Coates Hire, Australia’s leading equipment solutions provider, is No.1 Ticket Holder for the 2015 CCF National Conference & Exhibition, to be held 14–17 October in Melbourne.
Here Coates Hire’s Greg Parfitt, Executive General Manager, Sales & Product, talks about the company and some of the issues impacting the construction and infrastructure industries…
Greg Parfitt knows the equipment hire industry from the bottom up. South Africa born, Greg started his career in Australia over 25 years ago with National Hire, before it merged with Coates Hire. With extensive experience across the business, Greg leads the national sales and product teams, and is a member of Coates Hire’s executive leadership team.
With his broad experience in the Australian equipment hire industry, Greg has seen significant changes in the sector.
“Over the last decade we have seen an increased focus on strengthening safety performance and reducing environmental impacts, a movement to more flexible cost structures, emphasis on productivity and ensuring assets are working hard. There have been different rates of growth in the mining and resources, construction and manufacturing industries. For the equipment industry this has meant a constant focus on innovation.
He believes it is a fairly difficult time in the construction and infrastructure sectors at present. He says there are still strong pockets of work in various parts of the country, with the massive scope of the transport infrastructure projects presently under way in New South Wales the focus of much of the activity.
“This compensates to a degree for some of the industries that have been hard-hit by the shortfall in the mining and resources sectors. However, there are many small-medium contractors still facing a reduction in their volume of work. There is a need for all business to work smarter and more efficiently as margins are reduced and tendering for work even more competitive.”
“We know that businesses in these industries are looking for more sophisticated ways to manage the pressures and opportunities in the market, they are looking for ways to partner with suppliers, reduce underutilised owned assets to release capex and a focus on end-to-end solutions from suppliers. We have certainly seen an increase in demand for valued added services from assisting with equipment planning over the project lifecycle, engineering services and installation.’
“Since I entered the industry the most significant change has been that there are more and more hire solutions… the scale of equipment availability is vast, enabling customers to hire total end-to-end solutions.
“For instance, within the access equipment category, Coates Hire has the most extensive range and largest fleet available in Australia, including scissor lifts, trailer mounted booms, cherry pickers and personnel lift pods.
“We even have a 185 foot straight boom lift, the world’s largest boom lift.”
“We have also observed that our customers’ planning processes are always improving, this has allowed better conversations around managing the pipeline of equipment needs to reduce cost, ensure availability and reduce downtime. As a result Coates Hire is engaged at much earlier stages of the project planning process as we help our customers manage their costs and project timelines.
He says that Coates Hire, with more than 130 years’ experience and 230 branches Australia-wide, continues its collaboration with the CCF National Conference & Exhibition because the company values the importance of getting the brains of the civil contractors industry together, to both innovate and to leverage the experience and knowledge available.
As Greg points out, “Working relationships can be reinforced and any misconceptions that exist between companies can be cleared up. This improves communication and the productivity of the infrastructure industry in general.”
Coates Hire will be at Stands 24 & 47 at this year’s CCF Exhibition at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, 14 -17 October – and will feature some of the very latest innovations in heavy equipment for the infrastructure industry. In addition to equipment, Coates Hire will also be showcasing their cutting-edge software solutions to optimise civil contracting operations.
Book now for the CCF National Conference and Exhibition, the premier annual event for the industry. The conference program features a host of networking opportunities, including the Presidents’ Welcome Reception, Annual Conference Dinner and the Cocktail Party at Melbourne Aquarium.