The Year in Review 2009

  The year we’ve all had has been one of ups and downs.
The Global Financial Crisis wreaked havoc across the major financial markets. Very few economies were spared and we were one of the few it appears, to have been. That’s not to say we’re out of the woods just yet, just we’ve, by all measures, turned the corner.

2009 saw Planit Australia returning to more traditional forms of customer / prospect contact. Several highly successful “Next Step” seminars where held around the eastern seaboard and regional locations. Focused on developing the next stage in business growth, this was not an original idea, rather one borrowed from our Queensland neighbors, Jeff and Tony Chapman & Western Australia, John Hayter. (Thanks guys)

Jeff and Tony’s event was rather more salubrious than ours, with a large number of customers taking time out to enjoy the surrounds of Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays while sharing experiences, ideas and solutions.

In most cases, attendees at these events where those well into Nested Based Manufacturing, exploited its benefits and were looking to drive their businesses even more dynamically. Those not into NBM just yet but looking at its implications, gathered the information they needed and began their planning for the future.

The outlook for the immediate future appears one of quiet, conservative growth with property markets recovering slowly, financial institution again giving credit to business, albeit a little less aggressively, and interest rates slowly rising. (Remember they were at historic lows)

Our colleagues in the US have seen a substantial decrease in activity as did those in the UK and Europe. Malaysia’s financial markets came to screaming halt; you couldn’t get finance to buy a car let alone manufacturing systems. Thankfully in all markets, the brakes have been released and momentum is building.

New Zealand led by Phil Smith has had a remarkable year. Establishing himself back in his homeland and reconnecting with our NZ clients has been a big job. Luckily Phil is a big man! The NZ market slowed steeply but perhaps not surprisingly, Kiwis using Planit software run pretty tight ships and have managed to succeed through adversity. We see NZ having huge potential moving into 2010 and Phil’s business to continue to expand and prosper.

Our implementations of the Manager Business Management System hit new highs with a record number of sites installed and trained. Factory scanning stations for factory floor data collection expanded at pace. Businesses making quick decision based on live information can quickly find constraints that are holding them back.  Live snapshot views of a business at work are essential in establishing process flow controls and result in finetuned operations focussed more on profitability and improving participants’ life styles. After all that’s what it’s all about. I would like to thank Graham Rutter Tech Services Manager (Management Team Member) for stepping up to the plate and leading The Manager project. He’s had a lot on his plate.

This year saw the introduction of the new Solid product offering, the biggest change to Cabinetvision since Windows. Lower entry level pricing enabled us to provide services to even more clients than before and gave our existing client a clear upgrade path as they move inexorably to Screen to Machine and beyond. The new feature sets in the now four core products accurately reflect client needs and the new Version 5 interface is world class.

Cabnetware has its own big announcement to make, see article in this newsletter. It’s all good.

On the Tech services side, we performed a record number of In-house Classroom and Custom Training days both in the Sydney and Melbourne offices. Many more clients have recognised the importance of updating and maintaining the knowledge but more importantly sharing it with bright enthusiastic employees.

There’s still nothing scarier to me than a system driving a successful business and only one person knows how to use it! (Where’s the contingency plan?)

Whilst we will always go onsite to train and connect machinery, the time we are spending is decreasing. Connections are becoming more generic and the software much easier to use. Many of you will remember the early days of NBM when it was not uncommon to be onsite for up to four weeks. These days it’s seldom more than 5 days.

The Tech Services team headed again by Graham Rutter (told you he’s been busy) and comprising Danielle Saban, Shannon O’Brien, Dave and Peter Carr have been working extremely hard to improve our level of service to you and I will believe are well on the way to delivering a world class program. Thanks guys.

Nothing really happens at head office without Nicole Thompson (soon to be a MUM for the first time!) having some influence on it either directly or indirectly through systems she has implemented. Ably supported by Rebecca Brewer, the Admin area of the business has coped well with the changes necessary to implement the new Version 5 Solid offering. Thanks ladies.

John Whinnen National Sales Manager (Management Team Member) along with Louise Clarke, Marketing Manager (Management Team Member) have driven:

VIC/TAS team managed by Dean Milligan comprising Sean Balchin and David Fantoma, to a great year. The number of clients in these states updating and upgrading was well above our national average. A great sign for the future.
The NSW/ACT team comprising Travis Purkis and Jamie Silver continue to break new ground with above average new customer sales and strong growth in updates and upgrades.  Great work teams, keep it up.

WA has had a strong year again with the mining boom promising even more to come. Headed by John Hayter and managed by Alan Gibson, these guys are a knowledgeable, formidable team. Based on the size of their market, they continue to outperform the rest of the country. Thanks for a fabulous year guys.  I’m looking forward to a big 2010.

As mentioned earlier the GFC took the wheels off the Malaysian economy and affected our business to such an extent we relocated Steve Spruce to Kuala Lumpur to assist Patrick Lim full time. The signs of improvement are there now and we look forward to the coming year in SE Asia. Thank you guys for what has been a daunting effort and to you Sprucey a huge commitment.

Every business needs a goal to make money now and into the future.

Every business also needs a Mission Statement that accurately describes the businesses philosophy used in the decision making  process.

Our Mission Statement to you:

Be provider of “best practice” software and services and to encourage, develop and implement processes that continually improve our customers and our staff professional / life experiences.

Thank you for all your support through the years and have a very Happy, Safe Holiday season.


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