These are tough times for the state’s manufacturing industry but South Australian-owned and operated manufacturing company Ziptrak is bucking the trend having just been presented with a 2017 Impact Award.
The Impact Awards are judged by business leaders who select from a wide range of finalists that create high-value employment opportunities and improve the local and national economy. Ziptrak, the Australian-made and -invented blind system, which is now sold in more than 12 countries, was recognised for its innovation and its ability to work with local manufacturers and makers to create their patented product.
Creating a new sector within the market, blinds that use a sturdy track system, Ziptrak solved a number of common complaints and simultaneously stimulated the growth of jobs in the manufacturing of their system, which is all done locally in Somerton Park.
When asked about the decision to keep all of their operations in this state, CEO Marc de Maaijer says, “Adelaide is the most liveable city in Australia. The manufacturing side of our business goes hand-in-hand with the design and development of products, and allows us to test and create products quickly and efficiently. We can’t do everything ourselves, so it is very beneficial to work closely with some great SA suppliers who provide good service and short turnaround times.”
It seems that this positivity has kept them in good stead, ignoring the current sentiment about the state of South Australia’s manufacturing industry. “We generally ignore any negative sentiment and concentrate on what we do best and what is required,” de Maaijer says.
So what is the key to succeeding in a somewhat precarious industry? “It is important for us to continuously evolve and improve as a business, and we do this by listening to our customers both locally and overseas, innovating, and working hard to create products that add value and comfort to people’s living environment,” de Maaijer says.
The company is currently going through a large-scale expansion, with a custom-built facility in construction.
“We have just purchased land at the old Mitsubishi Tonsley site to expand and build a new and advanced manufacturing facility,” de Maaijer says. “This will enable us to grow and be fit and ready for entering new international markets as well as making further ground in existing ones. It is important for us to be competitive on the global stage and this new site will enable us to expand and improve our capabilities.”
When asked how it felt to be recognised by the industry as a leader, de Maaijer says, “the Impact Awards are about creating a community and about SA businesses working closer together. There are so many great South Australian businesses and we are honoured to be recognised as one of them.”