Until recently, the automotive industry accounted for 75 per cent of Hi-Class Composites’ business.
Following the forecast closure of car makers in Australia, Managing Director Chris Wood put plans in place to transition to new industries.
Hi-Class Composites specialises in the manufacture and painting of fibreglass parts, able to work through from design and prototypes to moulds and finished parts.
The company recently purchased a new, large-footprint, three-dimensional, multi-access CNC machine, which has required an investment of approximately $250,000. It will allow Hi-Class to develop new products and move into other markets such as the RV industry.
“The new CNC machine will improve our quality and speed to the market. At the moment, the old skills of people hand making parts, like the pattern makers, is disappearing, so without a machine like this we just can’t develop new products,” Chris said.
“We currently have around 18 staff and would hope to increase this number when the machine is fully operational and we’ve developed some new products and markets.
“The main products we produce now are caravan fronts and backs, showers, ute canopies and hard tonneau covers.”
In 2016, Chris participated in the Decisions That Drive Profits Group Training Program (GTP) at Knox Council, which has helped him in overall business redevelopment and creating a succession plan for his son, Aaron.
This year, Aaron Wood and another manager are participating in the Lean Program, Doing Business Better, which seeks to increase productivity, reduce costs and create value in the business. This program is partially funded by the Victorian Government, hosted by Knox City Council.
“We have already had a site visit and look forward to implementing the strategies that arise from the program,” he added.
Contact Economic Development at Knox if you are also interested in these programs. firstname.lastname@example.org