AUSTRALIA’S No.1 manufacturer of earthmoving equipment has streamlined operations with its Kanga Loaders brand now operating independently with a fully integrated manufacturing, fabrication and servicing plant.
The restructure of Kanga Loaders by parent Digga Australia will see it become a standalone business with a fully integrated facility not far from Digga’s 12,500 sqm plant at Yatala, where it was formerly operating.
Kanga Loaders was ‘saved’ by Digga in 2009; a strategic acquisition which ensured its survival. The company has since boosted sales and become a leader in its field after launching its remote loader to mining giants including BHP and in coal mines in South America.
Digga invested considerable funds in Kanga R&D over a three-year period to commercialise a ground-breaking remote controlled product.
Digga Australia chief executive Suzie Wright likened Kanga to an awkward teenager that has now matured to operate on its own, albeit under the umbrella of Digga Australia.
“Kanga has grown to become a strong, innovative company which now has its own high-tech facility and is driving growth with strong exports,” she said.
“We are extremely proud of Kanga and it is reassuring in the manufacturing industry to know that investment in technology and key people can still pay dividends.
“Kanga is a powerful Gold Coast company, a leading innovator, exporting to large scale mining operations and meeting demand domestically with equipment used in civil and infrastructure projects.”
Digga Australia will continue to drive a growth strategy with leaner initiatives. Up to 23 staff redundancies are forecast Australia-wide this year across its service, manufacturing and administration roles, while protecting 180 domestic jobs in the process.
New jobs will be created in the US and the UK where Digga have expanded its global operations. In the UK, a new general manager, production manager and new sales representative have been appointed while 11 positions will be filled at the company’s new $2.5 million manufacturing plant in Dyersville, Iowa in the US.
Ms Wright said the leaner initiatives are pivotal to the company’s continued success as it strives to compete in a rugged economic landscape and it remains committed to the manufacturing of Australian-made attachments for its expanding customer base.
“Digga is a 100 per cent Australian owned and operated company and it will stay that way as we continue our push into Europe and the US, supported by our core business in Australia,” she said.
“It’s never an easy thing when tough measures are undertaken - we are talking about people and jobs - however the redundancies are a financial reality in this climate and by trimming the excess we protect and add security to another 180 positions in Australia.”
Digga Australia chief operating officer Paul Taylor said additional staff were hired during the implementation of the company’s world-class ERP system.
“The fact is that we now have too many staff in positions that no longer exist, including administration and servicing departments as equipment maintenance methods are streamlined,” he said.
“Investment now is in innovation, engineering and product development and we see enormous growth prospects domestically in construction, mining and infrastructure as we continue to deliver high levels of customer service, while improving our product development.”