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Boots on the ground help Salisbury advance manufacturing

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From icons such as R.M. Williams to solar panel manufacturer Tindo Solar, manufacturing and distributing from Salisbury has always made good economic sense and now advanced manufacturers are realising the rewards.

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Salisbury has long been an attractive location for manufacturing because it offers easy access to customers across South Australia, links to national transport routes and a skilled workforce.

Manufacturing remains the City of Salisbury’s largest industry sector, employing nearly 8000 people. Among the first to realise the potential of the area was an Australian household name: R.M. Williams.

Rachid Maliki, R.M. Williams General Manager of Supply Chain and Procurement, said its decades-long presence in Salisbury has been integral to the company’s success.

“In the 1960s, the South Australian Government began offering, through the South Australian Housing Trust, land and building incentives to businesses interested in expanding in the state,” Maliki said.

“Offers were made to businesses to consider the area around Salisbury to the north and R.M. Williams was one of the operations approached, and its board had little trouble in accepting the offer.”

 

Maliki said that R.M. Williams is also in the process to expand the business in its home state.

“We have taken some corporate decisions last year and have decided to bring the merchandising, design and IT teams back to Adelaide,” Maliki said.

“We are in the middle of investing in a completely new line of products which will be operating as of January 2021 and will generate additional employment in the workshop.”

Other companies have since discovered the same advantages that attracted R.M. Williams to the area all those years ago.

Tindo Solar CEO Shayne Jaenisch said the company has been based in Salisbury since it was founded in 2010.

“The convenience of Tindo Solar for my people is the location,” Jaenisch said.

“We incorporate a lot of different skill levels, both white and blue collar, with everything from the advanced manufacturing roles, through to sales.

“Being in Salisbury’s central location is ideal. We can pull from all different areas of the state, with sales that are both regional and metro. It doesn’t get much easier than being here.”

Jaenisch said easy access and transport capabilities were the primary benefits Salisbury offered the manufacturing industry.

“Being right next to the main North-South corridor is really, really important for freight and logistics for us,” Jaenisch said.

“It’s the same for logistics for our install teams because we can run up to 20 teams at once and they all pick up from our warehouse, which is also located in Salisbury.”

Many of the advanced manufacturers in Salisbury have followed the paths of R.M. Williams and Tindo Solar, establishing themselves early or taking advantage of the new infrastructure being built in the area.

World-leading medical technology company Ellex Medical Lasers moved into Technology Park when it was looking to consolidate its Adelaide sites, and Supashock relocated to Edinburgh Parks as it branched into the defence industry from automotive parts. And car manufacturing has returned as Brabham Automotive is building state-of-the-art racing cars in Salisbury.

Additionally, the University of South Australia’s Mawson Lakes campus houses the Future Industries Institute which focuses on building capacity in a range of sectors including advanced manufacturing. The City of Salisbury continues to engage and work with manufacturers to ensure its plans support the long term growth of advanced manufacturing in the area.

Solstice Media has partnered with the City of Salisbury to produce a series of articles detailing the key industries and opportunities emerging from the region.

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