Interview with René Colombel, Managing Director of Precia Molen Small Business Member of the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce 2015 during his recent visit to Australia. Interview translated from French.
What does Precia Molen do?
Precia Molen specialises in Industrial Weighing Systems for a variety of industries. In Australia, the business is focusing mainly on the quarry, mining and grain sectors by providing customised continuous weighing systems which are manufactured in France. Worldwide Precia Molen also produces industrial scales and weighing terminals for the agriculture and produce sectors, weighbridges for logistics and transport and software fully adapted to the requirements of the client.
As a specialised business, what makes you unique?
Load cells, mechanical structures, electronics and software which compose Précia Molen weighing instruments are designed and manufactured in France which enables Precia Molen to ensure the quality of its products through the manufacturing process of from start to finish. Contrary to a large majority of our competitors who will procure one or the other component from third parties. As Precia Molen adapts each weighing system to the specific needs of the customer, it is a strong advantage for us to retain the entire production process internally at our manufacturing site in Privas, Ardeche in France.
What influenced the decision to install Precia Molen in Australia?
The idea came from an existing client Metso, a Finnish Engineering company that specialises in quarry mining among other activities. Having worked with Precia Molen in France, Metso at the time were seeking a technical provider to follow them over to Australia as they set up their business locally. Precia Molen has been going through a process of significant expansion in the last few years, with sights set on developing a significant presence in the Asia-Pacific over the next 30 years either through acquisition or implantation, thus making the move to Australia was a natural one.
Can you describe the process of setting up an SME in Australia?
The initial prospective visit for us was in 2011 through to the end of 2012 as we connected with established ties such as Holcim and Metso, and for proximity sake located our base in Goulburn close to the local quarry. Our first Australian-based staff, Aurelien Roques started with 3 month’s training in France prior to his arrival in Australia to establish Precia Molen in Sydney and start investigating in detail the local quarry mining and grain industries. Today we have two permanent staff that are based in Sydney CBD.
What have been some surprises, challenges or exciting developments that you have encountered while establishing Precia Molen in Australia?
A success would include the partnership that Precia Molen has attained with some actors in the quarry business which started with the Lynwood quarries of Holcim. The cooperation with Wedderburn for the distribution of Précia Molen weighing equipment to the light industry sector also noticeable. We are surprised at how well regarded the French image is in Australia, as it is very well received and respected.
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