On behalf of Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) and its member companies, I welcome delegates to CMIC16, our industry’s premier networking and knowledge sharing event.
This is the sixth time the CCAA has joined forces with the IQA to support this biennial event, and our reasons for doing so haven’t changed: that is, CMIC16 is a focal point for the sharing of ideas, for collaboration across the construction materials industry, and for debate and discussion on the issues that affect the way we do business now and into the future.
The theme of this year’s conference – capability and innovation – captures the essence of that last point perfectly.
The description of the business playing field as “ever changing” is a universal truth. So, too, the idea that we need to be adaptable and quick on our feet to best to cope with change.
Yet the scope and pace of some of the changes we’re witnessing today are unprecedented and placing our business models under great strain – or will be in the not too distant future.
In fact, I can’t think of a time in my business career when it has been more important to have both hands on the wheel and eyes firmly on the horizon.
The likely impact of disruptive technologies in areas such as information technology and transport, to name just two, promises to be seismic.
Only last month, Australian policymakers and regulators were told they had to be ready for the full transition to connected and automated vehicles by the end of the next decade.
What impact will such technologies have on the way we move quarry products, cement and concrete?
What opportunities and challenges arise from further developments in cloud computing, the so-called Internet of Things and machine learning and automation?
How will these advances affect our capabilities? How do we plan for them?
Over the course of CMIC16, we’ll have an opportunity to explore some of these topics in depth, and to open up conversations on others.
It’s vitally important that we have these conversations now so we can better understand and prepare for a future that is hurtling towards us at a furious pace.
The opportunity to innovate, therefore, is one we cannot afford to miss.
This year’s program also includes plenty of time for networking, and I encourage you to attend the various social functions and make the most of it.
The Komatsu Gala Dinner, in particular, is a highlight for the CCAA, in that it will again include presentations to the national winners of our Environment Health and Safety Awards.
The national winners are chosen from state winners recognised over the past two years for exemplary initiatives and innovations in both environmental performance, and health and safety.
The awards cast a spotlight on best practice, and in so doing promote industry learning and continuous improvement.
There is no more fitting national stage to celebrate the successes of the 2016 national winners than the gala dinner.
CMIC16 is a tremendous opportunity to focus on how we can embrace innovation across our industry to boost our capability and capacity, and face the future with confidence.
Mark Campbell is the Chairman of Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia.