Agent of Change
After almost four decades in the industry, Byford has become a byword for quality transport equipment and savvy engineering. Now the long-standing brand is taking the next step to forming a national powerhouse by bolstering the sales and management team.
“We’ve always been renowned for engineering excellence in the tanker segment, but we believe there is a lot of untapped potential for us on a national level,” says Gary Byford, Managing Director of the Moama-based business, who recently managed to attract some top talent to join the Byford team.
“In the past, I’ve been so focused on building a great product that I had to force myself regain that big picture view again. Only then I realised how much potential there is to grow, so I started hiring the best people in the industry to help us do so,” he says – not hiding the fact that the expansion plan he had in mind would take a different approach to doing business.
“You know what you know, and you know what you don’t know. So when I made the decision to expand our management team, I knew instantly that we need some young, highly skilled people to do the job in a modern way. I laid the foundations myself, and I am proud of it, but now it’s time for some fresh blood.”
As a result of that decision, Richard Antczak joined the team as new National Sales Manager in 2013, while Lindsay Furness became new General Manager. In addition, Dave Smith will lead the Byford branch in Laverton to grow the brand’s Melbourne footprint. “All these guys are highly regarded in the industry and will help the Byford brand become stronger and even more competitive. That can make all the difference out in the field,” says Gary.
Prior to joining Byford, Lindsay had spent 10 years as Plant Manager for the Downer Group, where he internalised a strong customer service attitude. “I’ve always believed that the client is the company’s number one priority, and that means providing as much support as possible at any given time,” he says.
In that sense, joining Byford was an easy decision for Lindsay, as he believes the Byford service is ‘second to none’ in the transport market. “I believe there’s plenty of potential with Byford to give our competition a fair shake. If we plan accordingly and provide the right service, we can become the premier tanker manufacturer in Australia.”
Richard, who previously held a leading position as a business development manager, has no doubt that vision will soon become reality. “All we need to do is put our clients first, listen to their feedback, and adapt to their needs.”
According to Gary, the new team has embraced Byford’s corporate culture on the spot. “Having these young people around me is the best that could happen to me. I feel better today than I have felt in a long time.”
One reason for that enthusiasm is that Gary can now focus on the engineering side of the business again. “I enjoy leading the way and helping people grow professionally and as individuals; but I also love the technical side of it all, being down in the workshop and thinking about new ways so solve a problem. Now I have the time to work more on the R&D front and help create the best tankers in the industry.
“We have always been a leading force in the design and fabrication of stainless steel, duplex metals and aluminium equipment for the food sector. But now that we have bolstered our team on the management front, we’ll be able to invest more time into the development of chemical and bitumen equipment as well, which is very exciting,” he adds.
“In addition, I’ll be able to travel more and see our clients face-to-face, which is essential in building long-lasting relationships in the industry; and that’s exactly what Richard and Lindsay need me to do to be successful.”
As a result, Gary is all about supporting the ‘young blood’, so the transition will be rapid, but smooth. “Richard and Lindsay have made the right decision to join a family business like Byford. We are in a time of change, and they can be an integral part of that development,” he says. “The excitement, creativity, and energy that come along with that change, that’s the spark that keeps us going.”