Analysis and Commentary

Our search for Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers – Holloway Group

Analysis and Commentary

Our search to identify Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers is revealing innovation in its many forms. Here Peter Roberts profiles Holloway Group.

Innovation does not have to take a high technology intensive path such as gene technology or space travel.

For Holloway Group as with many an Australian SME the spark for a more incremental but nonetheless transformational innovation came with generational change at the Sydney family company and Matthew Holloway (pictured) assuming the CEO role in 2008.

Then a rather basic contract plastics manufacturer known as A Plus Plastics, the company didn’t have any of its own product lines and little in the way of unique IP, and was seeing Asian manufacturers taking its work.

Holloway said: “For many reasons it was just a lack of competitiveness through the type of infrastructure we had right through to minimum wage and legislation.

“We really wanted to control our own destiny, so from 2008 to today we have had a really strong focus on developing our own proprietary products and we have built a business that is extremely diverse all underpinned by the injection moulding process.”

Holloway still uses the A Plus brand for its basic plastics work, but has developed a number of brands for unique products – Biax Foundations for constructing residential slabs, its GEOHEX Erosion Control System for soil stabilisation, and Plasmar posts, pallets and sleepers.

Each of the brands is led by a focused management team and all the products are made from Holloway’s proprietary Reprolene recycled polypropylene, which was developed with input from scientists at the University of Newcastle.

Holloway said: “We are specialise injection moulders in the background, but in front of the curtain our brands specialise in their respective industries.

“Reprolene is a derivative of the type of products we have commercialised over the last decade”

On top of its brand focus Holloway also offers services in the design and manufacture of injection moulds, die-casting moulds, CNC machining or large components, press moulds, prototypes and tooling maintenance.

But there is more – it also offers its own innovation services to others – encompassing product conception, prototyping and production.

“Innovation can very much become a buzz word that everyone throws around but they are not really doing a lot of it.

“For us it starts at the executive level – I am very much an advocate of what we call one-page go-forward plans (for the year ahead) as opposed to the 30-40 page business plans that just sit on shelves.

“It is broken down to acquisitions, strategic relationships and we have a third column just dedicated to innovation…it can be product range, or around internal processes or our service value proposition.”

Common to many Australian SMEs, government industry policy plays a role in Holloway Group’s strategic thinking.

“Government has the ability to provide us with a leg up to the rest of the world and no better case study would be the pandemic and us realising our lack of sovereign independence as manufacturers.

“Through that pandemic the international supply chain platform was just out of control…it stopped world trade nearly overnight.

“My (order) pipeline exploded through the pandemic, and going back to government, it exposed Australian manufacturing probably choking on the load that was required to get through that tough couple of years.”

Nonetheless Holloway would like to dealing with government programmes become less difficult, so that businesses that had an appetite for innovation could more easily access government support.

Picture: Matthew Holloway, CEO of the Holloway Group

Is you company one of Australia’s 50 most innovative manufacturers? We want to hear from you.



Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers is a new campaign by @AuManufacturing. It has been made possible by the generous support of  MYOB, SMC Corporation Australia, and Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions. Be sure to check back at this website for regular updates  including profiles of nominees and other information.


Share this Story
Analysis and Commentary

Stay Informed

Go to Top