Peter Solloway believes good business involves growing staff along with sales.
He has been with BSC for more than 25 years, beginning as a driver, before moving through the sales ranks, eventually becoming State Sales Manager for Queensland.
Peter’s home branch, BSC Wacol, has existed for around 30 years, undergoing a recent expansion to serve the region.
The brand new BSC Wacol branch is teeming with life these days, having recently grown threefold, from a team of three to a team of ten staff members.
Dan Iselin, Technical Representative at BSC Wacol, and a fitter by trade enthuses, “It’s great to have a community of fellow tradespeople and technicians who are likeminded.”
“With the trade background I have got, BSC enables me to take my skills and expertise and pass it on to my customers and build relationships with them out in the field,” he adds.
Being central to some of the largest players in the mining and quarrying sector, north and south of Brisbane, local quarry customers share a mutually beneficial relationship with the Wacol staff.
“Quarries are a key market for us. We stock everything they need: belts, pulleys, bearings, couplings, motors, gearboxes, lubricants,” says Peter. “These products are our core business, and they fall under day-to-day requirements for a quarry, so we need each other but we also help each other succeed.”
Dan recently provided a solution to a local concrete plant that was struggling with the maintenance process on one of their shakers.
In this case, the shaker needed some isolation mounts with the blind, threaded holes for bolts rather than studs to move the hopper sideways without having to lift it out.
Explains Dan, “this particular shaker fed into a bin with a shroud around the outside of the bin. The shaker was so snuggly fit in this shroud of the bin, that when they need to do maintenance on the shaker, they had to undo around 60 bolts on the bin to remove it.”
“The way the bin shroud was mounted, it had about 60 bolts, and dismantling it to do maintenance was taking about six hours out of their day,” he elaborates on the cost of labour to the operation.
To remedy the problem, the site maintenance manager enquired if Mackay mounts could supply isolation mounts that took bolts rather than studs to cut down their maintenance time.
“The shaker was part of a process that moves stones from the concrete slurry by allowing water to travel downwards and the stone to travel upwards into a collection bin. This happens by an isolating, shaking motion,” explains Dan.
“The Mackay isolation mounts have a round rubber cylinder in the middle, with a plate on each side and blind holes, so they screw a bolt into it, rather than having a stud sticking out,” he adds. “It’s an improvement on their isolation mounts that reduces maintenance time, so now instead of being a six-hour job, they can do it in three hours.”
Dan highlights that every company wants to reduce maintenance costs and one efficient way to do that is to consolidate operations.
The BSC Wacol branch decided to pursue the opportunity to streamline their own operations earlier this year by proposing the idea of merging three local, CBC and BSC branches in the area into one centralised branch, known as a Motion Industrial Centre.
Peter and his team discovered that many of the CBC Rocklea customers were in fact residing in the Wacol area. So, they decided to drive around and visit some of the best customers to float the idea of closing their local branch to grow the Wacol location.
“We had three solid branches: BSC Wacol, BSC Archerfield and CBC Rocklea, all of which had been successful in independently providing good customer service with small teams,” he explains.
According to Peter, the results were positive. “The overwhelming feedback was that if we can keep the service levels up, and we retain the staff that our customers have built relationships with, there would be no issue. All of our major business has followed us because of the service we provide and our commitment to our customers.”
Six weeks in, Peter says the biggest challenge with the merge has been bringing together three teams under one operation. “We have more delivery runs and more people than ever before. Which is great for us. We have come together as a team to establish new roles and work out the new operational logistics.”
“When it comes to supplying industrial solutions, bigger branches mean bigger product programs, more people and more stock to service our sector,” highlights Peter.
“The idea behind the merge was to make a powerful destination branch to better service the area by combining all of our expertise. The Motion Industrial Centre in Wacol is a place where customers will want to go. We have a good knowledge base, good stock and great services to offer,” concludes Peter.