Features, Supplier News

More choices, more solutions with consolidated Motion Australia


Quarry finds out how Motion Australia is living out its promise to provide Australian industrial businesses with ‘more choices, more solutions’.

“If it moves, we can add value to it,” Ryan Kendrigan, executive general manager of engineering services at Motion Australia said. “Each business within the Motion family comes with its own specialty. What’s advantageous is that with all of these businesses and their specialties consolidated, our customers have an incomparable breadth of offer.”

The Motion family includes long-established businesses BSC and CBC – which have traditionally supplied bearing and power transmission products to industry – as well as businesses that specialise in fluid power such as AIP, Hardy Spicer and Powell, and the hydraulic engineering business, CRAM. Under each of these businesses is a vast inventory of branded products – totalling over 600,000 individual items – which is supported by a network of over 1600 employees, 180 branches, 30 repair and service facilities and eight dedicated distribution centres.

“Over the past few decades Motion has shifted its focus from being a supplier of componentry to being a full solutions provider,” Kendrigan said. “We came to the decision through our relationships with customers, and learning what their needs are. To truly service our customers and give them tailored solutions, we felt we needed to add more value across the product portfolio.”

While some legacy customers may still not be familiar with the ‘Motion’ name, the businesses and brands within the business are well-regarded. Stephen Forbes, executive general manager of fluid power solutions at Motion Australia, said Motion’s approach is still fundamentally a family-business – which is essential to the company’s evolution.

“For most of our history, we’ve operated as a group of family-owned companies and this heritage is reflected in the approach we take today, which is relationship focussed,” Forbes said.

“And our customers are looking to us to make it easier for them. They trust us, the brands that we supply, and the expertise we have to now provide full-service solutions.”

Motion’s businesses can be grouped into three key areas – industrial solutions, fluid power and engineering services. As executive general manager for industrial solutions, Nick Kerwin said the consolidation of the company’s core businesses has only had positive implications for customers.

“We’ve worked with many of our bearing and power transmission suppliers for decades and have built on a wealth of expertise both in partnership with suppliers and in our own team,” he said. “Being able to go to industrial businesses with a holistic offering – that incorporates everything from traditional rotating componentry to hydraulics, hoses and fittings to bespoke engineering services, and training, – is hugely beneficial.”

Motion was able to change out and upgrade to a better gearbox and motor running within a day. Image: Motion Australia

Engineering growth

When Ryan Kendrigan began his career with Motion it was with the bearing company, BSC. He has since been part of an evolution that has seen the engineering division grow from being one or two people in each business arm, to some 350 specialised engineers.

“We started out as a bearing company that provided engineering support for traditional rotating equipment,” he said. “Now we can look at anything that’s operating in rotary motion, linear motion or hydraulic motion and provide a turnkey solution that will maximise the efficiency and output of that equipment.”

Kendrigan provides an example of a solution that was delivered to a steel manufacturer to illustrate how the consolidation of the company and its collective of skilled engineers can benefit customers.

“The customer needed a custom-built acid tank and one of the key constraints was the space in their facility was very tight.  We came up with a solution where we half-built it in our workshop, then we dropped through the roof, coming through a whole bunch of different pipework at the sides, slotted it in position, and then built the top part of the tank once it was in-situ,” he said. “Once upon a time this would have required six or seven different companies to make that happen. Instead, we created the process, and saw the solution executed from concept to delivery – ensuring it was working effectively afterwards.”

Having such a broad range of expertise means that the Motion engineering team can come up with a process for a challenging situation like the one Kendrigan has described.

“It’s being able to offer that turnkey solution. We can design a concept, manufacture a concept, install it, maintain it. It’s a full-service offering.”

Importantly, the journey is ongoing. Kendrigan said that while engineering services comprises 14 per cent of Motion’s current revenue, he projects that this will climb to about 30 per cent within the next decade.

“We’re constantly looking at how we can better support our customers in Australia, and actively expanding our offering and capability,” he said. “I’m certainly proud and fortunate to work with a host of best-in-class engineers that amaze me every day with their skills, particularly when we get into the automation and motion control side of things.”

Brad Hudson – National Business Development Manager – Quarrying. Image: Motion Australia

 Solid support

Brad Hudson, Motion’s national quarry business development manager, recently showcased this dedication to support.

A quarry in Western Australia had broken down and needed a specific part. However, Hudson was on the other side of the country in Melbourne at the time.

There was one particular part the quarry needed to get things moving again. The problem? There was a national shortage of that particular bearing.

All hope was not yet lost. Earlier that week, Hudson has visited a local quarry that had that exact part as a spare. He called them up and asked if they could take it off them. By Saturday afternoon, the bearing was on a plane heading towards the site. By Monday morning, the site had started production.

“Quarries are pushing to reduce downtime as much as possible to ensure they can provide a low cost material for major construction projects around the country,” Hudson said.

“There’s demand for quarries to deliver cost effective outputs. Profitability becomes a major challenge. Quarries are looking for a trusted partner they can rely on to keep costs low.”

The future is in Motion

What does the future hold for Motion? According to Kendrigan, it’s about continued growth for the benefit of the customers.

“There are hundreds of thousands of customers that deal with Motion, but only a fraction of those have engaged with engineering services – I see this expanding, and am looking forward to providing more value to people over time.”

Forbes said there’s plenty of room for the Motion business to grow both in its geographical coverage and range of solutions.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to extend our capabilities to cover any gaps in our offering,” he said. “We’re also very conscious of exploring emerging technologies such as renewable energy. Plus, we’re looking to invest further into our e-commerce capability to better enable customers to access the whole Motion offering.”

This ties into Motion’s broader commitment to streamlining the customer experience.

“We’re working very hard on integrating our business operations so that it’s completely seamless for customers. We have a strong desire to offer our customers the sort of experience that best suits their needs. This is the plan we have in Motion, and we’re steadfast in our commitment to delivering on it.”•

For more information, visit motion.com.au

Send this to a friend