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Media Release – Economic Optimism Turbo-Charges Australia’s Logistics Industry

THE FOLLOWING MEDIA RELEASE WAS ISSUED ON BEHALF OF CARTONCLOUD IN JULY 2021.


Massive optimism in the logistics industry is fuelling a jobs boom with businesses planning to hire new staff to meet demand, a sentiment snapshot has revealed.

The inaugural CartonCloud Logistics Index took the pulse of warehouse and transport businesses in the first quarter of 2021 with 50 respondents providing feedback on business operating conditions, workforce and hiring outlook, growth, opportunities and challenges.

CartonCloud founder Vincent Fletcher (pictured below) said the results of the index pointed towards a healthy industry emerging from the pandemic disruption with significant confidence for the future.

“Optimism is high in the current economic climate and businesses are looking to capture growth opportunities in the months ahead,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The confidence is translating into the creation of new jobs in the industry, particularly for operations involved in warehousing.

“The numbers speak for themselves: 90 per cent of the businesses surveyed believe they are likely or very likely to increase their staff numbers.

“Increasing the workforce isn’t just positive for our industry but increasing employment opportunities and creating new jobs will benefit families and communities across Australia.

“Job creation is a powerful indication that logistics businesses in Australia are growing and they are in secure financial positions to bring on new staff.”

Mr Fletcher said it was satisfying to see more than 80% of businesses expecting to perform well or very well over the next six months, which was a sign of a very strong industry.

“Businesses are looking to grow by further increasing demand for logistics services, expanding the range of services they offer and making additional investments in business-to-consumer or e-commerce capabilities,” he said.

“Another opportunity to drive growth is the adoption of more technology across both warehouse and transport operations to drive efficiencies and unlock capacity.

“While 55% of respondents believe their business is embracing technology adoption well or very well, there’s clearly room for improvement in many warehouse and transport operations.”

Despite surging optimism and hiring intentions, the industry wasn’t without its challenges.

“Some businesses are scrambling to meet the high demand and customer expectations,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Hiring and upskilling the workforce so businesses can meet demand and customer expectations is a key challenge for both warehouse and transport businesses.

“We found it interesting that a significant number of senior management and business owner participants cited their own lack of digital vision and support as a key inhibitor in their business’s adoption of technology.

“Workforce knowledge and skill was also identified as a key barrier in the use of technology.”

STATISTIC SNAPSHOT

What is your view of the current economic climate for your business?

A significant 68% of respondents believed the current economic climate for their business was either positive or very positive. This is in stark contrast to only 5% of respondents experiencing a poor economic outlook. The positive attitudes to economic conditions are a strong sign businesses are confident and are experiencing success in their operations. It’s important to note 27% of respondents reported a neutral view of their economic climate and future events may tip some of them into the poor or positive category.

How do you expect your business to perform in the next six months?

An overwhelming 83% of businesses expect to perform well or very well over the next six months. Less than 3% of participants expected their business to perform poorly, which is a sign of a very healthy industry outlook.

How would you rate the likelihood that your business will bring on additional staff within the next six months?

The positive economic and performance outlook is encouraging with 65% of participants indicating they believe their business is likely to bring on additional staff over the next six months. Likewise, 25% said they were very likely to increase their staff numbers.

Which of the following activities, if any, are you planning in the next 12 months in order to drive revenue growth?

More than 50% of participants believe their businesses will also tap into e-commerce/B2C fulfilment, and require an expansion in the range of services in the coming 12 months.

A smaller segment (15) saw automation and robotics as their primary revenue growth mechanisms for the coming months.

What will be the biggest challenges facing your business in the next 12 months?

Increasing operating costs were the main challenge faced by most (50%) businesses followed by driver and workforce shortages (43%). Inability to balance demand for services and capacity rounded out the top three.

60% of transport companies expect driver and workforce shortages to be the biggest challenge facing their business in the next 12 months.

ENDS

The mural was created and installed by Tori-Jay Mordey, and Warraba Weatheral.

Soda Factory Unveils Mural Created by Local Aboriginal Artists

West End’s reborn Soda Factory development has unveiled a stunning wall mural in the refurbished shopping centre created by two local Aboriginal artists, which connects the area’s significance for Aboriginal people with the more recent history of the site as the Tristram’s Soda Factory.

The mural was created and installed by Tori-Jay Mordey, an established Torres Strait Islander illustrator and artist based in Brisbane, and Warraba Weatheral, an installation and street artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South-West Queensland.

The Soda Factory is nearing completion of a multi-million-dollar refurbishment which is paying homage to the building’s original use as a soda making and bottling facility for iconic Queensland soft drink brand Tristram’s.

A refurbished Coles neighbourhood centre is operating, and on completion The Soda Factory will include 22 specialty stores and 220 car park spaces. New travelators providing convenient access are now also operating.

The property’s developer SCA Property Group commissioned Blaklash Creative, a local 100 percent Aboriginal-owned creative agency specialising in Aboriginal art and design to curate the bespoke mural using local artists.

“We wanted to create a unique destination for shoppers and diners in West End and celebrate the rich connections that Aboriginal people have with the area which is reflected in this beautiful mural from two very talented artists,” SCA Senior Development Manager Aleisha O’Connor said.

Blaklash’s Co-Director Troy Casey, himself a proud Aboriginal man from Kamilaroi Country said they looked carefully at stories that could connect pre-contact and contemporary West End culture.

“West End is a historically significant place for Aboriginal people and continues to maintain a strong community feel,” Mr Casey said.

“Drawing from this narrative the artists made connections with the history of the area through native plant species which were used as food and medicine.

“This narrative is intertwined with the more recent history connected to the Tristram’s Soda Factory including the use of the bottlebrush flower which was used as a sweetener for flavouring drinks.

“These elements have been beautifully included in this colourful mural which helps describe the history and characteristics of the area.”

The official opening of The Soda Factory will be held in November 2021.

soda factory

The Soda Factory is undergoing a complete revitalisation of the building, including major upgrades to the mall scape and outdoor dining spaces celebrating its industrial heritage through materials and detailing to create a relaxed, timeless palette with an urban edge.

The refurbishment will include a new internal mall area, new travelators and lift, upgraded amenities, activated street frontage and redeveloped car park. The building’s heritage elements are being retained with a particular focus on restoring and rejuvenating the building’s main façade.

Designed by prominent Brisbane architectural firm Atkinson, Powell and Conrad, and built by well-known builder Walter Taylor the unusual Spanish Mission styled factory building was constructed in 1930 for soft drink manufacturer Tristram’s. The building remained in use by Tristrams until 1979 before it was sold and converted into markets.

Artist Bios

Tori-Jay Mordey

Tori-Jay Mordey is an established Indigenous Australian illustrator and artist based in Brisbane. Growing up she openly shared both her Torres Strait Islander and English heritage, which is often reflected in her contemporary Indigenous art practice – producing work based around her family and siblings as a way of understanding herself, her appearance and racial identity.

Warraba Weatherall

Warraba Weatherall is an installation and street artist from the Kamilaroi Nation of South-West Queensland. Weatherall’s practice critiques the legacies of colonisation; where social, economic and political realities perpetually validate Eurocentric ideologies. Drawing on his personal experience and cultural knowledge, he uses image, material and metaphor to contribute to a cross-cultural dialogue by offering alternate ways of seeing and understanding.

Photographs by RGC’s Luke Greensill 

Over the Wire

Over the Wire (ASX: OTW) Up 35% As Solution And Platform Investments Drive Growth

THIS IS AN EDITED EXTRACT OF THE FULL-YEAR RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT FOR OVER THE WIRE HOLDINGS. FOR THE FULL RESULTS PLEASE VISIT THE ASX.


Telecommunications, cloud and IT solutions provider Over the Wire Holdings Limited (ASX: OTW) is pleased to announce it has delivered another year of strong growth in recurring revenues with the company beginning to experience the full benefit of recent investments across its integrated solution platform.

Key highlights from the year include:

  • Becoming a Tier 1 voice provider following the completion of a multi-year Carrier Interconnect project
  • Growing recurring revenue by 38% to $103.2 million and delivering strong positive operating cashflows
  • A customer retention rate of 97.8%
  • Completion of the Zintel, Fonebox and Digital Sense acquisitions
  • Implementation of new Cloud availability zones in Perth and Adelaide
  • Increased international capacity and partnerships
  • Commencement of investment program to significantly upgrade the company’s core network (SuperCore)

Over the Wire Managing Director Michael Omeros said the achievements of the last financial year were important for the long-term future of Over the Wire and the growth of sustainable earnings.

“The completion of the carrier interconnect project and the completion of the Zintel, Fonebox and Digital Sense acquisitions provides us with a strong platform to lock in a variety of new, recurring revenue streams,” he said.

“We are already feeling the impact of these investments with second-half organic recurring revenue up 7% on the first half and a strong pipeline of new contracts and work.”

“The current financial year has started well and in line with expectations and we remain confident of delivering on our target of 15% growth in organic recurring revenue.”

Mr Omeros said the company’s Cloud. Connect. Collaborate. solution offering would continue to deliver positive outcomes for clients and help support future revenue growth.

“With the completion of the Carrier Interconnect project, we now have all the elements of a comprehensive, fully integrated platform that simplifies technology and empowers business,” he said.

Financial Results

Throughout the year, Over the Wire continued to focus on building its recurring revenue, with total recurring revenue growing 38% to $103.2 million. This component of revenue now represents 92% of overall revenue, up from 85% in FY20.

EBITDA for the year was $23.5 million (FY20: $17.4 million) with EBITDA margin improving from 20% in the previous year to 21%. The company also reported the continued strong conversion of EBITDA to cash with net cash from operating activities in the year of $24.5 million, up 111% from $11.6 million in the previous year. At the end of the year, the company has $16.7 million cash on hand.

The Board has declared a final dividend for 30 June 2021, of 2.25 cents per share fully franked, taking the full-year payout to 4.0 cents per share, up from 3.75 cents per share in the previous year.

Outlook

During FY21, OTW completed its transition to becoming a Tier 1 voice carrier. Completion of the platform means Over the Wire joins an exclusive group of Tier 1 carriers in Australia that can now offer full-service voice capabilities. Other Tier 1 carriers include Telstra, Optus, TPG, MyNetFone and Vocus.

Mr Omeros said completion of the project was a significant milestone in the history of the company and, combined with a range of other solution and platform improvements, had laid the foundation for a new phase of growth.

“As a Tier 1 voice carrier we will be far less reliant on third-party providers and unencumbered by legacy technology which will deliver instant savings and about $2 million in additional earnings each year,” he said.

Mr Omeros said the company had already begun to see the benefit of investments flow through with a range of new recurring revenue contracts signed.

Following on from the second-half organic recurring revenue being up 7% on the first half, the strong pipeline of new contracts and work creates confidence of delivering on the target of 15% growth in organic recurring revenue.

“We have the people, solutions and platform to deliver strong organic growth in the current year and are focussed on ensuring we deliver in line with our expectations.”

MEDIA CONTACT

Ben Ready
RGC Media & Mktng
+61 415 743 838
ben@rgcmm.com.au

About Over the Wire Holdings Limited

Over the Wire Holdings Limited (ASX: OTW) is an ASX listed telecommunications, cloud and IT solutions provider that has a national network with points of presence in all major Australian capital cities and Auckland, NZ. The company offers an integrated suite of products and services to business customers including Data Networks and Internet, Voice, Data Centre co-location, Cloud and Managed Services.

Over the Wire Holdings, Limited companies include Over the Wire, NetSIP, Faktortel, Sanity Technology, Telarus, VPN Solutions, Access Digital Networks, Comlinx, Zintel Communications, Fonebox and Digital Sense.

 

Tony-Nash-Booktopia

Media Release – Booktopia (ASX: BKG) Smashes Prospectus Forecasts As Customers Continue To Splurge On Books

Australia’s leading online book retailer Booktopia Group Limited (ASX: BKG) has convincingly beaten its prospectus forecasts for the full year to June 30, 2021, with increased capacity, record numbers of customers and growing order values all combining to deliver a strong first year on the ASX.

Booktopia today (30 August, 2021) reported its first results since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in early December 2020 following a $43.1 million capital raising.

In the 12 months to June 30, 2021, the company reported total revenue of $223.9 million, a 35% increase on the previous year and 10% above the $204.5 million forecast in the company’s November 2020 prospectus. Since 2018 the company has achieved a CAGR in revenue of 26%.

Underlying EBITDA (adjusted for IPO costs) for the year was $13.6 million, up 125% on the previous year ($6.0 m) and 45% above prospectus forecasts of $9.4m.

The full-year result was achieved on a 27% increase in total units shipped to 8.2 million, an average annual spend per customer of $126.85 (FY20: $111.43) and an average order value of $71.07 (FY20: $65.08).

Booktopia Chief Executive Officer Tony Nash said the company’s first full-year result as a listed company was very pleasing and had laid the foundation for the next phase of growth.

“Our prospectus set some very ambitious targets for our first year as a listed company and I am very happy to report we have been able to eclipse those expectations,” he said. “Our focus has now shifted to executing our multi-pronged growth strategy that will see us ramp up our market penetration, expand our reach within the book industry and lock-in new, earnings accretive partnerships and acquisitions.”

“Our team’s performance over the last 12 months, the strength of the Booktopia brand and our ability to adapt quickly to a rapidly changing external environment leaves us confident we can continue to grow at or above what we have achieved over the last few years.”

Mr Nash said the company had started the new financial year strongly with the momentum from the previous year continuing into the current year.

“Sales for the current year are currently tracking above the same time last year, despite the ongoing lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.

Booktopia’s growth and success since it was first established in 2004 is built on the development and continued refinement of proprietary software and algorithms that optimise traffic and conversion rates.

The company has now built a database of over 5 million customers with 1.8 million active customers in FY21, a growth of 19% on the previous year.

As well as achieving strong market share growth during FY21, the company also identified and executed three new partnerships that would accelerate growth over the coming years. In FY21 the company finalised deals with Australian publisher Brio Books, edtech provider Zookal, and teamed up with UK publisher Welbeck for a new joint venture in Australia and New Zealand.

Mr Nash said the company was actively pursuing several new bolt-on opportunities to leverage the company’s infrastructure and systems and enhance growth.

“Bolt-on opportunities, whether through acquisition or partnership, provide a clear path to supercharging our growth over the next few years and if we see an opportunity that provides the right benefits, at the right price, we will pursue it.”

“While our immediate focus is on Australia and New Zealand, we will look at opportunities in other markets if we believe there is attractive, medium-term, growth potential.”

Booktopia is also investing in the growth of its publishing (Booktopia Publishing) and publisher services (Booktopia Publisher Services) operations that will give customers access to even more titles, more quickly. The publishing division uses BPS to distribute its books to retailers and resellers across Australia and New Zealand.

“The Australian book industry is forecast to generate more than $2.6 billion in sales this year and we want to be at the very core of that industry to ensure our customers are getting the best deals on the best books,” Mr Nash said.

Mr Nash said the company would continue to invest in expanding capacity to accommodate growth.

Booktopia has invested over $20 million in the automating of its 14,000 sqm Distribution Centre at Lidcombe in Sydney’s west resulting in a doubling of capacity that allows the company the ship 60,000 books across 145,000 different tiles per day.

As part of its planning for future growth, Booktopia has recently signed agreements to secure an additional 13,500 sqm of warehousing and distribution facilities at Enfield in Sydney’s South West to complement its existing facility at Lidcombe. The new facilities will provide increased capacity to hold and distribute stock to its customers.

“The investment in distribution centres together with our strong balance sheet means we are well-positioned to leverage our future growth profitably and sustainably,” he said.

OUTLOOK

FY22 has started strongly, with revenue tracking ahead of the previous corresponding period.

The company continues to experience strong tailwinds, including:

  • the ongoing adoption of online shopping due to structural and demographic shifts
  • acceleration of these trends due to COVID-19
  • an increase in discretionary spending locally due to travel restrictions

The Board and management are cognisant of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, geographic lockdowns and the vaccine rollout, both in Australia and internationally and note that a high degree of uncertainty continues to surround the Australian economy.

“We will continue our growth strategy, investing into key areas of the business to cement our online market leadership and drive increased market share with an ongoing ‘customer obsession’ mindset to ensure our engagement and service is second to none,” Mr Nash said.

The company will also continue the expansion of its Publisher Services (Distribution) and Publishing businesses and its investment in distribution facilities as well as exploring international expansion opportunities through partnerships and acquisitions.

“Our intent is to be the core of the book industry, locally and internationally.” Mr Nash said.

BADC awards

The 2021 BADC Awards are Back from the Wilderness

The Brisbane Advertising and Design Club is now calling for entries from the Brisbane creative community as it brings back its awards after last year’s hibernation.

For the first time, the BADC Awards will cover two years’ submissions from 2020 and 2021. Entry validity is for all work published or aired from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.

BADC president Stuart Myerscough said, “We were really keen to ensure that no work got left behind considering how much hard work has gone on. We made the easy decision to make two years of work eligible, which will mean tough competition across all our categories.

“Brisbane’s advertising and creative community is coming together again to showcase and celebrate the best in creative and marketing campaigns from a very high quality field.

“Our theme Welcome Back from the Wilderness will help encourage and inspire the community as excitement builds to our awards night to be held on 6th November, 2021. It will be overdue but welcome having the Brisbane creative industry together again under one roof.”

The main award category will once again be the Best of Show which was last won by Publicis Australia for their Great Barrier Reef campaign, scUber, for client Tourism and Events Queensland.

Key dates:
Entries Close: Monday 2nd August
Late Entries: Friday 6th August (30% late fee)
Awards Night: Saturday 6th November

Myerscough said BADC was thrilled to welcome back video ad delivery gurus Peach as platinum sponsor and presenting partner of the awards.

Peach is reinventing the way video ads get from edit to ad platform, broadcaster, social and more. Their technology unifies digital and linear advertising ensuring quality, ease of collaboration and distribution at speed: eliminating complexity, delays and costly mistakes.

Peach’s Business Development Manager APC Lauren Yelavich said: “Our relationship with BADC has been fundamental to our success in the Brisbane market over the past few years. We are excited to come out of the wilderness with you all and are committed to supporting the creative genius of Brisbane over the coming year. We look forward to what BADC has planned.”

Creative recruitment company DMCG Global joins the ranks of returning Gold sponsors supporting BADC in 2021 – O’Brien’s Accountants, Cutting Edge, The Post Lounge and Platypus Print Packaging. New Bronze sponsors joining include Compadre Picture Company,  and The Sound Pound with Ack Kinmonth Composer also returning.  Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The BADC awards is Brisbane’s only creative advertising and design award. Further information is available from www.badc.com.au

488 The Esplanade[ cropped

Sherpa Adds New Sites As Project Sales Top $20 Million

Tweed and southern Gold Coast developer Sherpa Property Group has added two further sites to its burgeoning portfolio, with the company planning to now expand its successful coastal housing business into the apartment market.

The company has acquired 488 The Esplanade, Palm Beach (pictured), for more than $11 million and 202 Pacific Parade, Bilinga, for $2.5 million. The Palm Beach site is expected to be developed as three beachfront homes and nine, one-per-floor apartments while the Bilinga site will be developed as five spacious, one-per-floor apartments.

The new projects expand Sherpa’s portfolio to six projects spread from Palm Beach to Cabarita on the Tweed Coast. To date it has spent more than $35 million on new development sites.

Sherpa Property Group Managing Director Christie Leet (pictured above) said the company had achieved $20 million of sales across its portfolio in recent months.

“We have tremendous confidence in the strength of the border market and that is supported by the sales success at the projects we have taken to market over the last nine months,” he said.

“We think the southern end of the Gold Coast is crying out for something different to the standard investment-grade product that has been dished up for many years,” he said.

“We will be exclusively catering for owner-occupiers and the lock-and-leave market coming in and out of the major east coast capitals.

“Doing things differently has served us well to date and we are confident remaining focussed on liveability and lifestyle will continue to deliver success in the future.”

Sherpa is developing a new brand to market the apartment components of the new projects when they are launched later this year. The new brand will complement the existing Freedom Homes brand the company has used at its projects to date.

Traditional development strategies for apartment projects are about creating maximum dollar yield per square metre of land. However, the guiding principle under the new Coastal Perspective banner is about creating maximum lifestyle returns for the apartment end-users.

It is that new perspective and a commitment to innovative architecture that underpins the new brand’s ability to deliver on the end user’s wish list.
The company recently released the final homesites at its Scenic Ridge development at Bilambil Heights and has now sold three of the four beachfront homes at The Golden Four project at Bilinga.

In early June the company sold all 17 homesites at its Freedom Caba project at Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales and in July took the wraps of its $30 million Freedom Beach Homes Rainbow Bay project.

The Rainbow Bay project includes 16 beautifully appointed, free-standing, individually titled designer homes just over 100m from the beach. Prices start from $1.4 million. Eleven homes have already been sold.

Sherpa acquired the 3,947 sqm site at 199 Boundary Street, Coolangatta, earlier this year and has already received development approval for the subdivision of the site and construction of the 16 homes.

The homes were designed by renowned architects Herwig Hartl Architects and will be built by Broadbeach-based builders Jason Doerr and Tim Douglas of Valcon Homes.

For more information visit www.sherpapropertygroup.com.au or call 1300 808 646.

ecommerce solutions

eWAY: Businesses Flock to eCommerce Solutions in Wake of COVID-19

Many Australian bricks-and-mortar businesses have taken flight to eCommerce in order to bolster their sales following restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 virus according to the latest figures revealed by Australian eCommerce payments provider, eWAY.

In the six-week period following the announcement of restrictions on the retail and hospitality sectors, eWAY saw a 369 per cent increase in applications from the hospitality sector, a 380 per cent increase from groceries and supermarkets, and a 233 per cent increase from beer, wine and liquor merchants. 

These increases were compared to the six week period prior to the announcement of restrictions.

eWAY Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Mark Healy said, “A lot of the businesses we see coming online were those that had more of a bricks and mortar presence, but due to the restrictions announced, had to pivot their businesses and look for alternate ways to process orders and take payments. 

“Some of the businesses we’ve been involved with in establishing their online payment functionality include a range of restaurants and cafes, fruit and vegetable retailers and butchers.

“Most of these already had a web presence, but not a true online retail capability.”

Mr Healy said that non-traditional eCommerce businesses such as local butcher shops were turning to web solutions to continue to trade with their customers and offer online ordering and secure payment. 

“Many of these businesses are now offering local delivery services and click-and-collect,” Mr Healy said. 

“We expect that these service options will become permanent in a lot of cases as businesses adapt to the changed landscape.

“The business knows that payment has been approved, so they can pack orders and thereby minimise physical human contact as well.”

Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers

One restaurant business which has adapted by using an eCommerce solution is Queensland’s Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, with dining premises at Paddington, South Bank and Southport. 

Co-founders Ben Cleary-Corradini and Theo Roduner built their business from a two-person market stall in Brisbane serving fresh handmade gnocchi.  

“When the COVID-19 restrictions came in we had to close our dining operations, which constituted about 50 per cent of our revenue,” Ben Cleary-Corradini said.

“We had to look for other ways to continue to operate and keep our staff on. We had spent a lot of effort increasing our current online experience for customers and took the opportunity to launch our own home delivery service utilising eWAY’s all-in-one payment solution.

“As well as clawing back some of the lost revenue and improving margins with the takeaway side of our business, importantly it has meant we’ve been able to redeploy some of our staff and hang on to some of those jobs.”

Cleary-Corradini said that Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers has benefited significantly by becoming takeaway focused and being able to serve the community and loyal customers that wanted to support them.

Since launching in 1998, eWAY has become the dominant player in the Australian eCommerce space, processing more than 1 in 4 transactions in the market for businesses both large and small.

eWAY seamlessly integrates with hundreds of leading eCommerce shopping cart platforms and a network of custom integration development partners, providing a competitive advantage for any business that wants to grow through accepting digital payments.

managed workforce group

Back in the Managed Workforce Game: Darren Lockyer and Grant Wechsel

Large infrastructure, construction and resources projects expected to be fast-tracked for a critical post-COVID Australian economic rebuild will be the focus for Managed Workforce Group as it commences labour management operations in Australia.

Led by Grant Wechsel, who co-founded specialist mining services firm One Key Resources in 2010, and rugby league legend and experienced company director Darren Lockyer, the company will specialise in professionally managing large-scale blue-collar workforces.

Together, Wechsel and Lockyer grew One Key Resources from a start-up to achieving over $250 million in annual sales revenue before selling the business to an international buyer in 2016.

Managed Workforce Group’s services are delivered through three core brands: One Track Workforce, Mining Pro and Crew People.

Mining Pro delivers expert solutions to the coal mining sector while Crew People services the broader mining industry, both areas where the company’s executive team have a long history.

The group has also expanded its focus to major infrastructure and resource projects through its One Track Workforce business, with work beginning on major tunnel, rail and mining projects across Queensland and New South Wales immediately.

Grant Wechsel said: “We understand that managing large scale workforces is a specialty service that allows our client partners to focus on running safe, productive and profitable operations.

“We know what we do best, and we see a tremendous opportunity in the market in Australia.”

Wechsel said that many clients in the industries they supply are lacking service providers who innovate and consistently deliver.  He said, “We take ownership of our responsibilities, consistently innovate and collaborate with our clients and work hard to achieve positive outcomes.”

Wechsel is also excited to be reunited with Darren Lockyer.

“It’s great to have Darren on our team again,” he said. “He is the ultimate professional off the field; just like he was on it. We have worked together for over a decade now and built trusted partnerships with clients across Australia, so we are enjoying the opportunity to work together again.”

Darren Lockyer said: “I am excited to be on the Managed Workforce Team working with all the brands in the group.

“I have full confidence in Grant and our whole team who have the experience and focus to succeed.”

Wechsel believes that following a lot of consolidation in the labour hire industry that there is a gap there for companies to professionally manage large-scale blue-collar workforces, not just sourcing the personnel.

“We introduced the model previously to manage large scale workforces for our clients, so that they can focus on running their mine or project safely and profitably and not have to worry about all the workforce planning, HR compliance and management components.”

For more information on Managed Workforce Group and its services please visit: www.managedworkforcegroup.com

Sherpa Property Group Re-Brands $60 Million Pipeline

Sherpa Property Group Re-Brands $60 Million Pipeline

Southern Gold Coast and Tweed Coast developer Sherpa Property Group has unveiled a new name and brand – Freedom Beach Homes – for its $60 million pipeline of luxury home developments.

The new brand will be applied to the company’s existing Bilinga and Rainbow Bay projects, as well as a new project at Cabarita in northern New South Wales which is expected to be unveiled within months.

The company’s Scenic Ridge project at Bilambil Heights, which is expected to be finished in mid-2020, will not be re-branded.

Sherpa Property Group Managing Director Christie Leet said the new umbrella brand had been designed to provide clear differentiation for the company’s unique product.

“We build high-quality beach homes, not cookie cutter apartment buildings, and we think there is a real and growing market for the product,” he said.

“It is a product type that has been woefully neglected for decades on the Gold Coast where developers have only been interested in delivering a slightly different version of the building next door with smaller apartments and a higher yield.”

Sherpa launched the $10 million The Golden Four luxury beachfront housing development at Bilinga late last year and is preparing to launch a new $30 million, 16-home project at Rainbow Bay next month.

The company has also recently acquired a new development site at Cabarita where it is planning a new $20 million housing project.

The Golden Four project, the first of its kind on the Gold Coast for 30 years, received final approval earlier this month (March) with preliminary civil works due to commence shortly.

Sherpa has focussed on the identification of development sites suitable for traditional subdivision, with stand-alone homes on individually titled lots with no body corporate.

Projects are structured to allow buyers to complete the purchase of the land and then work with a builder to customise pre-approved home designs. The structure of the purchase contract means buyers can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on GST and Stamp Duty.

Mr Leet said that in many instances’ buyers can get a new home on their own land for roughly the same cost per sqm as an apartment which has huge ongoing Body Corporate expenses.

“Body Corporate living is not for everyone,” Mr Leet said. “We want to make sure people have the Freedom to choose how they live and are not forced into apartment living for no other reason than lack of choice.”

For more information visit thegoldenfour.com.au or call 0420 653 722.

FreightTech TruckIt Steps Up To Keep Australia Moving With Contactless Delivery

FreightTech TruckIt Steps Up To Keep Australia Moving With Contactless Delivery

Australian businesses are embracing technology to keep their freight moving during the Coronavirus crisis with leading freight marketplace TruckIt.net reporting a lift in the use of ‘contactless delivery’.

While multiple states and territories have announced the closure of their borders, the freight and logistics industry has been deemed an essential service and are therefore exempt from border closures.

“These are tough times for everybody,” TruckIt founder Robbie Russell said. “But it is essential we keep goods moving around the country to keep our shops stocked and our businesses moving.”

“Spreading those goods around the country, without spreading COVID-19 is critical, which means our providers and their customers need to keep their distance.”

Contactless delivery allows TruckIt transport providers (truckies) to pick up and drop off a load without ever coming into contact with people. Adherence to contactless delivery means any touching between customers and drivers is strictly limited.

“A few simple steps and open communication means freight can be picked up and delivered without risking anyone’s health,” Mr Russell said.

“Both customers and providers on the TruckIt platform are encouraged to utilise contactless delivery wherever practically possible.”

TruckIt.net is at the forefront of Australia’s rapidly-growing on-demand freight industry that is becoming an increasingly important part of the overall $100 billion a year freight industry.

The digital marketplace matches people wishing to freight items (cars, furniture, pallets etc) with transport operators that include sole operators with one vehicle up to large multi-vehicle businesses.

Customers simply list their item on TruckIt.net for free and receive competitive quotes from interested vehicle operators. The booking, transaction and delivery process is managed directly between the freight owner and the operator.

Since it was first established 2012, TruckIt has taken nearly 500,000 listings with deliveries covering more than 50,000,000 kilometres. At any one time there is about $1.5 million worth of freight projects posted on the site and available for truckers to quote on.

The freight industry is one of the fastest growing in Australia with the volume of freight carried expected to grow by over 35 per cent between 2018 and 2040, an increase of 270 billion tonnes (bringing the total volume to just over 1,000 billion tonne kilometres), according to Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).