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How TAE became a ‘big SME’

tae aerospace

TAE chief executive Andrew Sanderson has outlined some pivotal points of business change as Amberley-based TAE Aerospace transitioned into becoming one of the larger variety of SMEs.

TAE chief executive Andrew Sanderson has outlined some pivotal points of business change as Amberley-based TAE Aerospace transitioned into becoming one of the larger variety of SMEs.

"I think ‘big SME’ is a good description," Sanderson told Defence Connect’s Phillip Tarrant. "We're about 230 people now in Australia [and are] quite complex in what we do. [We] started back in 2000 [and] had six people."

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Sanderson recalled how at the outset the only assets the business had were a "cheque for $100,000, a laptop and a little contract with Defence to look after some of the … overhaul work that was being outsourced at the time".

"And grew over that time," he said. "You know, delivering great service to keep that contract and then expand it over the years into doing much, much more."

Sanderson also noted that the initial contract had grown over time from maintaining the F911’s electroplating wing pivot pins to also include the painting requirements.

In order to be able to capitalise on the increased opportunities the firm had been eyeing, it opted to create a dedicated division, dubbed Tasman Aviation Enterprises.

"We shortened that to TAE over time," continued Sanderson. "More recently we changed it to TAE Aerospace, but we had some work [remaining] so we did some external recruiting."

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How TAE became a ‘big SME’
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