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CDE reflections from APPEX

CDE recently exhibited at the biannual APPEX Expo in Melbourne. 

The show was over twice as large as previous shows, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Live demonstrations, networking events, over 440 local and international exhibitors, special industry highlight days and, of course, customers from across Asia Pacific. 

We were thrilled to meet with a number of familiar faces and also to welcome many new and future clients to the CDE stand. 

Our existing clients, of course, know how we work and that whether as their engineering team, or with their engineering team, we work with them to understand their goals and their motivations to achieve their desired outcomes. 

Amongst those new and potential clients who visited us throughout the show, we repeatedly heard two questions and one common, but most misguided, statement. We thought both were so intriguing that we thought we’d share here with some context.

The first most repeated question: Where are you based? 

This seems like a very fair question, and we will proudly tell anyone who asks that our office is based in Bathurst, in the heart of regional NSW. The reasons WHY people asked that question, however, were of more interest to us. 

The very short but very accurate answer is that it simply doesn’t matter where we are located. Our office location does not in any way impact any of the clients with whom, and the projects on which, we work, and nor should it factor into any consideration when choosing your Factory Design partner. 

Most of the work we do, as well as our communications with clients, are expertly and effectively achieved online and remotely. This is also true for those clients based within a short distance from our physical office.  

Of course, regular face to face meetings are made more possible if a client is close by however, they are neither more efficient, nor more necessary than the online communications we enjoy with our clients right across the Eastern states of Australia.

We believe at our heart and have proven over 20+ years in business that, it is infinitely more important to get the right service than it is to get a convenient service.  

Whether a client is near or far, our value for money philosophy means that we will always minimise travel to mitigate the overall costs of the design project.

That brings us to our second most repeated question: What do you do? 

Please keep in mind that this question was being asked by extremely intelligent people, talking with us in front of our stand which clearly articulated on both walls, the services that CDE offer. 

There was therefore more complexity to this question and 3 main reasons that this question was asked at APPEX: 

  1. The potential client was simply not expecting to meet with a Factory Design firm on the APPEX exhibition floor. It is true that, unlike many others exhibiting, we do not sell big shiny products, we don’t sell machines or packaging technology, we don’t sell the impressive and obvious parts of a factory. What we do do is design the web that holds all of the machines, technology, parts and shiny objects together.  

    Factory Design is a truly complex and interwoven service, offered by very few, but essential to ensuring that all the separate parts contained within your factory or plant can work together to achieve your desired production, output and efficiency outcomes. 
  1. As there are so many facets to Factory Design, the clients with whom we’ve not worked before couldn’t possibly know that CDE covers and offers the entire gamut of Factory Design services. It is true that you can talk with us about literally any aspect of your Factory Design and it is equally true that we will be able to help you to achieve all of your Factory Design goals and challenges 

    A simple analogy is to consider all aspects of your factory or plant as puzzle pieces and CDE as the company that puts the puzzle together. 
  1. The third reason is that as a CEO, or a business owner, your role is to expand and optimise your operations; your role is to ensure the business and the sales pipeline is robust and future proofed; your role is to ensure your customers’ needs are met; your role is to concentrate on production expansion. Your role is not to be an expert in Factory Design and therefore it is an entirely legitimate question to ask what it is that CDE can do for you. 

Once clients know what it is that CDE can do for them, they come to us for any combination of the following reasons: 

  • They have outgrown their current facility 
  • Their current production has reached capacity (or in some cases, chaos) 
  • Their current capacity is projected to increase significantly in the next 1-5 years 
  • Their product range has increased 
  • Their business and /or customer base is in a substantial growth phase  
  • They’ve identified significant factory or production inefficiencies that have to be addressed 
  • Their current in-house technical or engineering team is overloaded or beyond capacity and therefore they need additional, short term support 

And lastly, the most common statement:

Given the reasons outlined above, we would like to address the most common statement we heard at APPEX.  

Even though this sounds a very plausible statement, it is entirely misguided because for any issues, challenges or expected growth that you are expecting in the next 2-3 years, NOW is the time we need to be starting the conversation. 

If we start the process when your factory design problems are immediately imminent, it is invariably far too late. 

Discovery and planning are key elements of the Factory Design process. They take time and resourcing. Leaving our discussions until the last minute will cause undue headaches at best and at the worst, have the potential to completely derail your production capabilities, cause huge upheaval or to shut down your production for periods at a time. 

So, with the greatest respect, please do not leave your Factory Design planning until you think you might need it.  

Talk to us about your Factory Design problem now. Let’s start the conversation, allow us to understand your position, and your inputs and together, let’s make your factory hum and take away the pain.