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Engineers get connected

FAMILY-OWNED welding contractor Bossong Engineering is confident of growing in the short-term despite the economic downturn, after signing up as a client of the Western Australian Manufacturing Centre.

The centre is part of the federal government's $271 million Enterprise Connect initiative, which is designed to provide support to a range of business sectors.

Bossong Engineering business development manager Paul Bossong said since joining Enterprise Connect in October he was confident the initiative would take the 21-year-old family business to the next level.

"Bossong has been driven by CEO Steve Bossong and as the company has grown we have seen Steve's focus shift from his passion of engineering and design, to the day-to-day management of the organisation," Paul Bossong said.

"Steve recognised that if the business was going to grow he was going to need some help."

Mr Bossong said Enterprise Connect had assisted the business to overhaul its accounting system, improve human resources policies and reassess its management structure, business processes and workplace culture.

"Although other companies in the manufacturing sector are struggling in the current difficult financial climate, we choose to look at the many opportunities ahead," Mr Bossong said.

"We have a solid foundation for future sustained growth and we will continue to be innovative.

"Enterprise Connect has given us the tools to continue to grow into an innovative and dynamic company.

"Being part of Enterprise Connect means we can really take our business to the next level. We are a family business and we have succession planning and these types of issues to take care of and without that outside support from the government, it's very hard to be able to move forward."

Bossong Engineering, established in 1988, has achieved sustained growth, which the family attributes to many years of investment into mechatronics technology, which combines mechanical, electronic, controls and computer engineering.

The company also heavily invests in designing and building flexible manufacturing systems that utilise state-of-the-art robots and intelligent-controlled devices.

Speaking at an official launch of the manufacturing centre last week, innovation minister Kim Carr said Bossong Engineering epitomised the very company Enterprise Connect was targeting.

Enterprise Connect advisory board member Phil Kemp, who is also chief executive of the Fremantle Coastal Business Centre, said the program would facilitate a closer working relationship between industry, researchers and universities.

"I think, and the board believes, that Enterprise Connect is the right program at the right time," he said.

Bellevue-based Avtech Engineering managing director Steve Delfos said he believed the Enterprise Connect program could benefit his company.

"It was once said that most owner-managers in the manufacturing industry are great doers, but usually not great entrepreneurially," he said.

"I would welcome this assistance to see where we might be able to improve our systems and ultimately grow, or at least sustain, the business in difficult times."

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