Disrupting an industry is extremely difficult and can’t be achieved unless everything goes to plan. Local company, Stabilcorp is leaving nothing to chance engaging with mentors, extensive R&D programs and even consulting a futurist in their bid to become “The Future of Road Safety”
Name: Geoff Jackson
Company : Stabilcorp Pty Ltd
Position: Product Development Manager
Briefly describe what it is that your business, company or organisation does?
Stabilcorp Pty Ltd is a specialised road pavement repair and maintenance company who offers innovative solutions to deal with failing road pavements and methods which offer significant financial savings to clients over the conventional design and repair approach.
Our clients comprise of Local Government, Tier One Major Contractors and Private Civil Construction clients throughout NSW. We have also developed a revolutionary and disruptive technology called the ShoulderMaster which is a skid-steer paving attachment that is transforming the way road shoulders are rehabilitated and maintained in Australia and globally.
What is unique or innovative about your approach to delivering this service or product?
The ShoulderMaster product is uniquely positioned as “The Future of Road Safety” since it uses a methodology that enables road shoulders to be repaired in 1/3 the time at 1/3 the cost, providing the stewards of our road assets (Local and State Government’s) with a hard to ignore value proposition.
Research by various road research organizations’ in Australia have found that road shoulders widened by 1-2 metres results in up to a 42% reduction in serious injury crashes, and, that when coupled with the addition of audible lines a 25.4% reduction in fatalities.
These statistics provide a compelling argument to fully utilize the capabilities of the ShoulderMaster attachment to reduce rural road serious injuries and deaths.
How is innovation addressed within your organisation?
Stabilcorp is fully committed to embrace innovation. In fact we have engaged on a regular basis with a futurist Craig Rispin who is mentoring the company owners and management on our innovation journey. He has a great capacity to help expand our vision to embrace the brave new world that is disruption and innovation.
Stabilcorp have invested heavily in research & development to create the ShoulderMaster attachment in the first place. We subsequently spent considerable time in the field testing the product in real world conditions to reach a commercialised model we could take to market. Now we continue to participate in the Federal Government’s Innovations Connections program and in collaboration with the University of Newcastle are having further testing and refinement to explore model diversification options.
We continue to be recognised for innovation by various industry groups having won multiple awards for innovation including an ABA100 Winner in New Product Innovation in the Australian Business Awards in 2016.
Do you currently collaborate with other organisations and industries within the Mid North Coast?
We currently engage with NSW Business Chamber, Port Macquarie Business Chamber as well as the Mid North Coast office of Aus-Industry. We also collaborate with the University of Newcastle on R & D, as well as a range of suppliers largely in and around the Mid North and Hunter region.
What have these collaborations resulted in?
On our product development and innovation journey we have encountered a range of mentors that have offered advice and suggestions. In some cases these are related to the way the product is manufactured and others it may relate to an ongoing continuous improvement program to refine the ShoulderMaster product, or it may just be an idea to capture another part of our market.
Why were these collaborations formed?
The collaborations are part of a continuous improvement program to refine the ShoulderMaster product, develop further diversified applications and to optimise product performance under a range of conditions.
We engage in a variety of ways. In some cases it is just organic stemming from the way we do business in other times its deliberate in seeking out a solution to a specific problem. In other cases its it through an advisor or mentor recommending us to a like-minded business.
What roadblocks or problems have you had to solve for the business, company or organisation to be successful?
Like all businesses on an innovation journey there are many challenges. We are primarily road contractors and manufacturing was something foreign to us. We have had a steep learning curve to overcome. We have also jumped into the arena of advanced manufacturing which is even more complex. We are relying on assistance from some experienced suppliers to guide our path here. The other major challenge for a company that has had market success is the financial one, and it’s an area we have focused on keenly. We went to the United States in March to Con-Expo and have put in place a plan to begin exporting in the first quarter of 2018. There are all sorts of hurdles to overcome to make this work but the potential market for our unique product is enormous.
Have you had any assistance from government or local council?
Aus-Industry through the NSW Business Chamber.We have great respect for our Aus-Industry consultant who has real vast industry knowledge and nous.
We benefited through their assistance, identifying gaps, recommending solutions and making connections with companies who can offer us real value.
In your opinion what needs to be improved on the Mid North Coast?
In our opinion all these areas need attention. We really need to see high quality trades based training supported by government. We constantly are seeking qualified staff and struggle to fill positions with good candidates. I think the judgement on the NBN is still out. Our premises at Wauchope are not connected but we could do a lot more if we had decent broadband particularly in the area of video based meetings, customer engagement etc, which are impossible at present. In terms of infrastructure the upgraded Pacific Highway is great but what we’d like to see is an upgrade of the link between Tamworth and Port Macquarie and a Transport Gateway Hub located on the mid north coast to facilitate better transport links from our region to capital city markets. Linking these two by a highway with B-Double capacity would drive the economic development on both sides of the Great Dividing Range.
What do you enjoy about being based on the Mid North Coast?
Obviously lifestyle is one advantage and the fact that time is not wasted on long commutes.
Lower living costs mean wage costs are lower which means what-ever we do or make can be real value for money compared to capital city based organisations
In regard to your business, company or organisation what are your plans for the next 12 months?
Our biggest goal is a planned 1st quarter launch into North America. We are currently in the process of putting in place the base and resources from which we will launch our ShoulderMaster attachment.