Engineering customer success
“Being a family-owned business, you can control the product that you manufacture to a higher standard.” – Fred Spagnolo
Spagnolo Engineering in Mildura
What continuously surprises me about the agricultural industry is that it’s about so much more than simply farming.
There is such a diverse range of industries which support and enable the growing, harvesting and herding which occurs right across Australia. Companies both large and small providing the services and technologies needed to help Australia’s economy thrive.
One such business is Spagnolo Engineering – a family-run business based in a couple of fairly unassuming sheds in the northwest Victorian region of Mildura.
Established in 1988 by owner Fred Spagnolo, the business designs and manufactures high-end, incredibly technical, bespoke engineering products which are used to service farms locally in Mildura, across Australia and even in the US and New Zealand.
According to Fred, Australia has a great market for high-tech manufacturing products.
“The biggest thing is building a product to suit customer needs - we custom-build machinery for our customers,” he explains. “We have patents on several of our products. If you can keep your design simple and easy, generally it's very successful.”
Given the focus on horticulture in Mildura, Spagnolo Engineering specialises in manufacturing products such as vine cane and orchard sweepers, orchard cutter bars, mechanical pruning machines for wine grapes and green trimmers which are sent to Queensland’s lime farmers.
For Fred, who currently runs a team of seven staff including his wife and son, finding high quality workers is the biggest challenge right now.
Bu he adds “being a family-owned business, you can control the product that you manufacture to a higher standard”.
One of the things I have learnt spending time with customers like Fred is the amazing impact of technology. Of course, we say that in every field of life but it is so apparent in Fred’s work. We’re increasingly seeing great Australian companies like Spagnolo Engineering manufacturing equipment not just for the Australian market but for global consumption.
There's a great future for that and it's something we want to facilitate and help grow.
Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ
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