Innovative safety technology fuels braking specialist’s success
With a strong domestic customer base, the 25-year-old WA company also exports to more than 40 countries, thanks largely to the global operations of its predominantly blue-chip Australian mining company clientele.
Having recently announced a double-digital year-on-year revenue increase for FY23, CEO Andrew Booth anticipates a sustained growth trajectory.
“We expect that through innovation in vehicle diversification both in light vehicle as well as this heavy vehicle strategy that's being developed in this financial year, we will see really significant growth opportunity for the business,” he says.
“We've got really good access to capital markets, we've got a very supportive investor base that is really passionate about a homegrown, Australian engineering company that's got products in every continent around the world.”
The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) provides fail-to-safe brakes for commercial vehicles primarily for the mining sector but also for the defence, civil and agriculture industries.
“Effective braking systems are critical for the safe use of mobile and transportable plant and this includes adequate braking measures in the event of the failure of the primary braking system,” Booth says.
Committed to safety
Booth says safety and operational efficiency are at the heart of everything they do.
“Our Failsafe brake systems and safety solution protects our customers' people, their assets and the clean air and operating environments that these people and assets are working within,” he says.
With only 25 staff, including an innovative engineering department, the company relies on CCIWA for key services such as policy and advocacy, employee relations advice, educational resources, community engagement and business networking.
“I love the camaraderie in the business community environment that CCIWA naturally provides its Members,” Booth says.
“I think with changes to industrial relations quite recently and with changes to workplace legislation, CCIWA has been a real font-of-knowledge for us.
“CCIWA has really provided that advisory that a small business like ours needs but doesn't have in-house.
“I really love the events that they run, and I'm never shy of standing up and speaking and asking questions at these events. They're really useful opportunities for Western Australian business to come and network because it's often a lonely environment at times and for me, in my role, I get a lot out of it.”
Booth says CCIWA is a great advocate for WA business.
“Chris [Rodwell, CCIWA CEO] and his team are amazingly attuned to their member base,” he says.
“They [CCIWA] just get it. They get the pressures that businesses face and they're also really attuned to some of the amazing growth opportunities that are present here in WA.”
Future focus is green
On the agenda for all companies, particularly mining companies, is clearly environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns, says Booth.
“No [mining company] CEO stands up and presents about their company without ESG being on the front two pages of their presentation. It is absolutely key for the future of mining to be environmentally aware, sustainable and socially responsible in the environments that they're operating within,” he says.
Booth says ABT’s wet-seal, IP-protected brake system is primarily designed to operate in “very harsh and rugged external environments”.
“Underground mining is a high-risk environment where pollution is a real problem and millions of dollars are spent annually by mining operators around the world on air purification,” he says.
“Brake dust particulates are actually a good portion of the overall vehicle’s emissions. So, if you can seal that and stop really harmful brake dust particulates from getting into the human lung, that's a real key emission tick that you can provide for your mining operations.”
CCIWA services a ‘huge help’
ABT’s Chief Financial Officer, Angela Godbeer uses a wide range of CCIWA services. She says having access to the Employee Relations Advice Centre (ERAC) is “akin to having a skilled HR resource within our team”.
“Having a person that I can chat to at a moment’s notice to resolve an issue is hugely beneficial to me and to the business,” she says.
“It avoids escalation of a situation and the advice is concise, relatable and tailored to our specific needs and issue.
“The kits and guides are a great source of information for gaining knowledge and understanding. They help to create an awareness, so that when a situation arises, I am better informed and can manage the situation accordingly.”
Godbeer says CCIWA events provide opportunities to network, as well as be informed and upskilled.
ABT attended the International Women’s Day event in March 2023 run by CCIWA.
“The event was hugely successful with the culturally diverse group from our organisation,” she says.
‘The discussion was impactful, and every attendee from our group walked away reflecting on the conversations that were had.
“As a woman in business, and an immigrant, creating an awareness of the struggles I have faced, without it being my personal experience, was crucial in opening the conversations and fostering consciousness.”
Product expansion and global reach
Booth says mining, predominantly underground mining, sits at the core of the business.
“We typically have had a brake for light vehicle fleets operating in these settings,” he says.
"That is growing as demand for safety and protecting people and assets increases but we're also developing and really innovating in that heavy vehicle market as well.
“That's a really exciting growth and development trajectory."
Last year, ABT signed a joint development agreement with Glencore to develop a brake system for a Volvo truck adapted to operate in an underground environment.
“That product hasn't yet commercialised fully to the market,” Booth says.
“But in the meantime, we're also leveraging our existing heavy vehicle products.
“This takes ABT from not just being a light vehicle, ancillary fleet solution provider, but a heavy vehicle solution provider, moving from not just ancillary fleet but into key production fleet, not just here in Australia but around the world.
"We've been able to really develop and mature our domestic market. And now the focus is really pushing and developing our international market opportunities.”
To be part of WA’s peak business organisation, get in touch via 1300 422 492 or email@example.com.