to identify genuine Aussie products, over and above claims made in writing or use of maps and flags.
Mr Harrison said the specifications for making a country-of-origin claim on a manufactured product in Australia differs by product category.
“But two rules remain constant – it must be substantially transformed in Australia and 50% or more of the cost of production must be incurred in Australia as well, he said.
“While goods may contain some imported components, they must have been manufactured or processed in Australia – not simply packaged or assembled – and a significant proportion of the cost of making the product must be incurred in Australia too.”
As a certification trademark, the Australian Made logo is governed by a Code of Practice, which sets out the guidelines for its use.
Companies must agree to comply with the Code of Practice in order to be issued with a license, and each year the product’s licence must be reviewed and approved.
The Australian Made Campaign also engages in random audits annually, and all complaints are investigated. If necessary, a company using the logo unlawfully will be taken to court.
Fines for misuse of country-of-origin claims can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
ReCoila is a keen advocate of supporting Australian Made products and actively encourages more transparent Australian Made classification systems, and as such we're right behind the recently launched SAM - Support Australian Manufacturing Campaign. Please take a moment to have a look at the video below produced by Andrew Rodgers to get a feel for what SAM is all about.
For more information or to get behind this fantastic campaign, head to samcampaign.com.au.
An Australian manufacturer supplying heavy duty hose and cable reels to many industries is now standardising the level of welding on its manufactured technologies in a very transparent way.
ReCoila, a reels specialist based in Sydney, has now made it an expectation that welders working in its production plant are trained and accredited to the skills set demanded by Australian Standard AS1554.
AS1554 is a certification that allows welders to perform down hand, vertical up and overhead continuous fillet and butt welds so the end user of its cable and hose reels recognises its product is made to an identifiable criteria and set manufacturing requirements.
ReCoila Managing Director, Mr Michael Pawson, says the heightened internal standards now properly reflect the direction the company is taking and the reputation it has gained across most industries.
“When you consider the varied applications of both our off-the-shelf technologies as well as customised solutions, they are often deployed in circumstances where breakdowns are very unwanted,” said Mr Pawson.
“And when you consider all the many welded parts in a hose or cord reel used in heavy industry, the quality of our welding is tested day in, day out.
“Our welding has always been of the highest order, but now welding done on a ReCoila technology will be under the auspices of AS1554 standards, we are declaring strongly to Australian industries that we don’t take second best.
“Because we supply the Defence Industry, oil and gas, shipbuilding and marine, heavy engineering, emergency services, food production, mining and agriculture among others, it gives us more gravity in quality of product.
“With our welders at ReCoila trained to AS1554 Standard it is a strong message to industry that quality is repeated in each and every weld on every single technology that leaves our production plant.”
ReCoila is Australia and New Zealand's premier hose reel supplier, with over 30 years experience and more than 3000 different reels, plus a custom hose reel design and manufacturing facility at our head office in Kings Park, NSW. Read more...