Textbook approach would work

SOLUTIONS straight out of the university textbooks provide the modus operandi for David Day as he applies well-honed accounting and auditing skills to the dust and sweat of a timber-machining workshop.

Last April Mr Day turned his back on a desk job with accounting firm William Buck and took over one of his client’s businesses, Vintage Hardwoods. He made the move to the 4,500 square metre Rockingham factory with the financial backing of his family after the previous owner walked out on the business.

While releasing himself from the environs of a city office, Mr Day has lost neither the accounting lingo nor the textbooks.

Behind his desk is a line of university texts that he refers to daily to maintain a sharp focus on achieving a positive bottom-line for the business.

Uncomfortable with talking about the business’s past, the chief executive prefers to draw attention to what has occurred recently and what’s on the horizon.

The business has established a strategic alliance with Wesfarmers subsidiary Sotico Pty Ltd for the supply of short waste-material timber that is too short for any productive commercial use.

“What it [the supply contract with Sotico] enables us to do is use them as an umbrella and as a sword,” Mr Day said.

And several months ago, new cutting-edge finger jointing technology was imported from Germany, which Mr Day believes sets the stage for a surge in new business.

The adoption of the new machinery has taken months of difficult and frustrating work for Mr Day and his 15 staff. Everything that could go wrong did.

Only this month was the machinery finally commissioned to reform short lengths of otherwise unusable timber into floorboards for housing or commercial use through the finger jointing technique.

Mr Day said access to cheap timber gave the company its competitive edge.

But it is not simply the cost factor, which the company is brandishing before potential clients. Environ-mental factors are becoming just as important as the State Government continues to tighten the supply of timber from the forests.

“This is a good story. Recycling wasted timber puts less strain on our forests,” Mr Day said.

The new machinery can handle up to 1,000sq m a week. Fully utilised, this translates into turnover of at least $100,000 a week, or $5.2 million a year.

But the company still has some way to go. In the past year its turnover was a mere $1 million.

A bullish Mr Day expects turnover to double within the next two months, propelled by a $450,000 order from a hotel chain and through a proposed expansion into the UK market.

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