Think HBR

Market commentary

Rod Henderson2
Rod Henderson
Several years ago, towards the end of 2012, there wasn’t just a decline in the NSW mining market, there was a cliff and Ampcontrol took a tumble. Like many others in the Hunter region, the swiftness of the downturn coupled with the almost immediate cessation of work, meant our business had to take stock pretty quickly.
For Ampcontrol, we took a hit that many others didn’t outlive. Depressed order books, a market moving away from capital expenditure and just not enough work to sustain our employee base became our new operating environment and it meant we had to scale down, quickly, to survive. Not only did we have to ‘stem the bleeding’ we had to re-evaluate the strategic direction of the business to ensure its future.
As a company built on the back of genuine ‘can do’ attitudes, I am very pleased to say we saw our weaknesses and took steps to address them. We looked at our technology portfolio and put time and energy into diversifying it, while also looking at our operations and making tough decisions for the best interests of the greater group. We also reviewed the markets we operated in and broadened our interests whilst staying true to what we were good at; high quality, safety driven technology that helps customers work smarter and more efficiently.
All of these measures were committed to and for nearly three years, our sole focus. Eventually, the market showed signs of improvement and 2018 looks to be a year of continued optimism for not only us, but our customers.
Although our customer base is far more diverse now, with electrical project work being secured across Australia and South East Asia’s growing tunnelling industries along with our move into hybrid energy solutions, we still believe that the resources sector will remain an invaluable contributor to the Hunter economy and Ampcontrol’s future.
Our role as a supplier to industry is to continuously improve, adapt and listen to the market. Through this we understand the major drivers of our customers and that is why we’ve been chosen as the supplier of choice to some of the world’s largest and most complex projects. In 2018 we’ll continue to supply equipment to Sydney’s largest tunnelling project, Westconnex, we’ll also launch a new product for hard rock mines in Australia, while continuing to power the world’s largest tunnel boring machine in Hong Kong.
In 2018 we celebrate 50 years of operation, a testament Ampcontrol’s ability to ride the highs and lows of our markets but more significantly the resilience and commitment of our people.