Australia’s niche champions – taking back local manufacturing by SMC Corporation

In this sponsored article in @AuManufacturing’s Australia’s niche champions series, William Lebihan of SMC Corporation looks at the trend towards reshoring, and some of the support available from global technology leaders.

One of the many learnings over the past few months is that of self-sufficiency.

In the past, Australia, like many other countries, gradually outsourced a large part of its supply chain internationally to reduce costs.

COVID-19 saw the best and worst of supply chain management – some companies came to a grinding halt while others couldn’t keep up with manufacturing demand.

SMC itself has managed to deliver consistently throughout the pandemic because of their local stocking policy and commitment to local manufacturing.

William Lebihan, Head of Sales for SMC Corporation Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) says the past few months have helped strengthen the belief in local manufacturing; increase local revenues and to safeguard the economy.

“Businesses that relied on importing where caught in a supply chain drought and I sincerely hope that as we all emerge from COVID-19, that these examples are still front of mind to help drive a change in attitude towards Australian manufacturing.

Unfortunately, it’s not a simple matter of just switching it all back on again and hoping for the best, government has a massive role to play here to help support a ‘reshoring’ of Australian manufacturing – time is of the essence,”

Committed to Local Manufacturing

As an established player in the market, Lebihan notes that SMC has noticed a trend towards more flexible manufacturing and a big drive among local companies to look at how they can improve their local manufacturing facilities

He says: “Our company remains ever committed to its local customers.

“With 88 sales engineers and 12 technical engineers locally, SMC has resources, people, skills and products to support our customers across Australia”.

Whether you’re investing in IOT technologies to enable more flexible manufacturing or whether you are ramping up your automation to cope with demand or diversifying your current product lines.

“While we have access to a wealth of global resources from our head office, we have invested heavily in the local market with offices and manufacturing facilities across Australia.

“I am pleased to say that, as it stands, we have $20 million worth of local stock on-hand.

In fact, our logistics and production teams never missed a beat during the worst of COVID-19, working a split shift to accommodate for social distancing requirements and to help support our customers.”

Products are available within 5 days of air courier and 10 – 12 days via regular air freight.

Virtual Support – Every Step of the Way

Recently, the company has moved towards offering hands-on remote support to customers. The company’s wide range of available products are backed by its virtual support strategy.

“We are helping customers futureproof their businesses remotely.

“For the first time our customers have access directly to our applications engineering team and can set up and conduct remote meetings, consultations, assessment of current systems and technical advice with no strings!”

Steps to Smart Flexibility

William says that keeping costs down remains critical.

“Rather than upgrading entire systems, there are smart and affordable decisions that can be made.

“We offer a practical approach for new and existing customers to sharpen up their digitalisation, without the hefty upfront investment costs – even if the project is a basic concept only – drop us a line, we have application Engineers and Specialists happy to assist.”

For sales enquiries please contact [email protected]

William Lebihan is head of sales for the Australia and New Zealand region at SMC Corporation. William has held a number of roles in Australia and the United Kingdom

Picture: SMC Corporation/William Lebihan

@AuManufacturing’s Australia’s niche champions series is brought to you with the support of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, and SMC Corporation.

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