Conron Stockcrete Pty LtdMark Blume - Orange, NSW
Case Study – Conron Stockcrete Pty Ltd
Conron Stockcrete is a family owned business priding itself on its quality Australian made concrete stock watering troughs, with an innovative design resulting from extensive experience in water supply services and livestock. Based in rural NSW at Greenethorpe, they have water troughs to suit any animal production system. Owned by husband and wife Rachel and Joel Conron the business has always been a means to enable a move back to the family farm and still have a strong off-farm income that would enable them to set up a larger farming enterprise over the next 5 years. They have 3 children under 6 and Rachel works 3 days/week looking after the marketing and administration.
The business grew from an idea in 2014, to a part time business (Joel was still working as a plumber) in 2015 and then, to full time in March 2016 when the move was made back to the family farm. Joel is a qualified plumber and had always believed that he could create an industry leading design and manufacturing method for water troughs that could possibly lead the market.
When coaching began in March 2017 the business was operating out of a borrowed family shed at Braidwood with five moulds and the YTD sales were $120,000 / year. Sales were patchy and inconsistent. Joel looked after production, sales and delivery while Rachel spent a little time on invoicing and admin alongside managing 3 children under 5.
1. Self belief.
2. Cashflow (didn’t have the belief that a bank would allow them to have an overdraft to sustain the business.)
3. A need to manufacture multiple moulds and have the space and facilities at the family farm for high volume production.
4. Recruitment, management and review of staff were a challenge.
1. Building a ‘Belief System’
The first stage of coaching was working with Joel on his mindset. He needed to build his confidence and believe that if they continued marketing the products
and business, sales would grow and enable them to get the cash flow to build the shed and renovate the farm house and then the family could all be together.
As the move date was confirmed and shed construction commenced sales did continue to grow and staff were employed and trained for the production. The second mindset stretch was that it was OK to borrow money for the business and get him to believe that ‘the bank’ would say yes as cash was needed to support the growing debtor balance.
2. New Facility
The move of the production facility to a new purpose built facility went smoothly. It occurred in late April. This was a huge load off Rachel and Joel’s mind.
3. Improving the Recruitment Process
The belief system around ‘finding the right staff’ in a small regional centre needed some work. The learning around creating a system to recruit, employing the right people and holding them accountable to targets have now resulted in a great team. Joel is no longer required in the shed at all.
4. Systemisation of the Sales Process
The complete swap from a production to a sales /delivery role by Joel has enabled the systemisation of the sales process. Sales are growing because of this and are continuing to increase. Major orders with a government authority are continuing to supplement growing orders from both retail and account clients. Production in recent months is approaching 135 which is close to capacity of the current shed. The quality of the troughs continues to improve as the team continues to fine tune the process way past what was expected.
5. Marketing – Knowing What Works
The marketing plan is constantly being refined and a major revamp of the website is about to be delivered. The measuring and testing of all marketing means that all future marketing funds will be used on what they know will work.
The business move, and family home renovation were completed by the end of April and Rachel Joel and children are now living and working at the family home at Greenethorpe which was the big first 90 day goal. The business has quickly grown to now employ 3 full time production workers and is way beyond what Rachel and Joel thought was possible in such a short time.
Productivity continues to grow and they are now able to produce more than 135 units per month.
Employees now operate the production side of the business and Rachel and Joel are rapidly increasing sales and will achieve the $1.2m turnover goal for 2017/18 financial year.