Sunday, November 1, 2009

Food for Thought

A new bill is currently being proposed in the Australian parliament that could radically change the way companies can promote their products as being “Made in Australia”.

If the proposed bill is successful it will require food to be 100% produced in Australia to be eligible to promoted as being “Australian made”.

Currently, claims such as "Australian made" or "Made in Australia" can only be made when the products have been "substantially transformed" in Australia and 50% of the costs of production have been carried within the country.

The new proposed bill also enforces products that have one or more ingredients from a different country that they will have to display the percentage of the imported ingredients.

Should this bill be also expanded across the whole range of manufacturing industries, not just food, so that buyers can be fully aware of the Australian content of the products they purchase?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Great Southern Land

A boost for Australia’s global image

Simon Crean the Minister for Trade recently announced the Australian Government will spend $20 million over the next four years to deliver a new international brand for Australia.

This new project called “Building Brand Australia” is aimed at selling Australia to the world by capturing the essence of Australia and underscores the quality of all that we have to offer in sectors such as trade, investment and education.”

Would building a brand around “Great Southern Land” achieve the goals of this initiative or do you have any other ideas on a branding concept for Australia?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

GLOBAL BEER WARMING - Is another Iconic Australian brand floating overseas?

Esky coolers have reached iconic status in Australia and have been a part of our lives now for 57 years, not only passing the test of time, but outlasting all newcomers.

However will this Aussie icon continue to be manufactured in Australia when American company Coleman acquires the Esky brand from Nylex later this month?

Statements from Coleman on this acquisition have some interesting wording used, such as:
· plans to execute expansion plans immediately
· expects it to be profitable from day one
· hopes to use the manufacturing site at Seaford, Victoria
· there are several synergies between Coleman

Synergies in business acquisitions can come from three areas: revenue, management and cost.

Revenue synergies are achieved by the combined companies being able to generate more revenue than the original stand alone companies.

Management synergies refer to the combined efforts of individuals as participants of the team and can be positive or negative.

Eliminating or reducing operational expenses or positions that are seen as duplicated roles within the merged entity is known as cost synergies.

Depending on which of these synergies Coleman executes, we can only hope that to be profitable from day one the new owners of this iconic Australian brand will continue to support Australian made products, and that by expanding the Esky brand into new international markets this will create additional jobs here in Australia.

The Esky was originally designed to keep our beer cold; however there are several reports of an Esky being used as a life saving flotation device including 2 fishermen who survived 25 days floating in a large esky in the Torres Strait earlier this year.

Will the new owners ensure that the Australian tradition of ice cold beer from an Esky continues or will global beer warming occur with this Aussie icon floating off overseas?

Let’s say Cheers to it still being manufactured here in Australia where it all started over 57 years ago.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is this the best Australian designed and made sports car?

Elfin MS8 Streamliner

The sleek Streamliner delivers breathtaking performance while providing creature comforts such as air conditioning and cruise control.
The classic ‘Le Mans’ style body features gull-wing doors, sweeping profile, an unmistakable radiator opening and side cutaways that recall Elfin’s golden past.

For those who want a classic, hand crafted weekend escape vehicle, the Elfin Streamliner is the ultimate touring sports car.

For more information go to:

  • Powered by an all alloy GM sourced LS1 5.7 litre V8 engine
  • Power is available from 245 kW to higher levels for track application
  • Torque from 465 Nm in standard trim to 750 Nm as required
  • Tremec T56 MM6 Heavy duty 6 speed gear box – competition specification packages are available
  • Specifically designed heavy duty - single piece propshaft
  • Power is transmitted through a GM 3.46 ratio limited slip differential – motor sport LSD unit is available as an option

Colour & Trim

  • Available colours include Ducati Red, Classic Silver, Elfin Yellow and Hemming Blue

Construction / Body

  • GRP body panels fully hand laid in the traditional manner to ensure each piece is manufactured to specific standards in thickness and finish for longevity


  • Grooved and ventilated 4 wheel disc brakes

Steering / Suspension

  • Rack and pinion steering, solid mounted to chassis points for extreme accuracy and steering feed back, rose jointed ends for full adjustability

Wheels & Tyres

  • Alloy 18x8 inch wheels / other options available. 235 x 40 tyres high speed rated are standard – track tyres available

Construction / Chassis

  • Fully handcrafted, jig assembled space frame utilising over 65 mtrs of material
  • Various sizes are used in the construction of the chassis to obtain an extremely high level of race car design rigidity, to cater for the transmission of high levels of power/ torque to the rear wheels and to maintain precise steering geometry

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FEATURED COMPANY - Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Q. What is your Company trading name?
A. Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd

Q. Where is your main location?
A. Berwick, Victoria

Q. How many people do you employ?
A. 2 full time staff, lots of contractors and partner companies

Q. Are all the products/services you provide 100% Australian?
A. We develop electronics and embedded software products specifically focussing on Australian manufacturers who want to keep making their products in Australia. We also provide whatever level of manufacturing support is required.

For those who want to receive a fully finished product without having to manage all the details themselves we can also arrange subcontract manufacture in Australia. This can be either fully finished subassemblies or completely finished products ready for sale. The key here is in Australia. We firmly believe Australia is a fantastic place to live and very well placed to have globally competitive industries, especially in higher technology and niche marketed products.

As far as Australian content goes, the actual electronic components themselves are mostly imported since Australia does not have a significant electronic component or semiconductor manufacturing industry. But all the development is done here and all the profits stay here. So the Australian content percentage is above 95% for our part of the process.

Q. Why should people use your products/services in lieu of other alternatives?
A. Differentiating yourself in the market can be difficult. There are many electronics development companies listed and the same words are used even if the actual offerings or results are very different. We have shown time and again that by aiming to deliver a profitable outcome rather than just narrowly focussing on the engineering, that we can get the total cost of a product down to as little as 30% of what it would have been. That’s a very large difference. And it’s not just about the technology. It’s about a mindset that focuses on a commercially viable position. How we do this is by paying attention to all the following aspects of a project:

  1. The cost of the engineering and tooling effort - sometimes referred to a NREs (Non Recoverable Expenditure)
  2. The cost of the parts that must be purchased in order to make and assemble the product
  3. The cost of the labour and energy required to make the product
  4. The cost of production rework for product that doesn’t work first time on the production line
  5. The cost of warranty returns, loss of reputation and loss of customer confidence when the product doesn’t work correctly

If you think this sounds exhausting, then it can be a challenge, but this is what delivers outstanding results. And many of these factors aren’t costed into the product opportunity budget. This is way more than just the cost to get a PCB designed or some software written. It is the total cost to get to a commercially viable outcome. Looking at the whole picture makes it possible to determine the best position for a product and to tailor the feature set to match the price point. We are really tired of seeing missed opportunities because the product wasn’t given the best chance for success in the market place. So we do everything we can to ensure we maximise the products likelihood of success.

Here are some of the links that describe how we go about this:

Finally, our client’s should feel that we are part of their cheer squad and not just an unavoidable expense. We really do want them to succeed.

Q. What is your website address?

Q. Do you have any additional comments and information?
A. Here are some statistics you might not be aware of:

  • In 1946, 90% of all the manufactured products used in Australia were made in Australia.
  • In 2006, 10% of all the manufactured products used in Australia were made in Australia!
  • 50% of Australian companies go under within 2 years of starting. It’s 85% at 4 years and 96% at 10 years.

How does all this apply?

Firstly, we have been around since 1997 making this our twelfth year. So we have demonstrated the ability to run a successful business ourselves. We have also just moved to larger premises and continue to grow even during the current downturn. If someone wants to help you succeed, you should look at how successful they are before decided to invite them on board. Our own track record is a good reference for new clients.

Secondly, as shipping costs have fallen and manufacture diversified, manufacture has left Australia. But what we have really exported is our future. Yet we are ideally placed to do much of this manufacture here. And there are some excellent businesses doing that right now. With no effective government support (Federal, state or local), restricted access to finance and no import protection or export subsidies (did you know China has a 40% import tariff on all manufactured goods and that Italy subsidises tomato exports to Australia?) we are still growing viable manufacturing industries here.

I was recently at National Manufacturing Week in Melbourne and it was very encouraging to see a lot of interest and activity. We will continue to deliver outstanding results for our clients because at the end of the day, that’s what counts. One of our clients is Robert Bosch Australia and they make millions of automotive electronic control units each year and export them from Clayton in Victoria to Europe, USA, Japan and other Asia countries. They can do this because they understand that intelligent design and appropriate automation at the manufacturing level means that they get the quality they want at the price they need to do it here.
There are huge advantages to doing this in Australia.

Q. Would you be prepared to offer any discounts or special offers to people who mention that they saw your business promoted on “madedownunder”?
A. Absolutely. We would be pleased to offer a 20% discount on the first phase of any development project for a new client who saw us on “madedownunder”.

For more details contact:

Ray Keefe
Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd
Suite 4, Level 1
34 Paternoster Lane
P.O. BOX 242
Berwick, 3806
p: (03) 9769 4460
f: (03) 9769 4665
m: 0418 173 052

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Do you know an Expat Aussie?

Despite racking up more than $300 billion in debt, the Federal Australian Government is sending about $25 million in bonus payments to people living overseas.

Will this money get invested back into the Australian economy as it was intended or will it boost the economies of Britain, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Germany, France and the United States where the majority of these Australians now live?

If you know an Expat Aussie living overseas who will receive the Australian Federal Government's bonus payment, encourage them to spend the money back at home in Australia.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FEATURED COMPANY - Joolz by Airdrie

An interview with Airdrie Makim from Joolz
Q. What is your Company trading name?
A. Joolz by Airdrie
Q. Where is your main location?
A. Melbourne
Q. How many people do you employ?
A. Usually just myself, unless things are really busy, when I have some helpers! And of course people like my wonderful photographer, Lucia, who very handily only lives one suburb away and is a GODDESS! And models and makeup artists, when we’re doing a shoot for Joolz. You can see Lucia in action, (in fact a whole bunch of us) busy on this shoot which was filmed recently – it’s now up on YouTube:
Q. Are all the products/services you provide 100% Australian?
A. Everything from Joolz is made and designed right here in Melbourne. I source locally for as many of the materials as possible used in constructing my designs– like the recycled native Australian timber beads I use in the Murindi necklace and Hunter Gatherer bracelet.
I love using unusual Australian stones too, like beautiful brown and black banded Tiger Iron and turquoise green Varascite from WA, Pink Opal from NSW, and my favourite, green Rhyolite from outside Rockhampton in Qld.
We have such beautiful natural materials right here in Australia – of course I’m going to use them! And all the other recycled materials I use are sourced locally too – they come from antique stores, second hand shops, collectors, all sorts of places.
Q. Why should people use your products/services in lieu of other alternatives?
A. I design classically beautiful statement jewellery for people who like to both accessorise well and support eco-friendly alternatives. The fact that it’s all-Australian is an added bonus!
Q. What is your website address?
Q. Do you have any additional comments and information?
A. I design a lot of commissioned pieces – brides in particular like to have something created that’s ‘just for them’ and I always think it’s such a wonderful privilege to be designing for weddings.
People also get things made for special gifts, like 21st presents and anniversaries and so forth. Doing an individual design for someone is both the most challenging, and the most fun! I have a special group of subscribers who always get to see the new designs before anyone else, and they also get special offers, competitions and sales that no one else has access to.
If anyone’s interested in subscribing, just send in via the “Subscribe” option on my Contact Page:
And finally, I believe it’s very important to give back to society, which is why I support a number of local charities and non-profit organisations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the CWA, the Starlight Foundation, and other local organisations. Last year I sponsored the two Victorian entrants in the Miss Earth Australia competition – we organised a fashion show fundraiser together – which both raised funds for the World Wildlife Fund, and promoted local eco-friendly designers. I really like to promote other local designers who I think are doing a great job.
Q. Would you be prepared to offer any discounts or special offers to people who mention that they saw your business promoted on “madedownunder”?
A. Yes, most definitely. For the next month, a special 20% discount is offered to all purchases made when someone mentions that they saw Joolz promoted on “madedownunder”. This discount applies to all items except those on the Sale Page (those items are already very heavily reduced – up to 80% off).
JOOLZ - The home of award winning handmade Australian jewellery

Monday, May 11, 2009

LABEL CHECK - Is Made in China killing us slowly?

With over 90,000 cargo ships travelling the world's oceans, it has been estimated that just 15 of the world’s largest container ships could possibly emit as much pollution as all of the world’s 750 million cars.

With China now having emerged as the new manufacturing hub in the world, emissions from shipping operations have risen considerably.

So "LABEL CHECK" everything you purchase to see where it has been made.

If it hasn’t been Made in Australia, consider the impact your purchasing decisions is likely to have on the environment and also your health.

By purchasing Australian Made products, less fuel will be used to transport these items. This will dramatically reduce the impact on our environment as shipping produces 18-30% of the entire world's nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution and 9% of the global sulphur oxide (SOx) pollution.

For more information refer:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Should we keep the slouch hat madedownunder?

The Slouch Hat is an Australian icon and having its complete manufacture moved offshore is a blight on the memory of generations of Australian soldiers who have worn it, said the Shadow Minister for Veterans, Louise Markus.

“How far does this Government want to go when it comes to moving this Australian icon offshore?” Mrs Markus asked.

“Along with many veterans throughout Australia, I believe the Slouch Hat should remain an Australian-made hat.

“While there may be commercial considerations there must also be respect. Moving the manufacture of the slouch hat offshore shows a lack of appreciation to the unique traditions of those who have worn our nation’s uniform.

Mrs Markus said she is expecting a backlash right across the veteran community as more veterans learn of the possibility of the manufacture of the slouch hat moving offshore.

“There is clear frustration and disappointment among veterans that we are seeing Australian traditions and icons slowly, but gradually whittled away,” Mrs Markus said.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ZERO to 12,700 jobs in $12.7 billion package

According to the Australian Made Campaign every dollar spent on Australian made or grown goods benefits the Australian economy, with every one million dollars invested in the Australian manufacturing sector, twelve new full time jobs are created.

Based on this assumption, the "best" case scenario for the Australian Federal Government's package of $12.7 billion in one-off bonus payments of $950 each for low- and middle-income households and individuals would be for 12,700 jobs to be created.

The "worst" case scenario is that "ZERO" jobs are created if all of this money is spent on non-Australian made or grown goods.

Should the Australian Government be promoting an education campaign to the Australian people who will receive this money to ensure that it is spent to maximise the long term benefit of the Australian economy by investing in Australian made or grown products?

Or do we believe the Australian low- and middle-income households and individuals understand the importance of their investment decision with these funds?