Brett Cooper

Written on the 23 November 2009

Brett Cooper
COOPER TECHNOLOGIES AUSTRALIA - HARNEX
MANUFACTURING

Age: 31
Business Est: 2006 (purchased)
Number of staff: 45
Growth: 5 per cent
Turnover: $4 million

COOPER Technologies owner Brett Cooper says his voltage cable assembly, harness and loom manufacturing company
received a blessing in disguise when a big name client pulled the plug on him three years ago.

“Within a couple of months of taking over we had Volvo come in and say they were going to move work offshore to places like Mexico. As a company that’s still finding
its feet to lose 40 per cent of your volume sales isn’t easy, but we got over it,” says Cooper.

“In manufacturing if you’re producing lower volumes it’s harder to make money out of, but it wasn’t our policy to say no on jobs so we took on smaller customers and sure enough we were making money.

“It was a blessing in disguise as we had to find customers, substitute the work and that really paid off. We then got Volvo back to a certain extent.”

Under the trading name of Harnex which Cooper bought in 2006, the company produces 8000 different lines of products servicing industries including pathology, telecommunications, mining, agriculture and IT.

When he started with Harnex Cooper’s agenda was to find efficiencies by improving capacity, so he went to the US to buy the latest machines for the maximum output.

“You’ve got to adapt to what the rest of the world is doing – you’ve definitely got to keep your finger on the pulse because if you don’t you’ll get left behind,” he says.

“I suppose the biggest hurdle for manufacturing generally in Australia is that everyone knows it’s getting harder and harder to compete on a global scale.”

Since 2006 he has made the shift from a revenue-focused business to a profitable company, with the belief that too many businesses focus on sales without looking at margins.

“When we started it was definitely making less profit which wasn’t anywhere near what it is now as money wasn’t being made out of the products back then – even though they had solid orders the profitability wasn’t enough in my eyes,” says Cooper.

“Last financial year our revenue was just a tick over $4 milliion but this year we’re probably not going to meet that amount.

“But what we are very excited about is that we’ve increased our profitability by 110 per cent this calendar year, which comes back to all the efficiencies we’ve found over the years and working with smaller customers.”

He says the one thing an entrepreneur should never do is under-deliver.

“You’ve always got to chance what the customer might want and it’s very important that you be up front and honest about market conditions and what you can’t do.

“Don’t overstep what you can do with your products because in this industry credibility is very important.”


Latest News

HOW INGRID BONNOR TURNED A LABOUR OF LOVE INTO A WORLDWIDE FASHION ICON

BEFORE Ingrid Bonnor started her bridal robe and feminine sleepwear company Homebodii in 2011, she didn't have an...

G8 EDUCATION EXECUTIVE CHRIS SCOTT RETIRES AS COMPANY CUTS CHINESE TIES

LONG-TIME managing director and executive of G8 Education (ASX: GEM) Chris Scott has announced his retirement, on ...

REGIONAL BANKS HIT OUT AT RATING CUT AND WARN BIG FOUR WILL BENEFIT

REGIONAL banks have hit out at a downgrade on their credit ratings, warning that it will increase their wholesale fun...

$71 MILLION SALE OF 'SYDNEY SIX' GIVES RISE TO WESTERN SYDNEY INVESTMENT HOTSPOT

SIX INDUSTRIAL assets in Sydney's West, dubbed the 'Sydney Six', have sold for a collective $71 million, ...

Related News

REGIONAL BANKS HIT OUT AT RATING CUT AND WARN BIG FOUR WILL BENEFIT

REGIONAL banks have hit out at a downgrade on their credit ratings, warning that it will increase their wholesale fun...

THE COMPANY THAT DECIDED IT WAS GOING TO GIVE A CRAP THANKS TO CROWD FUNDING

SIMON Griffiths is using toilet paper to save the world.

In 2012, on the back of an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaig...

SURFSTITCH DOWNGRADES EARNINGS AS SHARES PLUNGE 25 PER CENT IN A DAY

TROUBLED online sports clothing retailer SurfStitch is considering selling off more of its assets and will close i...

AUSCANN RESUMES TRADE AFTER $12 MILLION CAPITAL RAISING

IT'S BEEN a big few days for medical cannabis manufacturer AusCann (ASX: AC8), as the company emerged from a trad...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter