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Opportunites in Australian manufacturing: over-reliance and supply chain instability

Australian manufacturing: the current situation

Over the last few years, the ongoing effects of globalisation have changed the manufacturing landscape in Australia, resulting in increased offshoring and importing. This has resulted in a decline of Australian manufacturing businesses and therefore Australian capabilities. Unfortunately, this has led to Australia ranking last in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, due to a significant amount of manufacturing equipment and goods being sourced from overseas.

The graph below shows the significant amount of imports that are filling the Australian domestic demand for multiple metal based manufacturing industries. As you can see, the majority of these industries import over 50% of the demand, with only iron and steel castings not as dependent on imports. 

(IBIS world 2020)

Operations in Australia are dependent upon the supply of imported products and equipment. We depend on our major trading partners to buy our minerals and food, and in return we rely on the same trading partners to provide Australia with the products and equipment to continue our operations. However, Covid-19 and other sociopolitical implications overseas has led to increased supply chain risk.This highlights how imperative it is for Australia to be less reliant on other countries and increase its own manufacturing capabilities. As discussed by Karen Andrews,  the former Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Australia needs to be targeted and strategic in how we boost Australian manufacturing. We need to be precise in understanding what we have in Australia currently, what we need to implement and what skills we need to improve.  Increasing manufacturing in Australia will not only increase the stability and sustainability of equipment and goods that we rely on, but increase jobs, improve the livelihoods of Australian people, and strengthen the economy. 

Inefficiencies in manufacturer connection

There are currently four prominent ways that Australian manufactures connect with each other and buyers: 

1. Internet search engines:

Search engines such as Google are generally the first point of call when we are searching for something. However, in regards to manufacturing it does not list specific capabilities in it’s search results. As well as this, the Google model of the more you pay the higher you will rank is ineffective when it comes to inshoring Australian manufacturing.

2. Business directories:

Whilst business directories are a great repository for basic details of a company, they also don’t showcase specific capabilities or create important search data.

3. Tender systems:

Tender systems are extremely competitive, and it can be costly to companies to prepare for them. While the tender process is here to stay, a part of the solution is to reduce the burden of tenders by creating alternative pathways of connection.

4. Networking:

We all have our own networks, however they can be limited to location, and restricted in size and capacity. While it is great to be aware of local networks of manufactures, some capabilities may not be covered which can lead to manufacturers offshoring jobs and importing equipment they could find within Australia. 

Australian manufacturing has the ability to be as competitive and efficient as manufacturing overseas. However, Australian manufactures lack the platform to be able to connect with one another to best take advantage of other unique capabilities, resulting in them often turning to overseas. By creating better connection and understanding of the capabilities of manufacturers, Australia can work towards inshoring Australian manufacturing. 

All of this brings us to our solution- CastAbout

What is CastAbout? 

CastAbout is a simple yet powerful system that connects searchers and manufacturers in Australia. It is a way of inshoring Australian manufacturing. CastAbout is a capability focused application, unique from the traditional product focused models. Whether you are a manufacturer, or just somebody who needs something made, CastAbout’s intelligent digital system will help save time & money. Through precision in data collection, CastAbout allows you to better understand manufacturers capabilities. CastAbout will transform how manufacturers connect in Australia, allowing them to source products within Australia. 

For manufacturers:

For manufacturers the system is easy and intuitive to use. A large percentage of manufacturers already list their capabilities on their websites, meaning that using CastAbout to list capabilities will not be a steep learning curve. Benefits for manufactures include:

  • More enquiries and work relevant to their business capabilities 
  • Less time wasted on lost quotes
  • Australia wide exposure that isn’t limited to state or industry.

For Searchers:

People searching for specific capabilities and products can quickly and intuitively find exactly what they are looking for. The benefits for searches include:

  • Saving time searching for suitable manufacturers as all the information is in one place
  • Assurance that manufacturer is capable of competently completing work, improving quality
  • Access to more competitive local manufacturing
  • A local supply chains which provides less risk

For Associations & Industry:

CastAbout creates a live gap analysis based on search data, thus we can now better understand the entire capabilities of the Australian manufacturing force. Helping industries and associations understand what we have, and what gaps are yet to be filled. CastAbout will also help improve the domestic economy by ensuring more work is completed locally, resulting in more businesses and jobs for Australians.

Find out how CastAbout is working towards inshoring Australian manufacturing.