17/11/2014 - 16:25

Swivelpole pivots to international market

17/11/2014 - 16:25

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An innovative product developed in Western Australia is being exported to energy and resources companies internationally under the leadership of former Bankwest corporate and specialised banking head, Andrew Tolj.

Swivelpole pivots to international market
LIGHT AND EASY: Andrew Tolj is leading the local manufacturer on an international expansion.

An innovative product developed in Western Australia is being exported to energy and resources companies internationally under the leadership of former Bankwest corporate and specialised banking head, Andrew Tolj.

The Swivelpole, manufactured in Mandurah, is designed to simplify maintenance of industrial lighting.

The device enables the light pole to pivot, enabling access from ground level

The company claims it reduces safety and reliability issues, and improves labour productivity.

In large facilities, implementing replacement of potentially hundreds or thousands of bulbs can be a complex process, requiring permits and potentially leading to shut down of certain sections of an operation.

Mr Tolj, who joined Swivelpole two years ago and is now executive general manager, said the product could reduce lighting maintenance costs by 95 per cent.

“It’s an ingenious product and it’s globally applicable,” he said

“We see the product fitting as safety and efficiency becomes more and more core to operating businesses and their focus.”

Founded in 1999 by Robert Pannekoek, Swivelpole now employs 60 people, the majority of those in WA.

It manufactures the product locally and operates a global sales desk around the clock.

Mr Tolj said the business was an opportunity to take some of his corporate experiences from financial services and apply them to a local operation.

“My experience of working on the other side of the desk, with an owner and an operator on their growth aspirations and their goals, is giving me some good insights that I can apply here … to grow this business,” he said.

Mr Tolj said the company was embarking on a strategy of expansion and product diversification.

Swivelpole now has distribution arms in the US and Canada, with between 30 per cent and 35 per cent of revenue from these export markets.

Texas in particular is a source of growth, with a strong oil and gas sector that is experiencing rejuvenation from liquid natural gas production, driving construction of new LNG trains.

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