A personal touch
Pride.Precision.Passion.These are the corevalues that drive Manuele Engineers, a steel fabricationand engineering company located inSouth Australia that has been growing by leaps and bounds since its inception in 1967. What started out as a relatively small operationhas quickly blossomed into a thrivingcompany that has outgrown its operationalpremises twice already, recently relocating to a state of the art facility that is arguably one of the largest and most advanced in all of Australia.
The rapid expansion of Manuele Engineers is of no surprise to those familiar with the company,and it is clear that the core values listed above accurately reflectthepristinereputation the company has earnedas the industry benchmark in terms of skill, ability, and technical prowess.However, in speaking with Managing Director Vince Manuele, we quickly learn that there are additionalprinciples at work that have helped shape the philosophy behind the company’smeteoric rise. Principles such as family, loyalty, and respect – these are the values that have helped forge the long-lasting relationships that Manuele Engineers has become renowned for.
Vince attributes much of the company’s rapid success to the personal touch his clients receive, and he places a lot of emphasis on how important the business is to his family.
“We are very much a family business,” he says.“The family plays a very hands-on role in the running of the company, so our clients get the benefit out of that, and out of two generations of experience. My family is never content with the average; we like to excel in what we do. We give very personal attention to our clients.”
Many clients have benefitted from the knowledge and industry experience of this second generation company.In fact,Manuele Engineers can technically be considered a third generation company, as Vince’s daughter has recently taken on a full time role with the business.
Because Manuele Engineers is a family run business, they are able to exercise flexibility, and react quickly to the evolving needs of clients.
“The decision making is first hand and our level of experience allows us to make very, very quick decisions on the run, which is often necessary in the higher end of the construction industry. Obviously, time is money, and quick decisions mitigate expenses that don’t need to be occurred,” says Vince.
Considering the magnitude of many of the projects the company has undertaken recently, the hands-on approach coupled with almost 50 years of experience is paramount to getting a client’s job done efficiently and effectively.
Big or small, quality guaranteed
The industry leaves very little room for error and Manuele Engineers has consistently proven time and time again that they are capable of handling any task. For example, the recently completed new southern stand of the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment accurately illustrates the company’s willingness and capability to handle large-scale projects, regardless of the size or complexity.
Manuele Engineers regularly works with a host of Tier 1 constructors, but also has several clients that are Tier 2 and Tier 3 constructors, including private developers and small builders. The company alsoservices the mining industry and other entities around the country.
Although the company’s capabilities are continuously expanding to handle large-scale projects such as the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment, Vince explains that they are always willing to work with smaller businesses.
“Basically, we will work for anybody. If you called today and wanted to order one piece of steel: a beam, a column, or a post, I would do that as well,” he says.
Relationships that last a lifetime
Manuele Engineers is known for its loyalty and long-lasting relationships, and their supply chain is no exception. Suppliers fight tooth and nail to gain the favour of Manuele Engineers, but Vince Manuele knows that loyalty is worth its weight in gold in the industry.
“We have absolute loyalty to people and supplies that have serviced us well over the existence of the company,” Vince says. “There are two or three suppliers which probably make up 80 per cent of our purchasing and we have been with these people for a long, long, long time. We have many people who envy us because of the relationships we enjoy with our suppliers.”
The company reaps the benefits of such unwavering loyalty from their suppliers, who reciprocate in a similar fashion by going to great lengths to cater to thecompany’s growing demands.
Manuele Engineers’ family ethics also go a long way towards building strong relationships with in-house employees. The company treats their entire workforce as one giant family, and in return, many of their employees spend their entire careers with the company. It is such a common occurrence that ownership took it upon itself to reward those who have worked for the company for over 30 years with a luxurious watchand celebratory staff barbecue upon retirement.
“We often refer to the business as a member of the family, so our philosophy is that running a business is a lot deeper than just making a bottom line,” Vince explains.“It’s about friendship, it’s about respect, and it’s about loyalty.”
Continuous growth is something every company strives for, and for a company as large as Manuele Engineers, that requires careful strategic planning.According to Vince, there is a two-part plan in place to facilitate the natural growth of the company.The first goal is diversification.
“We’re working very hard at the moment to try and diversify in fields of steel fabrication and such, but not necessarily in the construction industry alone,”Vince explains.
That means taking on projects such as the installation of the helicopter pad on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.”It’s quite technical,” Vince says.“It’s very different from the normal work we do, and this particular one is the largest helicopter pad in the Southern Hemisphere.”
This impressive featis a clear indicator that Manuele Engineers is a highly skilled and diverse company with the potential to expand its reach to many different industries.
The secondpart of the company’s strategic planis to begin operating as a national business rather than limiting its operations to South Australia.
“We’re always trying to broaden the scope of client base that we work for. In more recent years, we’ve started to drive harder into state markets, such as Victoria, Northern Territories, Western Australia, and Queensland,” says Vince.
Staying true to his hands-on approach, Vinceis preparing to head to Darwin to supervise the early stages of the company’s first project in the city. Considering the core values and principles that drive Manuele Engineers, we can safely assume that project will be the first of many to come.