Page 65 - Australian Defence Magazine November 2019
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ADM: What are the biggest challenges and opportunities in your business at the moment and looking more into the fu- ture as well?
GILMORE: We’re a typical engineering product company and typical of many similar small companies is we probably have too many projects running at the same time. We have a lot of engineering resources devoted to cus- tomising products and so our challenge is how do we sell more standard products in larger quantities. Our goal is to grow as a product supplier away from being a niche boutique en- gineering house and to do that we need stan- dard products that we can produce at scale.
And, of course, the Australian market is too small, so that requires reaching further into overseas markets.
So that’s a commercial problem as well as an engineering problem. The opportunity for us is to turn the trials and interest we see from North America and Europe into real busi- ness. The acquisition cycle is quite lengthy and we can wait years between submitting a bid to receiving an order and so that’s both a challenge but also an opportunity that we have so many bids currently out there.
ADM: What about workforce pressures, are you finding any troubles in getting the right people at the right time? GILMORE: We’ve got a very stable and loy- al workforce. Our staff turnover is probably less than five per cent. It’s partly because what we do is fairly specialised and we find also that when we give engineers interesting de- sign work, they don’t want to leave. We’re able to attract talent because we’re very close to a number of universities (Note: EM Solutions is based in the greater Brisbane area). We have research and development projects on the go all the time. If we want a particular skill im- mediately, that’s going to be a challenge for anyone but given enough time we find we’re able to attract a really good level of talent.
On the technician side there’s probably more of a challenge for a business like ours that’s based around hardware. We need good electronics technicians and they are difficult to find because the VET (vocational educa- tional training) sector probably aren’t train- ing technicians as they used to. Perhaps peo- ple that were so inclined once upon a time are now going to universities and becoming engineers rather than technicians.
Note: As we go to press, EM Solutions will be- come the anchor for the new EOS Space Com- munications Division. ADM asked what dif- ference this will make?
GILMORE: At a strategic level, the combi- nation of the two companies makes perfect sense - EOS is strong in optical systems and EM Solutions in microwave systems, both necessary especially for communications in space; at a national level it aligns well with the increasing Australian interest in entering the space domain and creates a powerful new force; it creates a strong sovereign and Aus- tralian-domiciled entity; and it builds criti- cal mass for a relatively large, home grown, hi-technology defence company.
For EM Solutions it removes much of the commercial risk customers face in dealing with a smaller SME, it provides access to a much larger customer base, it provides capital and simplifies the commercialisa- tion pathway for new technology, and it enlarges the number of countries from which we can provide support and main- tenance. We have many reasons to be very excited about the future.
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ADM EXCLUSIVE
FS RO OU MR C T E H E
Chief of Army LspTGeaEkNsRtoicAkDBMurr this month
to ADM Premium:
Significant potential changes to the ADF’s training environments in
Queensland and the NT were foreshadowed at ADM’s recent Northern Infrastructure
Comms and C4I
Australia Defence Summit by Brigadier Mark Brewer, Director-General US Force Posture Initiative.
A former Director General Training Army, BRIG Brewer referred to planning for next generation train- ing areas at Shoalwater Bay and a new training area
ken b scribythe NSetWwoDe
5th generation energy security • Singapore training in Qld
r e k f be nr i c d e g I e n s n a o c v a a d t i e o mn i a Australia-Singapore Military Training Initiative. and industry 2 Lessons learnt from this process could later also be An u u c s l t e r a a r l i a s u s b h s o : u A l d S P c o I n s i d e r 4 applied to investments in training areas in northern How to user-proof a military Australia anticipated as part of the US Force Posture vehicle 5
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Initiative. B P o e wn c e h r O 5 n 0 n v e o t m e r i n a n a t - e o d w a n s e d
“I think we need to ask ourselves whether our tradi- business 7 tional approach of heading out into the bush or flying BInrdoiagdesnpoeucstreunmgalgauenmcehnetsplan over it and training on areas that have fixed and field 8
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Mp p o o r r e t s s b A y P E C s e c u r i t 1 y 0 www.australiandefence.com.au | Defence Week Premium 30 OCTOBER 2018 | ISSUE 514 | 1
ges with a
other which we call an urban facility is actually now fit
for purpose,” BRIG Brewer said. Forthcoming Events 12
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each Ai n D P F o s r ut
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ADM EXCLUSIVE
FROM THE SOURCE Leidos Australia Chief Executive Christine Zeitz speaks to ADM this month
Underwater Technology Manned/unmanned teaming underwater How to handle submarine transition
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