This is always a good time of year to reflect, and figure out what our priorities are.
It’s especially an important time for us. As we celebrate Chinese New Year, we’re also celebrating 20 years of Luus operating in Australia.
That’s a big milestone for us. But not only because we need to constantly think about how we do business and improve ourselves, but also because we need to think ahead. We’d be kidding ourselves if we just assumed that manufacturing in Australia will remain the same in the next two decades.
So…what are we doing? To figure that out, it’s important to think about where we’ve been.
We’ve seen the foodservice equipment industry completely change
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, equipment was available both direct (retail) and via distributors. When Luus formed in 1998, we sold direct too. But the industry has since evolved to making distributors the primary channel, allowing us to bring our message to more customers than ever. We flicked the switch in 2006 to only sell through dealers, and have not looked back since.
The internet has transformed how customers consume information
Not only has putting our presence online helped us reach more customers, it’s also upped our accountability. If we’re not providing good service then not only do we hear about it faster, but others will hear about it faster as well. It’s brought us untold opportunities but it’s also putting us on our toes.
In 20 years, we’ve managed to keep making high-quality products in Australia
We don’t just assemble our products here. We make them from start to finish. Manufacturing in Australia – as a whole – isn’t what it used to be. But while it takes more effort, we’ve shown that we can keep a full presence here and still deliver the highest possible quality the market expects.
We’ve moved not just once or twice, but three times! We’re finally in a (purpose built) facility that will allow us to take greater strides towards our vision. We’re even working on making our relationships stronger across the country.
That’s the first 20 years of Luus. But what will the next 20 bring us?
It’s impossible to predict anything with certainty, especially in 2018. But here’s a few indicators of where we think our industry – and our business – will be going over the next 20 years…
The internet is going to change things over again
Sitting here, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year let alone 20. But I do know that in order to adapt manufacturing will have to think about how online connectivity and direct sales are going to change the industry again.
What form does that take? No idea. But we’re already starting to think about what the next version of our business might look like in that type of environment.
Manufacturing will be built on expertise
As the manufacturing industry continues to shrink, it’ll become more important for successful businesses to have a point of differentiation. We already have that in that we make all of our products here, but I think it’s going to be more important soon.
For instance, I can point to our engineers in our building who work closely with our floor staff. That’s a connection and bond you can’t get in products that are only assembled here. I think that’s going to become more important over time.
(Case in point – we just hired a new engineer. There’ll be more to come.)
We need to be quicker
One of the things we’re really proud of here at Luus is the fact we’re specialists in a few things. Particularly, we’ve been helping food trucks fully kit themselves out. (Making smaller appliances isn’t as easy as it looks.)
Those types of trends are going to be crucial to surviving in our industry. So we need to respond to them, and be quick to establish ourselves. Trust me when I say that’s going to be a priority for us – whatever comes our way.
But in the end, who knows what’s going to happen in 20 years. That’s what makes this so exciting.
We’re constantly working on new things to prepare us for what’s ahead. Why not give our sales team a call, and see what’s on our product roadmap for 2018?
We think you’ll be pleased to hear what we have coming up…