Direct Edge chief executive Diane Edgerton has outlined how using an agile manufacturing strategy has enabled the Tasmania-based firm to be in the race to supply components to either bidder for the LAND 400 contract – the Australian Defence program designed to acquire and support its next generation of armoured fighting vehicles.
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Edgerton confirmed that should Germany-based army technology firm Rheinmetall be successful in landing the deal, Direct Edge would be enlisted to support its build of the vehicle. In addition, BAE Systems has also selected Edgerton’s firm should it win the contract.
“That thinking is what I've done throughout the whole business so we cover every industry within the work that we actually do,” she said, noting that “we do some defence work for another company, so we're coming as a tier two or tier three supplier”.
“We don't specialise in one particular area and we don't have a product to sell to anyone,” said Edgerton. “Ours is all about our skills and our capabilities but we like to service every market.
“I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing and I do know companies that do very well from one product, one product line, but it's a bit like not putting all your eggs in the one basket for me. When you look at certain industries, [they] will have cycles within [them], so I'm trying to even [out] that line rather than getting into the ups and downs.”
Edgerton noted that irrespective of which prime ultimately wins the LAND 400 bid, Direct Edge would be delivering the same services for either solution.
“All I'll say is that we specialise in components … probably up to around 100 to 150 kilograms,” she said. “We don't do the huge big ones, but we stay within our core [business], that [which] we actually know and what we know we're actually capable of.”