Today we are introducing you to Simeon, the small business owner of a custom trailer business that is growing rapidly and extending into new industries.
After branching off from his family custom trailer business, Simeon reached out to Many Rivers for some initial start-up support. He aims to be the industry leader of quality, custom made trailers in Australia. Recently he was able to purchase a CNC laser cutter that will open up new opportunities for him to extent his company to a second location, win large contracts and produce high volume parts.
“I got a microloan from Many Rivers. I used it for materials and other things that I needed to make stock.”
Read more about Simeon and his custom made trailer manufacturing and CNC laser cutting business.
I had been working for my family business for about 25 years. Then my family branched off into concrete work and I stuck around with the engineering side of things. My company, XDS Engineering, has been running for 2 years now. We manufacture custom trailers – anywhere up to ten tonne goosenecks. We can also customise the trailer to suit the customer’s needs. There is a lot of tilt beds and tippers. Basically, anything that the customer requires for their job we can facilitate and design.
We are also going down the avenue of implementing a CNC laser cutter so we will be able to design more products and streamline production. This means we can cut parts out for other manufacturers. I have opened up a second branch in North Hampton with the CNC laser cutter. There are a couple of big contracts that I am looking at up there that would produce high volume parts.
Before starting my business I was already fully qualified and I had worked in the industry since I was 18. When I branched off from my family company, Many Rivers helped me get off the ground with some finance and to get the ball rolling with some capital.
I decided to go into business to continue manufacturing the custom trailers when my family left the industry. At the moment, there is no one else in Australia that can fabricate ten tonne gooseneck trailers that are certified. If anyone is looking for something in that range, they often have to import them from America. But our trailers, we make them to Australian design regulations. We are also the only company in Australia that makes a tilt bed trailer.
Working with Many Rivers
I found out about Many Rivers through Facebook. I had seen ads come up and I saw some stories of businesses Many Rivers supported. It looked interesting and I wanted to give it a shot.
Nat, my Many Rivers business coach, has also given me a few contacts to get in touch with about the laser cutter. We were able to achieve getting this laser cutter because of the direction she pointed us in. I was on track and talking to the right people. There was a lot of support there.
Many Rivers has supported me with a lot of account keeping. Nat also helped us with a lot of general business support and the paperwork side of the business, like bookkeeping and finances. It sort of got to the point where I am big enough now to have my own accountant. We started off as a sole trader and now we are big enough to be a company.
I got a microloan from Many Rivers to get started with the custom trailer business. I started with using it for materials and other things that I needed to make stock. We were lucky to have a bit of a leg up and get gifted a lot of the equipment from my old family business.
Growing the Custom Trailer Business
We have five employees now working on the custom trailer business and they are full-time. This includes a first-year apprentice and someone who works as an administrator. We are all based in Warialda at the moment and once the laser cutter gets up and running I think we are looking to get three more employees in North Hampton.
I would say marketing, just getting our name out there and telling people that we are here, what we can do and stuff like that. I think a lot of the trouble we have is with the imported trailers. They are cheap, not well built nor up to Australian standards. A lot of our target customers buy these cheaper ones and expect them to last a lifetime. I am trying to get the message across that ours might be a lot more expensive, but they are up to legal standards and they will last a lifetime.
The biggest success is probably the achievement of getting this laser cutter and being able to diversify. I think this is going to be bigger than the trailers. We are looking at getting contracts with the government and a single job alone from them will be able to pay for the laser cutter. I am definitely looking to diversify but within the same area.
Also the fact that we are the only company in Australia that can make the gooseneck in that size.
The biggest change has probably just been the journey. It has been eye opening. I always knew what the inner workings of a business looked like but now I see it firsthand. I know about risk assessments, structure, production. It is a whole different set of skills.
Future Goals for XDS Engineering
I would love to become the main supplier of gooseneck trailers in Australia. If anyone thinks of getting a well-built quality trailer and our name gets thrown around straight away. To be an industry leader.
Thanks Simeon for sharing your story with us. We can’t wait to support you on this journey to achieving your future business goals. Stay updated with Simeon’s business journey by following him on Facebook.
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