AUSTRALIAN Gypsum Industries is looking to turn its familiarity with the local industry into a marketing advantage across a range of products.
AGI general manager Frank Di Costa said many of the company’s competitors were based on the east coast, which provided AGI with a higher level of integration on the ground in Western Australia.
With this in mind, AGI aims to expand and capture an entire market range Mr Di Costa said had been neglected by larger supply companies.
AGI had a high level of integration with BGC, for example, and “our virtual integration model means we have an external supply partner that we treat as if they’re operating inside our business,” he said.
“The power of virtual integration is maximised when you get the manufacturer [BGC] and distributor [AGI] operating closer together in the value chain.”
The claimed lack of attention to WA by larger companies leaves a space in the market that AGI is attempting to fill by building brand equity and expanding into showrooms to maximise its local exposure.
“We want a showroom-driven presence that makes us accessible to the whole market, a virtual home improvement centre,” Mr Di Costa said. “We are looking at supplying anything that is building product related in our showrooms – from door frames to taps.”
AGI is preparing to launch an online ordering and estimating function on its website for current customers and for DIY and owner builders.
AGI currently represents 25 per cent of the supply of plaster for the market in WA, but within 24 months aims to capture 40 per cent through expanding existing supply arrangements and tapping in to new markets.
AGI’s main distribution centre in Hazlemere currently supplies directly to contractors, but Mr Di Costa is hoping the company will be able to capture the whole market, from minor residential renovations to large commercial jobs.
That goal could be assisted by the July 2003 amendment to the Building Code of Australia requiring builders to construct energy efficient homes. Essentially, this amendment has made insulation all but essential in all new homes.
An increase in demand for insulation has occurred, and AGI has gone from zero to a 25 per cent share of the insulation market in a short time, according to Mr Di Costa.