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15 September 2013 Posted by 

Pirtek recognised as one of the world's best franchises

By Anthony Stavrinos

WESTERN Sydney success story Pirtek is a familiar brand to many Australians, and now a top US business magazine is celebrating the successful business model, underpinning its globally-renowned fluid transfer solutions.

Within a diverse selection of industries, including mining, automotive, manufacturing, printing and sea vessel maintenance, Pirtek’s products and services continue to enjoy solid demand, driving an expansion in the company’s global footprint.

Pirtek’s excellence has now been acknowledged by US magazine Entreprenuer, which has ranked the Kings Park-based company as 64 in a ranking of the world’s top 200 franchise opportunities.

Stephen Dutton, now six months into his role as Pirtek’s new CEO, says since establishing its operations in Rydalmere in Sydney’s west, the company has grown to almost 400 locations in 22 countries using a well-planned franchising strategy. In Australia, it has 94 franchises and the company hopes it can soon break through the 100 barrier.

“The franchising started in 1985 and we were one of the first in an industrial franchising perspective,” Dutton told Western Sydney Business Access.

“Franchising was known probably more predominantly with the likes of McDonald's and those sorts of companies back in those days.

“It was considered the right vehicle to expand the business under one common business platform, while giving people ownership in the brand because they’d take care of the customers as owners of a business.”

Still proudly Australian-owned, Pirtek’s international footprint takes in the United States, UK, Europe, New Zealand, China, Singapore, Mongolia, Canada and South Africa.
Having started with Pirtek in 1994 as a Brisbane-based area sales manager, Dutton admits it can be a challenge explaining what the company does to those unfamiliar with the applications for its products and services, but over his 19 years at the company, he’s refined his ‘elevator pitch’.

“We supply products and services to convey a medium from a to b. And the medium can be anything - air, gas, water, chemicals, steam, oil, petrol concrete, food, you name it - any conceivable medium. And that pretty much covers any industry on the planet,” Dutton explains.

And while Pirtek continues to conquer international markets, he agrees many Australians are unfamiliar with its trajectory of success and the determination of its founders to remain based where it is, as well as family owned and operated.

“That's true. A number of years ago we did a little bit of a campaign saying how we're proudly Australian, the toughest Australian, all those sorts of things, to just reinforce that it's an Australian organisation,” Dutton says.

“It is a family-owned business and still owned 100 per cent by the founder, who’s executive chairman of the business today and I guess it's a personal crusade for him to continue to grow the business. It's not about off-loading it or taking on investors, or those sorts of things.”

But many Sydneysiders, especially those in the western suburbs, will be familiar with the Pirtek name emblazoned across the front of jerseys, as major sponsor of the region’s beloved Parramatta Eels in the NRL.

Earlier this year, Pirtek ended its nine-year association with the club, choosing to not take up a three year option, after the Eels reportedly floated a 50 per cent hike in the annual $1 million price tag for its principal sponsor.

Commenting at the time, Eels CEO Ken Edwards said: "I think it is important to celebrate what has been a wonderful association between the two parties.'' Fantastic Furniture is reportedly poised to fill the void on the Eels sponsorship roster.

Pirtek has, meanwhile, been extremely active over the last 12 months in establishing new partnerships that ensure it remains connected with sporting heroes on a national basis.
Pirtek also provides financial support to worthwhile community organisations, including St Vincent’s Hospital and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Dutton says Pirtek cannot afford to be complacent or “rest on its laurels” in the face of increasing competition and challenging economic climates and technological innovation over the last two to three years had allowed the company to remain a market leader.

One of the keys to the company’s success has been an aggressive expansion in its Mobile Service Fleet which now numbers 350 units, providing an advantage in locality of its services.

A significant upgrade to Pirtek’s global inventory forecasting system, fully integrated into its supply chain system, was recently completed ensuring representatives would have the right product in the right location, every time the customer needed it.



editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.