The Southern Steel Group has been providing steel solutions to the agriculture sector for decades. Our client is synonymous with quality, and its brand is easily identifiable with farmers and farm operations all over Australia.
The business works with farms of all sizes, ranging from 300-400 acres to operations spanning the size of some European countries.
Starting off as a small general welding and fabrication business, the business has grown and evolved from only building haulout/chaser bins to now producing a full suite of grain and livestock handling equipment recognised as the first choice for today’s Australian farmer.
Beginning in 1983, the business is still proudly family-owned and operated, sticking to its roots, keeping its promises, working with its customers and maintaining its country values of honesty, integrity and transparency.
When the company was scoping steel suppliers that could keep up with production, they also wanted a steel manufacturer that would work with them to find better ways of servicing their customer base. They recognised that RPG Australia’s values and business ethics mirrored their own, and a long-standing relationship began.
“We are a household name in grain and livestock farming around Australia. Most farms have one or several of our bins or augers on their properties. Having built our reputation over almost 40 years, we take great care of our brand and insist on only the best from our team and our suppliers. RPG Australia has proven itself to be a trusted and like-minded company where a handshake and a nod mean as much as any lawyer written contract.”
The tipping point
When the company was narrowing down the supplier options, they looked at a number of considerations, all in equal parts.
Firstly, the supplier needed to be price competitive, not necessarily the cheapest.
Secondly, they needed to have the infrastructure, inventory and expertise.
Thirdly, and importantly, they needed to be able trust the ethics and transparency of their steel partner.
They weren’t looking for a quick fix; they wanted a supplier for the long term that would work with them, be agile enough to adapt and that was a long-term partner option. RPG Australia ticked all the boxes, and the relationship has only strengthened over the years.
One of company’s core principles is finding solutions to their clients’ problems. This drives the designs and feeds the inspiration to continually strive for better outcomes. RPG Australia demonstrated their like-mindedness from the very beginning.
RPG Australia took the time to understand what the challenges were, not just with raw materials but with the pre-delivery of the material cut to size and ready for welding and fabrication work. With RPG’s expertise and capability, they found a steel supplier that could pre-cut steel siding sheets up to 12 metres long for their bins, significantly reducing the amount of welding and on-site fabrication work.
The most pleasing aspect for them was that it was RPG Australia’s idea to pre-manufacture the solution. RPG Australia identified a complex challenge in the manufacturing line and found a solution that had very real production benefits. Since that initial light bulb moment, the company has been full steam ahead with the support of RPG Australia.
“I’ve been directly working with RPG Australia for the past seven to eight years. I primarily deal with two people there, and being able to jump on the phone and get an answer straight away is a real advantage. I trust the team is doing what we need, and in our business having that trust means I can communicate honestly back to my clients.”
Working in unison
A key challenge the company faces is balancing orders with production. It is not an exact science and often they can forecast projected sales of a bin or auger or other piece of farming hardware, only to find that it takes off and the order run can double very quickly. This is where RPG Australia really comes into play.
Because RPG Australia has excellent stock levels and is part of Southern Steel Group, when it comes to shifting gears, it is never too big a problem.
RPG Australia has the machinery, expertise and experience to gear up or down when needed.
The managers can make decisions, which makes managing orders and fulfilling pipelines smooth and doable.
“RPG Australia is by far the best supplier we deal with. Their honest and transparent approach to business and communication is of the highest order. Our machinery is located all over the country and in some pretty remote places. It is critical that each part of our equipment is of the highest quality standard and safety. The last thing we want is one of our customers in trouble in the middle of nowhere because of a faulty piece of kit. We trust RPG; they have never let us down and our aligned philosophies have created a relationship that takes the headache out of doing business.”