Warren Pryde has good reason to be proud. His company, Pryde Fabrication, is celebrating a ten year anniversary as a fabricator in the stainless steel industry.
Pryde Fabrication began in 1995 in Capalaba, Queensland, when Warren saw an opportunity to install stainless steel commercial kitchens for fabricators followed by a venture into architectural balustrading installation.
“I started with just myself, a ute and a toolbox. There was just one offsider which was my father-in-law.
“Six to eight weeks into it, there wasn’t enough hours in the day. I think I was working probably eighteen hours out of twenty four. Within six months I had five people working for me.”
As the company expanded, other metals were introduced, but predominantly the focus was always stainless steel. After 20 months, it was clear that a factory of his own was needed to support the slowdown that Warren says is probably still coming.
Fast forward to 2005, and Warren has established factories in both Queensland and New South Wales. Warren reflects on what would be the company’s most significant stainless steel project achievements to date.
“Definitely the RiverWalk project balustrading ... it’s a job that we’re certainly proud of internally. That’s up there as ‘challenging’ and the finish we ended up supplying out there we were more than happy with.”
The company’s sustained focus on quality has seen Pryde Fabrication develop a strong leadership role in the stainless steel industry.
When the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association launched the ASSDA Accreditation Scheme in early 2004, Pryde Fabrication was one of Australia’s first companies to be industry-recognised as an ASSDA Accredited Fabricator.
“Unfortunately there are some people playing around on the stainless side that shouldn’t be there. The market is so price driven these days, the margins are tight.
“I thought [the Scheme] was good mainly from the point of view that there was an assurance there that the client was going to get what they actually expect from the stainless steel.
“When you come up against another Accredited Fabricator you don’t mind because they are pricing the right material, the right structure. We saw this [Scheme] as a way to market ourselves as a top quality fabricator in the stainless steel industry.
Warren says that he still hasn’t got a sales representative on the road, instead attributing the company’s success to return business and offers his plans for the next ten years.
“A realistic figure is trying to double our turnover ... we’re ready for another expansion right across our market, whether it be the street furniture, commercial kitchens or the architectural side.
“We’re looking at increasing that [marketshare] without needing too many sales reps on the ground. So we’re still looking at that return business basis”.
The gains from having an ASSDA Accredited Fabricator status has resulted in benefits for his clients, his company and the whole industry.
Warren describes how the Scheme has assisted his company in marketing his business to the specifying community.
“With a lot of the government departments getting our name put in front of the right people with the order books ... they know what can happen to stainless if it’s not done the right way”.
Finally, Warren has this advice for fabricators starting out in the stainless steel industry.
“Companies who haven’t got the experience, if they get in touch with ASSDA they have the opportunity to do it the right way.
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who does the stainless work out there, if it’s done properly, it’s only going to be better for the industry and better for our company - because the majority of our work is stainless.”
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 33, Spring 2005.