Analysis and Commentary

Connecting Australian manufacturers – by Alexander May

Analysis and Commentary

By Alexander May

Over the past few years, the ongoing effects of globalisation have changed the manufacturing landscape in Australia, resulting in increased offshoring and importing.

This has led to Australia ranking near the bottom in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, due to a significant amount of manufactured equipment and goods being sourced from overseas.

The graph below shows the imports that are filling the Australian domestic demand for multiple metal based manufacturing industries. As you can see, the majority of these industries import over 50 per cent of the demand, with only iron and steel castings not as dependent on imports.

However, Covid 19 and other sociopolitical implications overseas has led to increased supply chain risk.

This highlights how imperative it is for Australia to be less reliant on other countries and increase its own manufacturing capabilities.

Inefficiencies in manufacturer connection

There are four prominent ways that Australian manufactures connect with each other and buyers:

Internet search engines such as Google are generally the first point of call when we are searching, however, it does not list capabilities in manufacturing search results

Business directories are a great repository for basic details of a company, they also don’t showcase specific capabilities

Tender systems are extremely competitive, but it can be costly to companies to prepare for them

And we all have our own networks, however they can be limited to location, and restricted in size and capacity.

Australian manufacturing has the ability to be as competitive and efficient as manufacturing overseas but lack the platform to be able to connect with one another to best take advantage of other unique capabilities.

We need new solutions that connect searchers and manufacturers in Australia in a precise capability focused way.

Today there are many easy to use connecting platforms that we use such as Airbnb and tinder – this is what we need for manufacturing.

A large percentage of manufacturers already list their capabilities on their websites, showing their desire to share their capabilities in a detailed and precise way.

By using the technology available today to build a capability focused platform, we can increase Australian manufacturing efficiency.

Alexander May is the Director and Founder of CastAbout – An intelligent digital system for inshoring Australian manufacturing.

Picture: Alexander May

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