The common theory or belief has mostly been that Australian Made products are much more expensive than imported lines. However, in many instances, it is clear that Australian Made products remain viable and aligned with imported competition. Let’s have a look at some of the factors that may affect this and how we can compete;
All of our products are made from comparable raw and processed materials. Regardless of whether this is supplied into Europe, Asia, USA or Australia (who subsequently are producing much more locally now), the costs remain similar and are mostly tied to global price indexes.
Australia may have been viewed a bit behind in this space in the past, however Government backed promotion has helped to accelerate our technical capabilities. Australia is quickly becoming a true global standout in the speed it is embracing new methodologies, systems and equipment.
Manufacturers across Australia don’t have the same distances to contend with as off-shore suppliers do. This advantage of freight or logistics savings through close proximity is somewhat offset however, by the strategic position of manufacturers based in countries or regions of enormous population densities, who can gain better production costs through large product volumes.
Agreed, Australian labour isn’t low cost. Global manufacturers with high volumes may successfully exploit low cost labour, which is easy to conceal behind a mask of brand identity. However, we won’t back away from paying our local staff everything that they deserve, for their loyalty, stability, quality and essence of what underpins our local economy.
The sudden rise and fall of imported product pricing in relation to the favour of exchange rates has been witnessed over many years. This can affect not only the initial purchase price but places an unpredictability around the cost of upgrades, replacements and spare parts in the years to come. In contrast, when there is no international currency to be concerned about, Australian Made products typically remain very stable in prices over a long period of time, ensuring the cost of life is as initially anticipated.
Now this is where an Australian manufacturer can easily win! With every part made and stocked locally, no barriers to entry and off-shore distances to cover, you can be assured that the access to equipment for trials is easy, customization for you is available, lead times are predictable and fast, and the lifetime after sales service is rock solid.
So, if the price of a high quality imported product this time around is substantially higher, you could say the market conditions are just ‘currently not in their favour’. If it is, however, substantially lower, then the question that you need to ask is ‘why’? What are the current factors that are awarding this - is it the method of manufacture, a size advantage or the exchange? Whatever it is, the likelihood of this remaining stable is low, and the guarantee of fairly priced parts with satisfactory lifetime service is even less. With this in mind, you should now clearly see why we’ll always be batting hard for our Aussie manufacturers!