Last year we took a closer look at some of the people and personalities that make the Australian pump industry tick in our inaugural ‘Pump People’ feature. This year, we’ve spoken to a new crop of leaders in the industry to learn about their careers in pumps, their current roles in shaping some of the key players in the Australian pump industry, and where they see the future for the industry heading.
Chief Executive Officer, Caprari Pumps
Alberto Caprari is the Chief Executive Officer of the Caprari Group, headquartered in Italy and with posts around the world, including here in Australia.
The Caprari Group was established 71 years ago, and has been focused on the manufacture and production of centrifugal pumps and electric pumps.
The group is also focused on the creation of advanced solutions for management of the integrated water cycle, and other professional sectors including oil and gas, power generation, mining and industry.
Caprari’s continuous research is aimed at manufacturing products that are sustainable, both in respect to the materials used and the energy that is ultimately used by their products.
Mr Caprari was recently named President of ANIMA, Confindustria’s Federation of Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries.
ANIMA is one of Europe’s most important and well-established organisations, comprising 34 associations and over one thousand member companies.
Numbering over 194,000 employees and with €40 billion revenue, the mechanical engineering industry is the backbone of Italian industry as a whole, and Mr Caprari’s appointment as President is reflective of Caprari’s significant involvement in the sector.
For Mr Caprari, the ongoing impact of globalisation is something he and the team at Caprari Pumps are constantly taking into consideration.
“We definitively believe that the globalisation process has now clearly transformed into more of a ‘global’ approach we need to think globally but act locally.
“A successful pump company like Caprari must continue to adapt itself to the new challenges that changing markets impose, while strongly leveraging on its own precise identity.
“We are a family-owned Italian company, established by Amadio Caprari 71 years ago, and today we have more than 15 facilities, including subsidiaries and manufacturing plants, around the world.
“Together with our 700 employees, we are fully committed to tackling the new challenges of the global pump marketplace: system approach, total cost of ownership, the internet of things and new pump applications. In doing this, there’s always an awareness of emerging global markets, and constant changes to the geopolitical map.
“We’ve really developed our worldwide presence in order to be closer to our customers and pump end users, and we always operate with our values of loyalty, integrity and innovation at the front of mind. For Caprari, the focus is on strengthening business relationships with our partners and ‘bringing more quality-water around’.”
It’s this focus that Mr Caprari, and the Australian arm of the group, bring to their operations Down Under which the group predicts will continue to grow in the coming years.
“We predict that Australia, in the long run, will keep growing as a country that’s attracting people both from western countries and also from China and Southeast Asia,” noted Mr Caprari.
“Newcomers that are willing to make local investments and participate in the development of either the primary or tertiary sectors, such as agriculture, food and dairy, plus education, tourism, and health care, will be successful.
“This will also positively affect infrastructure networks and building services, which are the market sectors where Caprari is able to offer high-technology pumping systems and solutions.”
For Mr Caprari, he loves the diverse nature of being involved in the pump industry in Australia.
“In my view Australia is just the world, compacted. Almost every culture is represented today Down Under,” said Mr Caprari.
“We certainly love the fact that Australian professionals involved in the water and pump industries are appreciating new technologies and quality solutions, and the fact that they look for good, solid companies to work with.
“Australian companies never take a superficial approach, they look at the broader implications of the challenges they face and together, we create new solutions that meet their pumping needs.
“It’s the quality professional environment, and the long-term market potential, that has led us to recently to further invest in Oceania, becoming last November 2015 the full owners of Caprari Pumps Australia and Caprari Pumps New Zealand.
“As part of this move we’ve adopted a business plan for the next few years that will include consistent investments, in order to increase customer satisfaction and therefore market shares.”
Chief Executive Officer, Davey Water Products (Global)
David Worley is the Chief Executive Office of Davey Water Products – a multi-national manufacturing company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and owned by the GUD Group.
Mr Worley is a relative newcomer to the pump industry, joining Davey in 2013.
He is an experienced operating CEO and has significant building industry and manufacturing experience, having spent 17 years in a range of senior leadership roles across a spectrum of manufacturing and distribution businesses.
With a number of the businesses he has joined (ranging in size from $100 million to $2 billion) performing sub-optimally, Mr Worley has applied a combination of strategy development and business fitness improvement to improve their performance – a strong theme in the last 15 years of his career in particular.
Headquartered and a market leader in Australia, Davey manufactures and distributes a range of products which transfer, conserve, treat and filter water to over 50 countries where they perform in some of the world’s toughest conditions.
With a focus on new and smarter ways to help customers solve problems and its strong engineering capability, Davey develops and markets leading water products for homes, businesses and farms, fire and flood protection, rainwater harvesting, swimming pool and community needs.
Mr Worley is particularly excited to bring his unique skill set to Davey, and the broader Australian pump industry, in the current challenging environment.
“With the market looking fairly flat and no immediate prospect of substantial market growth, in order to thrive, companies will have to get better at doing the basics – looking after customers, setting high standards of delivery and service, and constant product improvement – at an economic cost,” said Mr Worley.
“And it’s not just about looking after customers, but properly understanding their needs and helping them to grow their business by understanding what works for them in their local markets.
“In our particular market, to thrive we need to anticipate industry changes and recognise that water is becoming an increasingly important resource that is not always going to be available at the quality or cost that people prefer or have become accustomed to – even in the major metropolitans.”
Like many in the industry, Mr Worley expects that while challenging market conditions prevail, we’ll continue to see more merger and acquisition activity in the industry both locally and globally.
“I expect to see some level of industry consolidation particularly in distribution channels and how we get products to customers,” said Mr Worley.
“We will continue to see the increasing impact of the internet, which will also have a significant impact on how we get products to customers.
“I think the pump industry has held a belief that, due to the technical complexity of what we do, our products and services don’t lend themselves to an ‘online’ or self-service environment. But people are smart and inevitably more and more of what the industry has to offer will be available on the internet directly for consumers.”
While his time in the industry has been brief, Mr Worley has already identified some of the key factors that make it a great place to work.
“It’s an industry that has operated on traditional lines which, if carefully managed, provide an opportunity for innovation with a vitally important commodity – water,” he noted.
“And from a Davey Water Products perspective, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to protect and enhance people’s lives with water.”
Managing Director, Pioneer Pump
Steve Bosnar is the Managing Director of Pioneer Pump Australia, a leading edge US pump company based out of Victoria.
Mr Bosnar has been in the pump industry for over 30 years and has a deep knowledge of the current state of play.
For Mr Bosnar, challenging market conditions have provided opportunities for growth in new areas.
“The industry that we share is one that’s had its challenges, particularly over the last four years,” said Mr Bosnar.
“The downturn in the mining and oil and gas sectors has had a huge influence on our local economy, and our industry has not been immune.
“For us, like most that are still in the pump industry, we had to adapt to the changes in this economic environment. We have had to diversify into other markets, introduce innovative new products, whilst continuing our aim for greater share of our traditional markets.
“We have also increased our footprint further into Southeast Asia and the Oceania, which has helped us find new markets and grow.”
According to Mr Bosnar, the performance of the broader Australian economy will continue to have impacts on the Australian pump industry.
“As today’s market uncertainty continues, our industry, like most, fluctuates with Australian Commodities,” said Mr Bosnar. “If the markets are taking a beating, so are we through the flow on.
“Analysts predict that certain commodities will firm and slightly strengthen by the end of 2016. The strengthening is suggested to continue throughout 2017 and more so in 2018. If this prediction is correct, I suggest that the pump industry should see the benefits mid to long term.”
Like many industries, the pump industry is a cyclical one, but for Mr Bosnar, one thing that remains constant is his enjoyment at being involved in pumps.
“This is an industry that some of us are passionate about,” said Mr Bosnar.
“I started when telex machines were the preferred method of communication with suppliers! With over 30 plus years in the pump industry, I have made an enjoyable and fulfilling career. I have made lifetime friendships worldwide because of it, and I love the fact that I’m still learning and meeting new people everyday.”
Managing Director, Pump Power
John Shanasy, the Managing Director of Pump Power, began his career in the pump industry with an apprenticeship in instrument making when he was seventeen, before going on to study electrical engineering and graduating as an electrical engineer in 1975.
In 1978 he landed his first job in the pump industry, with Link Pumps. Mr Shanasy worked there for seven years in the technical and sales areas, providing a very good foundational knowledge and experience with a wide range of pumps.
After a few years Mr Shanasy became the General Manager of Link Pumps, and in 1988 he acquired the sales division of the business and renamed it Pump Power Australia.
Situated in Brooklyn, the business has been well-placed to service the industrial areas of Melbourne, as well as developing markets throughout Australia and New Zealand.
A key value for Pump Power has always been to develop good personal relationships with both suppliers and customers.
This goes along with expert technical knowledge and an emphasis on prompt and professional service. According to Mr
Shanasy, Pump Power has always been ready to go the extra mile to help customers out of a tight spot.
In 2015, Mr Shanasy’s son Will and his wife Belinda took over the reins of Pump Power.
Mr Shanasy said they are committed to the DNA of Pump Power, and to long-term suppliers and customers.
At the same time, Mr Shanasy said it is also rewarding for him to see a new generation introducing healthy innovations and new products.
According to Mr Shanasy, while the market conditions for the pump industry as a whole are currently challenging, some sectors of the industry have remained somewhat unaffected.
“Current market conditions have not changed dramatically for high-end and specialist pump products,” noted Mr Shanasy.
“The change has been in the cheaper and simpler product ranges, where it has become all about price.
“It will be important for specialised pump companies to keep abreast of new technologies and maintain their technical edge. This will differentiate them from the crowd and enable them to be known for appropriate pump selection in technically complex situations.
“I also think that there may be an increased demand for pump system packages rather than individual pumps. Pump companies can adapt by gearing up for this.”
Mr Shanasy also believes that the ongoing focus on energy efficiency and whole of life costs will have an impact on the industry moving forward.
“In the short to mid-term there is likely to be an increased emphasis on pump efficiency so less energy is consumed and costs are reduced. This shift is in the context of an increasing global focus on energy efficiency.
“As larger companies, whose business involves the use of pumps, focus more and more on core products and become less inclined to be involved with peripheral equipment, they will turn more to service providers like pump companies.
“There is therefore an opportunity for pump companies to get more involved in servicing and monitoring pumps. For the clients it means less employee time spent on maintenance, and with well-thought-out pump monitoring, costly environmental spills are less likely.”
After a long and varied career in the industry, the part that Mr Shanasy has always enjoyed most has been the connections he’s made with clients and colleagues.
“The aspect of my career in the pump industry I have always enjoyed the most is the people. Having been in the industry 38 years I have found it very rewarding to build long-term relationships with customers, suppliers, and the people at Pump Power.
“Being a practical person, who started off as an apprentice, I have also always enjoyed the handson aspect of working with pump systems. Whether it was working down a mine, or in the bilges of FPSOs, I welcomed the variety and the opportunities to get my hands dirty and not always be stuck in an office.
“The problem-solving required for complex pump applications has always been enjoyable as well.”