Ag Industry, Farm Machinery, Parts

Motion Australia offers more choices, more solutions

With an unparalleled selection of products, expertise and branches nationwide, Motion Australia is living out its promise to provide Australian agricultural businesses with ‘more choices, more solutions’

The story of Motion Australia begins over a century ago, spanning the supply of bearings, industrial drives, motors, lifting, sealing and fluid power solutions as well as engineering services.

“If it moves, we can add value to it,” Motion Australia executive general manager of engineering services Ryan Kendrigan says.

Looking at moving parts in farm machinery, such as tractors, Motion can offer niche products and services – providing effective solutions for customers.

“If you’ve got old farm machinery that you can get more life out of or you’re not happy with the performance of, start having a conversation with us,” Kendrigan says.

Motion stocks a range of parts for crucial pieces of agricultural equipment, such as seeders, tillers, sprayers and augers – making sure it is involved with every aspect of the farming industry.

With a such a large range of products and services, Motion uses its heritage brands to distribute parts, such as bearings, couplings, motors and engine filters – all used in farm machinery.

“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 options,” Kendrigan says.

Today, Motion includes long-established businesses BSC and CBC – which have traditionally supplied bearing and power transmission products to industry.

It also includes 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 1,600 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 says.

“We came to the decision through our relationships with customers and learning what their needs are,” he says.

“To truly service our customers and give them tailored solutions, we felt we needed to add more value across the product portfolio.”

Whilst 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, says that Motion’s approach is still fundamentally that of 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 says.

“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.”

Broadly, Motion’s businesses can be grouped into three key areas – industrial solutions, fluid power and engineering services.

Executive general manager for industrial solutions Nick Kerwin says 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 says.

“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, training, and even energy efficiency reviews – is hugely beneficial.”

Motion Australia provides unmatched expertise for its customers with a range of different business lines. Image: Motion Australia

Engineering growth

Kendrigan began his career with Motion at the bearing company, BSC. He has since been part of an evolution that has seen the engineering division grow from having only 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 says.

“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,” he says.

“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.

“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 says that whilst engineering services comprise 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 says.

“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.”

A fluid approach

Forbes began his Motion career at Hardy Spicer, over 20 years ago, in hoses and fittings. Today, he heads up the Motion Fluid Power Solutions, which comprises hydraulic hoses, industrial hoses, mobile service units and general fluid power componentry, such as cylinders, valves, and filtration products.

“It’s quite a large market, and one that has been fragmented with lots of smaller, specialised businesses,” he says.

“A key advantage of us having these specialised businesses under the one umbrella is it really makes it a lot easier for customers.

“We only provide products that meet strict Australian standards and can provide technically precise solutions – like welded hose assemblies – that industries such as the petrochemical or food and beverage industries require.”

Importantly, Forbes stresses that the consolidation of brands under the Motion banner will not come at the expense of the small business mindset which has served many of the company’s customers well for years.

“It’s still vital that we have regional sales reps with strong local connections and knowledge,” he says.

“But as part of Motion, they also have access to our extensive network of expertise, which will help them deliver the right solutions and advice to their customers.”

Crucially, Kerwin says, being a customer of any one of Motion’s divisions means customers can benefit from the resources and experience shared between them.

“Our purpose is to keep the world moving,” he says.

“That is what our customers want. They want to keep producing and maintaining their equipment to keep them moving, productive, and profitable.”

The future is in Motion

What does the future hold for Motion? Forbes says there is 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 says.

“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, Kerwin agrees, 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.”

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