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15 July 2016 Posted by 


Pair up to scale up = SUCCESS

MANUFACTURING businesses in the Blacktown area that reported doing well tended to export rather than concentrate only on the domestic market, a Western Sydney University study has revealed.

And many were working with like-minded businesses to share ideas and big jobs in a concept called “pair up to scale up””.
The report, Advanced Manufacturing in Blacktown - Transition Through Innovation and Growth, was compiled by WSU for Blacktown Council but is aimed at informing all levels of government what businesses needed.

Due to be formally launched in July, the report focusses on the success and problems of 150 manufacturers of varying size - mostly in the metal machinery and food making sectors.

Dr Wayne Fallon, head of WSU’s School of Business, which undertook the study, said the research uncovered some interesting facts.

“The study looked at about 10 per cent of the manufacturing businesses in Blacktown so it was a good sample and there were three clusters of businesses - the first group were importing and exporting and reported doing well, the second group were performing not as well and did less exporting and the third group was real mishmash of businesses that included start-ups and transition-to-retirement businesses,” Dr Fallon said.

This month, Dr Fallon and his team will be discussing the report with key stakeholders such as the council and business organisations, ahead of its July launch.

Above all else, the report showed that manufacturing was not dead but had changed from mass production to what is called advanced manufacturing, where customised goods are produced for the domestic and overseas markets.

“With advanced manufacturing, goods that people want is what is being manufactured by these businesses,” Dr Fallon said.

The study found that manufacturing employed less people than the old mass production days, with more automation and robotics being used.

But the companies that reported doing well tended to be employing about 20 people or more, with those with one to five staff doing less well.

An interesting finding was that the most successful companies were working together to exchange ideas and even share big jobs with similar companies - the “pair up to scale up” concept, Dr Fallon said.

Dr Fallon said the study was invaluable, as it was not often that localised research was done at the coalface.

He said the business students - assisted by students in computers engineering and maths-  also benefited from finding out how businesses worked, a “real life project”.

The students were sent out to “knock on doors” with businesses only too happy to take part.

Businesses were chosen randomly, using the council’s database as a guide.



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.