What a year 2021 was for us all. With a start that looked strong and promising, I think we can all confidently say what a rollercoaster last year was! From a manufacturing, supply and install perspective, we personally have seen a year of great improvements and great challenges.

Let’s start from the beginning. Speaking with clients the start of 2021 seen a lot of positive growth from the previous, homes were selling, the horizon was coming in closer and we all thought COVID was behind us. The first 3 months saw positive growth for Timpelle. Our PO’s were up, the team had grown and we implemented our Promote Within system to upskill staff. As a group we noticed the importance of training and growing the future generations. It is one of the key elements to Timpelle’s growth, success and longevity. So at the back end of 2020, we looked at different ways we could help grow the knowledge of our team, which would allow the Timpelle family to be versatile, agile and multi-functional.

Little did we know, this was a crucial element for us to get through some of the tougher times in the year of 2021. In June, NSW’s experienced the beginning of some of it’s most restricted lockdowns since the start of the Pandemic. As case numbers grew, the concerns came alongside it. We had to ensure COVID safe practices were implemented to ensure the safety of our staff whilst also keeping the ball rolling for our clients. The daily routine for most business owners and managers began to shift and cater to the infamous 11am press conference, when we saw “Aunty Gladys” come out giving us the case numbers and updated restrictions. What we also seen however, was the mental effects and barriers individuals came into during this unprecedented time. Anxiety and stress levels were at all time highs. People’s fear of the un-known peaked and it was crucial for us to acknowledge and anticipate this as a company.

Following the lockdown, we learnt within the company that resilience, teamwork and being agile was key to a businesses success during unprecedented times. We saw coming out of lockdown the struggles others were having within their teams, with Mandatory Vaccines to certain sites, getting staff back to work and the fear people had in being within certain environments. What we did as a company was communicate. We found communication was pivotal to moving forward in a different way, with open dialogues and seeing other individuals points of view whilst still abiding by the rules put forward. This was our key to ensuring the confidence remained with our team and clients. It gave them the comfort and confidence to know, we are here together through the good and the bad. This allowed us to work as a unit making it easier to shift and adjust focuses as restrictions continued to change.

Then came the next hurdle, stock delays and inflation. I think everyone in the manufacturing sector can admit, this years stock delays and inflation have been one not many have seen before. We saw the wharfies go on strike during the turn of October, followed shipping container costs jump to a high of nearly $22,000, with then the costs of goods following it. It was funny, business was booming but the call unfortunately most found was, “We can’t supply”. Who would have thought after a 3 month lockdown, the tides would turn so drastically! From what the Government set out to be “the great recession” to a booming and thriving nation! Though, through the midst of the chaos, we were able to stay strong. Through great relationships with our suppliers, we came to a common ground and agreement which allowed us to continually produce and perform for our clients. A key thing in business we have always found is to take care of our suppliers during their challenging times, and in turn, they will take care of you during your more difficult ones. We also looked internally, kept updated with the news and pre-anticipated what suppliers would be affected next. With this approach, it allowed us to stay ahead of the curve and minimise our potential stock issued items and seeing us continue to maintain the reputation of a timely install. Staying with our finger on the pulse allowed us to stand out from the crowd in a positive light and gave our clients one less thing to stress about.

The last 2 quarters of 2021 were some of the most intense months majority of businesses have ever felt. From coming to an almost complete standstill, to pushing through high volumes in a restricted environment, I think it goes without saying, 2021 was a year most are looking to put passed them. However, we beg to differ, as yet again what we learnt as a business, through unprecedented times, taught us incomparable experience and through this, Timpelle as a team came out stronger, wiser and more resilient than ever before. So, we would like to conclude, from the Timpelle Team, may everyone’s 2022 be safe, full of joys and most importantly, a year full of knowledge and growth.

“Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, and weak men create hard times.” – G. Michael Hopf

By staying ahead of the curve when it comes to machinery, we have been able to provide new and improved ways of servicing our clients in the market place. Our calculated risk approach to investing in the latest technologies, allows us to create a more efficient service to our clients. As a team, we take regular trips overseas in Europe to view the latest technologies within the sector and it has allowed us to expand and grow whilst also continuing to provide our second to none service.

Just over 2 years ago now, we updated our whole machinery sector of the company. It took a total of 2 weeks to remove all the existing machinery and bring in the current. We strategically calculated how long the transition would take, which allowed us to continue to service our clients during that period.

It all started when we had just got back from the European Machinery Show “LIGNA” 2 weeks prior. Sitting down at a small local café, we started discussing what new technology and machinery we had seen and how we could implement it into our set up. Scribbling on a napkin, with a black pen, we started designing what we thought at the time, would be impossible.

We came up with a layout which would remove 90% of our current setup and what looked to be a 6-9 month process. Coming back to the factory that morning, we spoke with our Foreman and told him our idea. His response, “You’re crazy, but we can do it”. So we jumped on the phone with our machine representative and started putting our napkin scribbled idea, into reality.

The layout consists of 2 new CNC Machines from Anderson. Anderson, based in Taiwan, specialise in manufacturing CNC equipment. They’d recently introduced a CNC which can cut White HMR at double the speed of any other CNC in the market. It uses electro magnetic drives to increase the speed from point to point unlike other CNC models.

Then came the Barbaric Storage System. This company manufactured custom storage systems that stored all different types of board materials that could then be loaded onto the CNC’s via a crane. It too was 3x times the speed as our previous model and had a lot more sophisticated software. With its expanding and contracting crane head, it allows us to stock over 2,000 sheets of material, no matter the size or thickness. This has been a massive advantage as it ensure our stock levels are always full.

So, for those who are unfamiliar cabinet making jargon, what I have written about above is nothing crazy. What was crazy and would become the first of its kind in Australia, was the fact we had designed the layout to have the Barbaric Storage System sit on a 350m2 mezzanine above the CNC’s. This would allow us to increase space throughout our headquarters, allowing us to expand our current volume levels.

Following, we then added 2 brand new IMA Edge Banders to the layout. IMA is a Germany crafted brand that manufactures the worlds best edge banders. Their high volume machine creates a consistent and sublime finish to parts travelling 25 metres per minute. With their single part corner rounder technology, it creates a consistent corner round finish to ever part. Consistency is crucial when it comes to volume. As companies expand and output grows, they generally lose quality, however, by investing in the right and most sophisticated technologies, we have been able to grow our level of quality alongside our output.

Machinery within our industry is important. It provides consistency, quality and accuracy. We believe our facility is a representation of ourselves as a company. It gives our clients confidence and provides us credibility. A concern business owners and CEO’s have when moving their business to a new supplier is “Is this new company going to keep up?”. It’s what causes businesses to hesitate when making transitions and they have every right to have those concerns. Would you put all your eggs in an unknown basket? That is why we believe to constantly improve and re-invest in the latest technologies. It creates growth for us as a business and gives our clients confidence that they are aligned with a reputable company, that can ride along side them in the journey of growth and expansion.

Market diversity is important for any business. Ensuring you can offer a range of services, allows your business to grow and expand. Within the residential building market, there are macro markets that all businesses should be aware of. By staying aware of the differences between each sector, Timpelle has been able to expand its own portfolio of clientele.

We have a strong belief in producing what you do best and sticking to it. Timpelle has been one of the industry leaders in the residential builders market when it comes to joinery. Through observing, perfecting and critiquing our processes and operations, we have found the key balance in catering to all the macro markets within the residential sector.

The Investment Builder

The Investment Builder is a client that is after a more affordable product. They look to sell their homes direct to the market mainly through pre-building homes before contract or subdividing parcels of land. Through efficiency within our business, we have been able to create a competitive price within the market place without jeopardising quality. The standards remain high, yet our pricing remains attractive to this particular builder.

The First Home Buyer Builder

Similar to the Investment Builder, the First Home Buyer Builder is after a more affordable product for their clients. Although, the difference is this particular builder allows the client to make personalised selections, catering to their specific needs, tastes and budget. What we offer as a company over the competition is buying power. This allows us to run promotional offers for items like soft close doors and drawers, Polyurethane and Thermolaminate products, limited time offers on handle less kitchens and so forth. Our expansive Design Studio and skilled Interior Designers understand the market trends and the client, allowing them to be guided into making the right choice based on their tastes and needs whilst also remaining within their budget.

The Dream Home Builder

The Dream Home Builder is a client after experience and quality. Now, when I say experience, I’m not writing in the context of time, but I refer to the experience the client will receive. This is a crucial part to this particular builder and usually the foundation for their business. This is why we believe our Designers are one of the most crucial parts of our business, updating our Design Studio every 2 years to stay ahead of trends. When re-designing, we take into account every aspect. The small meticulous details from the flow of each design right from the entrance, to how certain sections of light reflect within the space. These small details is what’s important and crucial for this particular style of clientele.

How Timpelle Caters to these Sectors

Now the question most may ask after reading the above is, “How does Timpelle move and cater to each specific type of builder”. It’s quite simple, we don’t segregate. We keep these principles strong through all our clients, regardless of markets. We still stay competitive in price to the Dream Home Builder through our efficiency and buying power. We still create a tailored experience like no other for the First Home Buyer. And the quality? Well, regardless as to whether it is an investor on a tight budget, or a multi-million dollar property, the Timpelle Quality Standards always remain the same, the reputation stays strong and the commitment to continue to build a greater service to our clients remains number one.

In the last 3 months, NSW have seen it’s most enduring lockdown since we began the COVID-19 outbreak, creating some of the harshest conditions on businesses. Stemming from financial stresses and radical changes on rules, to the stress of the unknown as to whether you will be trading the next day. During last years outbreak, the construction sector had seen lighter than most restrictions. Fortunately, businesses were still able to operate at some level of capacity, although ensuring COVID Safe guidelines and plans were put in place.

Then came Delta. A new game changer as referred to by our politicians. The Delta outbreak came towards the end of June and this time, restrictions weren’t as smooth sailing for us tradies as the last. Now, I still remember when the NSW Premier, Glad Wrap BBQ Chicken. said the daunting words, “All construction sites in the Greater Sydney will be shutdown until the 31st of July”. I can still visualize the stunned look on our management teams faces. The questions starting running through, “What do we do from here? What are our clients doing and what do we have to do to service them?”, whilst still hearing our phones going as crazy as an alarm clock on a Monday morning.

Now after a few seconds of absorbing what we had all dreaded and thought would never happen in a State so dependent on construction, we all re-grouped. We sat down, re-strategized and thought, where can we benefit out of it. One thing we always say amongst ourselves, “how do we get a negative and turn it into a positive”.

So, first things first, what exactly do the new rules mean? After waiting in the Service NSW que with the other 250,000 people effected by the announcement and listening to that famous holding tune, I had a few simple questions to ask, “Can we still manufacture?” and “Can we still deliver to sites still operating out of the Greater Sydney bubble?”. “Yes”.

Next step, how do we stagger the office staff? Who can work from home and how long will it take to set up? Luckily, we have an inhouse IT professional. This gave us the flexibility to promptly have all computers set up for the team, ready for Monday morning.

During times of uncertainty, it is important as a business to stay cool, calm and collected. The situation is what it is. However, lets make the most of it. In the period of the 2 weeks, as a group, we strategized different ways of improvement. From this, I am glad to say, we have since implemented new technologies to help us gather closer data on workflow. Those marketing ideas we had all discussed between ourselves shifted from a vision into an action. We implemented training programs to our young staff and apprentices to help upskill the team. We put together long term plans on branding and expansion. We narrowed down the new schemes and designs for our new up and coming design studio.

Like Billy Ocean famously sung, “When the Going gets Tough, the Tough gets Going”. The key we found as a company during this period was not to dwell on the uncontrollable. But to play the best cards dealt in your hands. Now, that goes without saying, has the lockdown been challenging? Absolutely. But do we sit back today and dread the situation of those 2 weeks? Absolutely not.