Transforming Bright Ideas


When he said, “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration,” famed American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was right about one thing: a flash of genius is just that – a flash – and real results come about through hard work.

Patenting over 1,000 inventions during his lifetime ranging from the electric light bulb to the phonograph, Edison was an inventor who forever helped change how the world lives, works, and thinks.

Decades later, in 2013, invention and innovation are just as important to mankind as they were during Edison’s lifetime. Every generation faces new challenges, and it is vital for new products to be designed, manufactured to precise specifications, and distributed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. In Australasia, few companies realise the importance of speed to market more than SRXGlobal Pty Ltd.

“I’ve seen designs start on the back of napkins,” says Jeff Malone, General Manager Australia for SRXGlobal.

Privately owned and established for more than twenty years, SRXGlobal is the single largest electronic contract manufacturer in Australasia, firmly committed to providing the highest level of customer service. With a staff including highly trained engineers and other technical resource personnel, the company prides itself on its ability to offer complete end-to-end manufacturing solutions, enabling clients to transform projects from basic concepts into complete product designs, volume production, post production service and warranty support.

SRXGlobal is responsible for building about 100 different products each and every month and operates out of 20,000 square metres of world class manufacturing facilities located across Australia, Malaysia, and New Zealand. Offering the highest levels of intellectual property protection, strong process controls, world class quality levels and overall ease of doing business, SRXGlobal has the ability to offer clients a range of services in geographies that make sense for their business. Whether it is volume, local content, pricing or complexity, SRXGlobal can provide solutions that make sense.

“All this, combined with the low cost country sourcing capabilities provided by our South East Asia central procurement team, means SRXGlobal has the capability to serve a broad range of customers, and to adapt to their needs as their needs change,” says Mr Malone.

Specialising in high complexity, high mix, low-to-medium volume production runs, SRXGlobal not only partners with design houses and major innovators both domestically and abroad, but delivers full solutions for all its customers. SRXGlobal provides manufacturing services to a diverse set of industries, including Medical, Defence, Telecommunications, Automotive, Lighting, Security and Gaming. Approximately 75 per cent of its products are for export out of Australia.

SRXGlobal is also heavily engaged in product configuration and repair, often down to component level. SRXGlobal’s Service and Repair operation brings many years of experience and attention to process and quality to bear for clients, helping to solve problems where others cannot. Different from many stand alone service and repair companies, the team also has access to the full breadth of experienced quality and engineering personnel, extensive test and analysis tools utilised by the manufacturing group.

“Sometimes, someone will come in with a concept, and say, ‘We know what we want, but we don’t have a design for it, and we want somebody to manufacture it.’ SRXGlobal will then match that company with one of our design partners; they will do the design for them, and they will hand over the design to us to do the manufacturing. So we can come up with a complete project, turnkey, for that customer,” says Mr Malone, an electrical engineer with decades of experience developing engineering sales, running engineering businesses, and starting factories for well-known companies such as Rio Tinto.

Among SRXGlobal’s many strengths are its partnerships with design firms and specialists able to transform ideas into realities. For over two years, one of the company’s partners has been Planet Innovation, resulting in numerous successful collaborations and the provision of complete packages – from design through to manufacture – for a range of medical and hi-tech companies. At present, SRXGlobal has three products in production, plus another three in development with Planet Innovation.

“Our clients need innovative thinking to develop breakthrough products and out of the box reliability when the product moves into production,” explains Troy O’Callaghan, a Director and co-founder of Planet Innovation. Planet Innovation provides innovation and product development expertise, and SRXGlobal support us magnificently by helping tune the design for manufacturability, test the product and manufacture many of our high tech products with the highest quality and at the lowest cost.”

Working together to meet the technical and commercial needs of all customers, the two companies have shared a number of collaborative success stories. In 2010, Planet Innovation was engaged by Sydney-based Ventis to develop a new household ventilation system, including a custom thermostat controller. Planet Innovation soon developed a strategic product roadmap that enabled Ventis to get to market very quickly and efficiently with a robust first-generation product, while working with SRXGlobal to develop a more sophisticated and functionally rich second-generation product. As a result, the second-generation controller was launched within 12 months after thorough testing with a significant new feature set and including humidity control. While Planet Innovation provided the development expertise, SRXGlobal provided design for manufacture and early prototypes for evaluation as outputs, with a manufacturing process established ready for routine manufacture.

Planet Innovation serves as one example of SRXGlobal’s successful collaborations with design partners, which enables the company to provide total solutions for all its customers. Some partner design firms are specialists in medical devices, while others focus on electronic controls, communications, or other areas. In some cases, SRXGlobal is approached by the design firms themselves, who require a company to build prototypes and do the product manufacturing.

Offering advice and assistance on Design for Manufacture (DFM) and Design for Test (DFT), SRXGlobal prides itself on working closely with its customers from the product concept stage to successful completion. World-class expertise in supply chain management, an established and highly developed worldwide vendor base – along with PCB and Box Build Assembly – skilled test engineers, and after-sales support including end-to-end electronics repairs, service and logistics solutions have helped the company earn an enviable reputation worldwide, and an annual revenue of approximately $60 million this year.

Like many companies, SRXGlobal has its challenges, but many of them come from the company’s success. At its newest factory in Malaysia, business is rapidly growing, and so is the need to bring on more people and roll out additional systems and training. At its Melbourne operations, the company is working on lowering costs to make itself more competitive going forward. “We’re changing from getting the business solidified to changing our focus to becoming more productive, getting new customers in, servicing the ones we have even better, and really growing,” summarises Mr Malone.

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?

December 16, 2018, 3:51 PM AEDT