Australian company poised for global expansion
Imagine building a house where the builder is using a different plan from the plasterer, and the tiler is using a different plan from the carpet layer. Chaos! Now scale this and imagine it’s a coal mine terminal…. This was the situation faced by engineer Wayne Gerard.
“I was tired of getting issued wrong versions of engineering drawings while working on a coal terminal in North Queensland,” said Wayne. “I needed the drawings in one place, with no duplicates, so everyone was working with the most recent version.”
Wayne talked to a number of mining engineers to find out what solutions they used. Surely someone else had thought of a way to make it easier? No was the short answer. “We spent four months researching the problem, and understanding how widespread the issue was,” he said. After further analysis and realising there was no similar solution available, Wayne and Randall Makin started building an online app (called RedEye) that would solve the problem once and for all.
Feedback and early support from potential clients confirmed their decision to go ahead and build the app. During a tradeshow it became obvious early on that RedEye was going to be a success; 113 people signing up in two days is a pretty clear indicator!
When it came to a decision about what bank to use to fund their business idea, Randall recalled that he’d had a great experience with ANZ previously. “ANZ stood out by a country mile – they just get small business,” he said. “They have the culture and structure in place to enable you to build relationships with people inside ANZ who can help you.”
“I consider ANZ a business partner,” says Wayne. “They’re genuinely committed to working with small to medium businesses – their $2 Billion Lending Pledge is a great example of this. I’ve been fortunate to get an enormous amount of help, advice and support.”
Among the advantages of doing business in Asia with ANZ, Wayne is confident that ANZ knows Asia better than any other Australian bank, citing their network of branches across Asia and their great local knowledge and contacts. ANZ assisted in introducing RedEye’s app to Asian markets and the benefits have been tremendous. “With ANZ‘s help, we conducted a boardroom lunch for 15 senior executives from prospective clients in PNG – and now have some great opportunities,” Wayne says.
Wayne has the following tips if you are looking to try and replicate his success: Wayne’s tips for global success
- Get the right advice - “You always need to be learning,” Wayne says. One of the best ways is to learn from someone who’s already achieved success. “Never learn from someone who hasn’t done it,” he warns, citing the dangers of so-called experts. Network with other business owners, join local associations and especially your industry group.
- Develop a brand promise - “Every person on our team knows our brand promise – we talk about it every day, and we use it as a lens that we view everything we do through,” says Wayne.
- Be client focused - RedEye has been improving their customer experiences, from the beginning, with their simple brand promise: Easy + Fast + Relevant = Essential.
- Great timing – RedEye came along at a time when an engineering solution was clearly in demand. Wayne and Randall recognised this and took advantage of it.
- Build your sales channels and brand – your revenue and market share will increase faster if you expand internationally. Being a cloud based product allows RedEye to go global easily, but you need to have this in your plans from the start.
- Check out ANZ’s Business Growth Program - “It’s a great program with Dr Jana Matthews (a world-class facilitator) and awesome mentors who have practical experience,” says Wayne.
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