Equipment & Technology

RR Pacific grows its gearboxes globally

ABHR speaks to Michael Mullen, Managing Director of RR Pacific, to learn how a global acquisition has expanded the Australian business.

Two year ago, ABHR spoke with Michael Mullen, managing director of RR Pacific, about how the company was expected to grow. The business has since doubled in size and plans to continue. 

When one of the largest companies in the hydraulic components market acquired Reggiana Riduttori, it set the foundation for exceptional growth.

Interpump purchased the designer and manufacturer of power transmission systems in 2019, expanding its range significantly.

Michael Mullen, managing director of Reggiana Riduttori’s Australian branch, RR Pacific, said the new ownership provided the business with stronger foundations globally.

According to Mullen, the company saw one of its biggest years in terms of growth in 2020, so much so that the business began planning a significant expansion in both staff and premises.

“We’ve remained quite a profitable business, doubled in size in factory space and in turnover,” he told ABHR. 

“We’ve also started to look at expansion of the current service division. We really want to ramp up our service side of the business because we’ve populated the market through the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) channels.

“We’ve diversified in our markets, so that we’re not so heavily reliant on the mining industry. There has been a lot of growth in the agricultural market for grain handling, but also in the waste and recycling industries.”

RR Pacific distributes, installs, and supports Reggiana Riduttori products across Australia. Initially, the company’s products most appealed to the mining industry, but has since diversified to reach new markets, such as the sugar, waste, and agricultural industries.

The company has broadened the range of its applications to include conveyor belt pullers, belt winders, magnetic separators, bitumen spreaders, apron feeders and take-up winches.

To help manage this growth, the team at RR pacific rely on Interpump’s guidance for processes and procedures, localised through monthly meetings with clients and stakeholders.

Mullen said the business is constantly refining itself through open discussions about how it can improve its efficiency.

“To remain a sales focused company, which is our core mission, we need to service our customers beyond what the market requires,” he said.

“What we’ve done in the past two years is really ramp up our stock holdings in Australia, hence why we needed more factory space. We’ve put a lot of time into our stock model to avoid growing lead times throughout the global supply chain.

“All of our product comes out of Italy, which we identified as one of the major risks for the foreseeable future. If we don’t have product on the shelf in Australia, then we can’t service our market and exceed our customers’ expectations.”

The company automated its stock model and implemented minimum stock levels and order quantities. This means stock is constantly rolling in, so that products that can handle up to 150,000Nm are available off the shelf.

All the equipment is assembled in Australia and goes through a quality assurance check before it goes out to a customer.

Mullen said RR Pacific doesn’t wait for a customer to come to them, the team actively listens to the market to find what needs to be stocked.

“We’ve got a good selection and service process, so we felt confident to stock what the market requires before even getting orders.”

“If certain customers are saying they expect to see 10 per cent growth or 30 per cent growth, what we do is get ahead of the game and get the stock in well in advance.”

RR Pacific has also invested into growing its staff, starting an apprenticeship program to provide opportunities for the next generation. In addition, the company hired a dedicated supply chain coordinator and an internal sales coordinator.

The new office also includes a showroom and a dedicated sales office. It plans to expand the dedicated service area. Mullen said service is the way forward as the company grows.

“We must improve our response time in service and the procedure,” he said. “It’s something we’ve definitely put been putting a lot of time into.”

“We pride ourselves on offering service for all out gearboxes, whether it’s on site or in the factory. We can offer detailed reports on the general condition of the equipment and offer off the shelf service kits.”

The company has developed several support networks across the country to increase turnaround times. It also means that a WA-based customer doesn’t need to send a gearbox to the east coast to have it fixed, saving time and freight fees. 

Mullen said the company is looking to continue its growth into 2023 and incorporate new Interpump acquisitions, such as Transtecno and Berma.

“At the same time as our growth, we’re looking to improve our efficiency and response times to market,” he said.

“We don’t get complacent, there’s always plans and practices we can do to improve and refine to stay ahead of market trends and requirements.” 

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