Gold Coast Business Centre 60 years
Field service pivot behind 60-year business milestone
They may be better known as a heavy machine giant but Hastings Deering’s commitment to Gold Coast civil and quarrying businesses, along with their smaller customers, has allowed their business centre to chalk up 60 years on the coast.
With COVID restrictions lifting, customers were able to come together to help celebrate a milestone particularly poignant given how many Gold Coast businesses have had to close because of the pandemic.
Hastings Deering Gold Coast Business Centre Operations Manager Wendy Jeffress said like many companies there was a need for strategic planning when COVID struck along with pivoting the business in minor ways to cope with the drastic changes to the business landscape.
“We are largely a parts’-based operation, so being able to continue to deliver specialised parts to our customers was key right at the start when supply chains were affected,” Ms Jeffress said. “We had to have open communication with our customers as borders closed and air freight declined, but it was in the area of service we really made our mark.
“If customers couldn’t come to us then we had to go to them. Apart from delivering parts, we relaunched our service capabilities which has provided an added dimension to the business. Our field service operators can do everything from electrical hose refitting to reconditioning.
“Much of our business is smaller operators with one or two machines so it was really important we looked after them. Then there are the bigger operators in civil, quarries and the Council, who were also responding to a quickly changing working environment.”
Baden Civil Contracting Managing Director Clay Badenoch has worked with Ms Jeffress for 18 years. Mr Badenoch runs a diverse operation supplying major earthmoving plant to large scale civil and infrastructure projects across south east Queensland and northern NSW and said infrastructure projects on the Gold Coast had pretty much ground to a halt, even before COVID struck.
“The market was at an all-time low,” he said. “Contractors and plant suppliers were fighting hard to win work, so being able to react quickly to the market became incredibly important. You cannot afford to have a machine sitting idle, especially in the highly competitive plant hire game”.
“Projects are running leaner and with tighter time and fiscal margins than ever before so every dollar counts, every hour counts. We have machines on both sides of the border, and we are working on the Pacific motorway upgrade, so we need to be confident that if we need a part or service, we can get it and FAST.
“We have over 20 Caterpillar machines, spread far and wide and with 20+ operators hard at work we are always confident Wendy and her team know our fleet, its location and when we might need a part. We need to keep our people in jobs and our clients happy so that means keeping machines running.
“COVID has reminded many businesses of the importance of service. We are about to see a long chain of work coming on in the next five years, so hopefully we are about to ride a wave of infrastructure work and that will drive the economy from early next year, bringing good times that will relieve those pressures.
“Any machine can dig a hole, but the back-up and support from Caterpillar and Hastings Deering is second to none: we know we can meet projects on time and to budget and are confident we are keeping ahead in the field thanks to solid machinery.”