September 9, 2020
The AIG Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index declined 4.2 points from the previous month to 49.3 in August of 2020, contracting since the outbreak of the more recent virus infections over the last two months. Production, employment and new orders dropped while export sales rose. This is the bad news. The good news is Australia is doing well compared to many other OECD countries and a rebound appears to be underway in states and territories with low infection rates.
Many of you have taken the opportunity to refresh and expand capabilities with confidence and are taking advantage of the situation in some very creative ways. Congratulations! Especially to those who have placed orders recently or taken recent deliveries of exciting new technologies. Economic conditions are expected to improve significantly when state borders re-open and as Victoria eases restrictions in the weeks and months ahead. It’s also pleasing to see confidence is strong in certain industries (Govt infrastructure, Defence, Health, Mining, Transportation and Heavy Industry).
New Zealand’s PMI was up 2.6 points from June, to 58.8 for July, the highest result since April 2018 (anything above 50 indicates expansion). Catherine Beard , Executive Director, ExportNZ & ManufacturingNZ said “in a similar vein to the last month, the path towards recovery continues for many manufacturers through increased orders and production in full swing”. This is obviously a welcome outcome. The only contraction for the fifth consecutive month, is employment.
On the Headland front, we’ve embarked on our journey towards ISO certification and the implementation of a revamped Quality Management System. This initiative is part of our commitment to drive continuous improvement in everything we do. Logistics for import of machines and spare parts has become more reliable in recent weeks and we have been very pleased with many of our OEM’s eagerness to support Australian and NZ clients with favourable lead times and commercial incentives to invest.
We’re also seeing an uptick in demand for Storage and Automation solutions (in Australia in particular), specifically for Hanel, STOPA and TRUMPF solutions.
We have continued our work in building our Application Specialist team and specialised capabilities in Application Support. The team have released new capability statements for CNC and Sheet Metal Technical Application Services. We’ve uploaded an overview on our website explaining these capabilities and how we can help optimise your business outputs, including digitalisation possibilities and the management of the full lifecycle of your equipment.
Whilst Headland remains operationally sound, we’re not immune to the knock on effect of international and interstate border closures. We have 4 very senior engineers hired from overseas (3 from South Africa) to join the growing service team at Headland, just as soon as we can get them into the country. They will take our total technical staff count to 35 and will make us very clearly the largest technical support provider of machine tools in AU/NZ. We also remain committed to the skills development of our existing staff with a significant budget set aside for overseas factory training, as soon as borders re-open. Specifically in STOPA, TRUMPF, Hanel and Makino technologies for staff in AU and NZ.
As part of our monthly live events, this month the TRUMPF TruLaser Tube 7000 and the new 3000 will be demonstrated live from Germany. It would be great if you could join us, or if there is any technology you’d like to see, please let marketing know (email@example.com).
I’m looking forward to some face-time with many of you sometime soon. As always, please don’t hesitate to reach me directly with feedback or if we can help in any way.
Chief Executive Officer