Today we’re putting the spotlight on Graeme Sheekey – Grifco’s Director of Operations and New Geographies.
Graeme has been with Grifco for over 11 years, and was recently nominated for the Outstanding Business Leader of the Year category at the Central Coast Business Awards – taking out Highly Commended.
Graeme is an integral part of Grifco’s operations, and sat down with Australian Manufacturing News to discuss Grifco’s growth and innovation over the past few years, our industry leading sustainability initiatives, and what’s to come in 2023.
- How have you found the recent business landscape for Grifco?
There were inevitably many challenges that the industry faced due to COVID, such as shipping delays and rising costs, however I am proud to say that Grifco has had a record year with 20+% volume growth.
- What does your day-to-day involve?
I wear many hats as I manage inventory and distribution for our seven facilities in Australia, New Zealand and Middle East.
I oversee the purchasing of raw materials and finished goods from around the world, the manufacturing facility at West Gosford, driving growth into new regions including Middle East and USA, and leading our sustainability strategy.
- Why do you think Chamberlain Group won Central Coast Business of the Year in 2022?
I believe it was due to our incredible people and continuous improvement culture – our motto is “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence”. This covers all aspects in everything that we do. We have set the bar high to be the best.
Even though we have been recognised as the Central Coast Business of the Year, we still see many opportunities to improve. I think one of the main reasons is that we are a manufacturing facility pushing all aspects of sustainability. Doesn’t matter what business you are in – we can all make a difference.
- Can you tell me about Grifco’s sustainability roadmap?
We want to do our part in looking after the environment, our local community and our staff. We have set goals to be carbon neutral, plastic free, use recyclable materials, and have set a goal to become a zero waste to landfill manufacturing facility by 2025. We are well on our way to achieving all of our goals.
- Where do you see areas of growth for your business?
We strive to continue to be the market leader in Australia, introduce innovative new products, and expand into new countries. We “make access simple” by supplying the best products on the market to automate your residential or commercial roller door and gate.
- How are you finding staff retention and recruitment?
Personally, this is the most difficult market I have ever experienced. Grifco has navigated the last few years by fostering incredible talent internally and hiring youth in apprenticeship and trainee programs.
- What are your tips for being a good leader in business?
You have two ears and one mouth – so use them wisely. Work with your team, empower your staff to be involved in the business, be open and honest, earn their respect and share your vision and strategy. I believe that you can’t do anything alone – instead – you can achieve great things if you unlock the diversity of talent in your team.
- What is your ‘blue sky’ vision for Grifco in 2023?
We strive to be a world-class gearbox manufacturer and be globally competitive in everything we do, and continue to set the benchmark for Australian manufacturing.
If you’d like to learn more about Grifco’s products, innovation and services in Australia or New Zealand, please feel free to browse our website or call 1800 GRIFCO (1800 474 326).