“Syked” For Success

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-By Jaime McKee

Established in 1967 to service Australia’s burgeoning mining and construction industries, Sykes Group has grown into one of the largest auto prime pump manufacturers in the world. Recently acquired by National Hire Group Ltd, Sykes joins an exciting and dependable family of brands including Allight, Westrac, and Coates Hire, who together are proving to be a formidable operation capable of providing clients with a “one-stop shop” for diverse equipment solutions.

An expert in the field of pump technology, Sykes specialises in the design, manufacture, and application of both standard and custom-built pumping equipment for some of the most challenging mining and construction environments in the world. With pumping solutions that run the gamut from dewatering mines, to removing silt and slurry from fishing ports, to recovering river sands and gravels, to dredging irrigation channels and marinas, to clearing weeds from waterways, to reclaiming mine tailings ponds, Sykes’ technology is widely regarded as among the most advanced in the world. Manufacturing its pump products at bases in NSW and Dubai, Sykes focuses on providing each client with leading-edge solutions designed with their particular needs in mind. Far from offering a “one-size-fits-all” service, Sykes applies its expertise to devising the best possible product for each unique application.

Partners in Excellence
As the parent company of world-class equipment brand Allight, National Hire Group has brought Sykes together with experts in light, power, air and water management solutions. Best-known for its mobile lighting towers, Perth-based Allight is also an exclusive Australasia distributor of Perkins engines, FG Wilson power generators, Rotair compressors and its own range of dewatering pumps. The combined group, known as AllightSykes, now has an even greater capacity to meet customer demand for sales and support of its many products.

The acquisition has been described by Andrew Aitken, Managing Director of National Hire, as “a company-transforming acquisition for National Hire’s equipment sales and support business.

“Sykes Group,” says Mr Aitken, “provides scale, volume and distribution opportunities for National Hire that will help underpin future growth,” and enable the brand to expand its reach into global mining and construction markets.

Sykes Chairman Jon Collins said of the acquisition: “Combining Sykes with National Hire is very exciting because the businesses operate in common markets and appear to have similar core values. Like Sykes, the Allight brand is very well respected, and being in the same family as Westrac and Coates Hire will enable Sykes to raise its profile and access resources to create even more growth opportunities for all stakeholders.”

Originally established in 1967 by UK pump group Henry Sykes Plc, the company traded as Henry Sykes Pumps Pty Ltd, importing pumps and equipment from the UK until 1974 when local manufacture commenced in Gateshead, Newcastle NSW. In 1977, the firm became part of another UK group, Hanson Plc, trading as Hanson Sykes Pumps Pty Ltd in Australia. In 1987, Mr Collins joined the board in Australia after more than 18 years with Hanson Plc in the UK, and in 1988, was appointed Managing Director. The company’s structure changed once again in 1992 when the firm ended its associations with the UK companies to focus on its Australian operations. In 1998 Jon Collins became the sole owner of Sykes Pumps Australia Pty Ltd, which in 2003 changed its name to Sykes Group Pty Ltd, reflecting the Group’s move to more diverse offerings with a more global reach. As AllightSykes, the company is now able to offer one of the broadest selections of equipment technologies and product designs in Australia.

Innovation and Quality
Those products come about as the result of a true team effort. With in-house CAD and Engineering services, Sykes Group is able to offer custom solutions and options for its clients’ many needs. Located onsite at the NSW facility, the engineering team can not only design the best new product for the job, but also assist customers with product selection and provide a comprehensive and certified test result. Fully accredited to ISO 9001-2008, Sykes Group is able to ensure that its products perform to the high standards clients have come to expect from the brand. Viewing every new sale not as a goal in itself, but as a starting point for an ongoing relationship, Sykes Group stands behind its products, offering the kind of superior after-sales support championed by the entire AllightSykes family.

Sensitive also to the need for continuous research and development, Sykes Group welcomes the opportunity to liaise directly with clients, and links its ongoing R&D efforts with industry and customer needs. Innovative pump products such as the Contractor range, the Himax self-priming pump, the lightweight Yakka, the submersible Grindex, and the Dragflow agitator slurry pump have been the result.

Whether supplying Allight mobile lighting solutions to illuminate road works, or providing Sykes water management solutions to dewater a major mining project, AllightSykes guarantees premium products and superior support, and has the experience, expertise, and know-how to back it up. Getting to this point has proven to be an exciting journey for the Sykes Group, and it is clear that the future holds even greater things for this leading-edge company.

Making Sense of Management

Management is the art, or science, of getting things done through people. Sounds fairly straightforward – except for the fact that people are not robots waiting to do our bidding. People have their own minds, motivations, and goals. So how do managers keep operations – and the people behind them – running as planned?

November 21, 2018, 3:43 AM AEDT