AusGroup has provided construction, maintenance and turnaround services for the energy, resources, minerals and renewable sectors since 1989.
The AusGroup business has evolved and grown over this time, but its core drivers and values have remained constant. At its foundation, the AusGroup approach has always prioritised relationship building and service excellence – working in partnership with clients at all stages of projects, no matter how large or small those projects might be.
This consistent approach has seen AusGroup grow and prosper, notwithstanding inevitable challenges caused by economic downturns (and global pandemics) along the way. A strong yet flexible business model and an unwavering commitment to excellence have proven to be AusGroup’s secret to success and longevity in an industry which has seen other service providers come and go.
[Picture: Angelo Demarte at AusGroup Kwinana Operations]
A brief history of the business
AusGroup began as a relatively small fabrication, insulation and cladding services provider in 1989 in Kwinana, south of Perth.
Ausclad (as AusGroup was then known) quickly developed a strong reputation for providing high quality solutions for local industry, and the business grew organically in the early 1990’s notwithstanding challenging economic conditions at the time. Steady business growth over the decade saw the Kwinana site expand significantly in capacity, projects and employee numbers, and by the time Ausclad had reorganised to form AGC (Ausclad Group of Companies) in 1998 it was providing a full suite of solutions to clients across Western Australia and beyond.
AGC was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of AusGroup Limited. Further growth was achieved through acquisition of a number of companies and assets in Australia and abroad (including Modern Access Services (MAS) in 2009 and by successfully securing and delivering on a number of substantial long-term contracts.
Each business acquisition was undertaken as part of a strategic plan which focused on growth in key industries and locations, ensuring that AusGroup had the capability and the resources to provide the highest quality solutions across a diversified range of industries – providing a buffer during times of economic downturn and a springboard from which future activity could be launched, including with experience in the expanding renewable energy sector.
Now, with a steady and growing client base, expansion of its Kwinana facilities and a pipeline of significant projects across a range of industries (including the recently awarded 10-year Central Services Contract with Chevron), AusGroup is well positioned to continue to provide exceptional solutions in Australia and beyond.
An employee perspective
Angelo Demarte has seen much of the AusGroup evolution. Starting with AusGroup as a boilermaker in 2000 and now a Workshop Superintendent at the Kwinana fabrication and maintenance facility, Angelo is one of AusGroup’s longest serving employees and has his own explanations for the company’s longevity.
“It’s a workplace that’s built around people. We have a real culture of teamwork, and that includes the AusGroup team and our clients, working together. We’re all focused on getting work done safely, on time, and on budget.”
When Angelo started with AusGroup the maintenance and fabrication facilities were small and many of its quality procedures were manual. Now, barcoding, scanning and online quality assurance tools have automated many internal processes, resulting in greater efficiencies, improved safety, and better outcomes for clients.
“We definitely have automated a lot of our processes which has made it easier for us to do our jobs. Our AG Fab program makes our fabrication work much more seamless than it used to be. It all goes towards giving a better quality solution for our clients and gives us the confidence and the knowledge that we can build absolutely anything”.
Angelo also believes that the AusGroup culture of integrity and courage has served it well. “We’re really lucky to have a leadership team that values every staff member equally, regardless of their position. We’re all encouraged to have a voice and sometimes it’s the suggestions and ideas that even our newest staff members have that are the best and that change how we go about things.”
Angelo believes this feeds into the wider AusGroup commitment to the highest safety standards and to its culture of continuous improvement. “We recognise people all the time for the work they do well, and so we’re all focused together on doing the best job we can and on doing things better where we can. I think we’re quite unique in that way.”
Shane Kimpton, AusGroup’s CEO and Managing Director, agrees. “There is a genuine commitment at AusGroup to prioritise the wellbeing of our employees and our clients. Our strategic planning, our growth in market share, and our contracts with key clients are important, of course. But all of this is based on the assumption that we have a great team of people and that we’re a place where people want to work. Thanks to our people, we’re looking forward to ongoing success not only here in Australia but in Asia Pacific.”