Archive for the tag “Wayne Brown”

Return to the Land Down Under

I’m just back from a whirlwind tour of the East side of Australia. When I left NY it was still cold and very snowy – you can imagine the relief on landing in the Southern Hemisphere. Steve Husband (VP Canada for GAL) and I were down under attempting to stir up some more sales for the GAL Canada linear design door operator as well as the Hollister Whitney PMAC Machines.

We began calling on customers for two days in the Brisbane area. Our stay concluded with Iian Elliot and Wayne Brown from Australian Lift Components, our partners in Australia, hosting a dinner and presentation to a group of the local elevator consultants.

The next morning, we jumped aboard a Quantas flight down to the thriving area surrounding Melbourne. Here we did a repeat – a couple of days stopping in to see customers and then a night out with the consultants. There were a lot of construction cranes reaching for the sky in Melbourne and the elevator types confirmed that the market there is very robust.

I’ve been to Australia often enough that some of the consultants have become friends. John Whitfield and Ross De La Rue have both come to NY to visit and it’s always fun for me to catch up with them when I get to their back yard.

Next, we were off for Sydney. Steve and I spent part of one day there helping ALC straighten out their GAL parts inventory. The consultants night out was moved up to Monday so that I could attend before heading to the airport Tues for the long trip home.

It was a very promising trip. We still do not have the market share that we believe we should – but along with some good moves from ALC, we think we will grow more quickly in the future than we have in the past.

So here’s one for you: I left Sydney at noon on Tues – St Patricks Day. After flying for 13 + hours, I landed in LA at 8:00AM Tues – St Patricks Day. Flew from LA to JFK and landed at 5:30 on Tues St Patricks Day! When the clock struck Midnight on Tue Mar 17, my St Patricks Day had been 39 hours long! There ought to be a way to take advantage of days like that!

Return Down Under

I was away last week on my annual foray to the land down under. Steve Husband, who is VP and GM at GAL Canada came along this year. Rounding out our merry band was Iain Elliot, the new Sales and Customer Service Manager at ALC (Australian Lift Components – our partners in OZ) and my good friend Wayne Brown, ALC’s National Sales Manager.

Steve Husband was huge on this trip because we were pushing the MOVFE 2500 linear door operator which is built at GAL Canada. We got quite a good reception from the Australian contractors as well as the consultants. Linear style door operators have become the standard in this market so I think they were comfortable with this one. Most of the competing products come from either Asia or Europe and are not as robust as the MOVFE – and ALC are able to price them competitively. Having a superior product at a lower price makes sales trips fun.

Well, fun in a fashion. This trip can really be a test. It starts by living 14 to 15 hours ahead of yourself (I left NY on a Thurs about noon and arrived in Sydney on Sat morning) that time change can be a killer. We hit three cities, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney and a typical day most often had 4 customer calls followed by a party for a group of consultants at night. Then the next day, we would either do it again or get on an airplane and move on. Lots of late nights followed by early mornings – talking, driving, presenting, eating, presenting, drinking, and flying – whew, by the time we poured ourselves on an airplane for the 22 hour trip home, we were out of gas.

Over the years, quite a few of the people who started out as either customers or consultants have become friends. Several have made the time to come visit in New York and others make a point of breaking bread or raising a glass every time I get out their way. I missed one of my good friends this year. Paul Holden, who has been the owner of Electra Lifts ever since I have known him, sold his business to Otis. Yes, it happens down under just like here. Independents contractors grow and sell. It’s the cycle of life in the elevator industry. As much as continents, being a world apart, can make lives dissimilar, elevator people have so much in common that it offsets any difference. It’s a good thing.

Back Down Under

As I type this, I am sitting in Sydney Australia on a Friday evening – the last night of an action packed trip to the land down under. Spent the last week with the guys from Australian Lift Components – ALC represents GAL & Hollister Whitney down here. For the last week I have ping ponged around this country with Chris Carroll, MD of ALC, Wayne Brown, their National Sales Manager, and Doug Carroll who is ALC’s  Technical Manager.

Brownie – Wayne Brown – ALC’s National Sales Manager

We started by flying down to Melbourne last Sunday and spent Monday calling on customers and hosted a party for the consultants group there on Mon nite. We stopped at one final customer’s on Tues AM then caught a flight to Brisbane.  On arrival in Brisbane and began seeing customers as soon as we hit the ground – and finished with a dinner for the Brisbane area consultants. Weds AM we saw one more customer before we caught a flight back to Sydney.  In Sydney on Thurs we called on 4 contractors and then did the consultants dinner again for the locals. Saw a few more customers on Friday and then a very hectic trip came to an end.

I got the feeling that the elevator market in Australia is somewhat stronger that what we have in the US. I had the objective of introducing the Aussies to the MOVFE2500 linear door operator that is coming out of GAL Canada. There was good acceptance. Now we need to work hard with ALC to get the stocking program up and running. Contractors in Australia are used to a 16 week lead time for door operators and we will be able to drastically shift that paradigm. There is a good opportunity here for us.

It’s always good to be able to catch up with the friends I have made in Australia. The Aussie elevator guys are a fun loving and gregarious bunch. This being said, I am looking forward to some sleep on the 20 hours of flights going home.

Australia

Australia

So earlier this spring I made  my annual trip Down Under. GAL has a great partner / representative in Australia (and New Zealand to keep technically correct) ALC – Australian Lift Components are the guys we have teamed up with. They are part of the Dewhurst  Group  – a mini-conglomerate owned by David and Richard Dewhurst  – get to know them if you don’t.

Anyhow, on arrival in Sydney, I connected and shot down to Melbourne (down / South equals colder in Australia – closer to the poll)  where I met up with Chris Carroll, the Chief at ALC: Wayne Brown – ALC’s Interstate Sales Guy: and John Tripi – an X Otis Adjuster who now is ALC’s Tech Support guru – and a good one.

The 4 of us called on customers for a day or so, threw a dinner and party for a group of consultants, and then got on a plane in order to rinse and repeat in Brisbane. Brisbane is up North where it’s warm – nearer the equator.  After calling on all of Brisbane’s elevator contractors and again having a night out with the consultants , we returned to Sydney and duplicated the routine on a little larger scale.

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