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When Steel Supplies Dubbo owner, Rick Smith and business partner Phil Goatcher were looking to start their new steel supply business in 2005, one company had their back – Lysaght.
Prior to launching the new venture, Rick had worked for two large steel suppliers but noticed that as those companies grew, the customer service shrank, prompting him and Phil to go out on their own.
“I saw the writing on the wall and identified the opportunity to start a new business where customers were treated as people, not just numbers,” he said.
“Through my previous roles I had existing relationships with Lysaght and they were willing to give us a go when others wouldn’t. I’ve always appreciated the support they’ve given us since we were starting out and in turn we’ve been loyal to Lysaght ever since.”
Steel Supplies Dubbo provide an extensive range of LYSAGHT® steel building products for customers in the rural, manufacturing, fabrication and building and construction industries, but being based in an agricultural region, it’s the rural sector that’s the most critical for the company.
“We sell a lot of rainwater goods as well as construction materials for sheds – we’ve been extremely busy since the COVID situation began,” Rick said.
While Steel Supplies Dubbo stock the mainstay materials that are highest demand for its client base such as purlins and steel cladding, a lot of materials are ordered from Lysaght as required – it’s a process that works well for the company as it doesn’t need to hold as much stock itself.
“Most of our sales are pre-orders, Lysaght give us a two day turnaround on orders which is very efficient,” Rick said.
“We know that we can count on Lysaght. It’s really important to have a reliable supplier because delays cost money. Lysaght give us great service which allows us to provide our customers with strong service as well.”
Rick said that he’s noticed many changes in the steel industry since the time in which Steel Supplies Dubbo opened its doors over 15 years ago.
“There are a lot more independents like ourselves that have popped-up in recent years, I think many of them have similar stories to myself, where they’ve finished up with the larger suppliers,” he said.
“The range of steel products has also grown dramatically over the years, as has the number of different colours available – if you go into a new housing estate these days it’s a real mix of colours.”
Aside from enjoying great relationships, loyalty and strong service from Lysaght, Rick said that he’s also proud to be working with an Australian manufacturer, especially one that’s been operating locally for 100 years.
“The fact that Lysaght is still manufacturing in Australia is fantastic,” he said.
“Australia needs local manufacturing because we’ve lost much of it over the years. We now have a situation across many industries where we’re not self-sufficient and are too reliant on imports; in the last year this issue has become noticeable through product shortages.”
“As a business, we really promote the made in Australia aspect and the added quality, support and service that you get as a buyer of Lysaght’s products.
“While sometimes there can be a price difference, on most occasions our customers are willing to pay a bit more and choose Lysaght rather than a lesser brand.
“LYSAGHT® steel building products make up a fair slice of our overall sales and for us they’ve been a great company to partner with.”