Topcon Dealers Form Australia's Largest Positioning Specialist
July 14, 2008
Livermore, CA – Five independent Australian dealers of Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) have joined forces to form a new company – Position Partners – creating the country’s largest and most experienced network in the precision positioning business.
The formation of Position Partners has also resulted in one of the largest Topcon distributors in the world, with the company operating from new national headquarters – currently under construction – in Melbourne.
Coming together to form Position Partners are ABC Lasers (Queensland), Laserquip (New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory), Laser Beams (Victoria/Tasmania), Ross Instruments (South Australia/Northern Territory) and Stadia Instruments (Western Australia).
All the principals and staff of the former independent dealers have combined to establish Position Partners and will continue working in the new company, which will cover the civil construction, survey, building and GIS sectors.
The new company has a staff of more than 120 throughout Australia; the new company’s directors have more than 170 years of combined industry experience, dating back to 1975.
The principals of each of the former state dealers are the shareholders of Position Partners, and will continue as state managers in the new company.
Ray O'Connor, TPS president and CEO, praised the efforts of the dealers. "We applaud the forward thinking of these innovative dealers in combining their expertise, experience, dedicated work forces and operation footprint to better serve the customers and potential customers throughout Australia. Topcon offers its congratulations and full support for the new organization now and in the future."
Former dealership owners and now shareholders include Mike Forrest (Queensland), Brian McLoughlin and Garry Fleming (New South Wales) and Bob Bent (Victoria). All four men pioneered the introduction of the first laser-based and automatic machine control systems for the construction industry in the late 1970-1980s, followed by 2D grader and sonic systems in the 1990s and more recently the latest 3D-GPS systems.
Others include South Australia’s David Gow, who started in the industry in 1985 as a laser repair technician before becoming the owner of Ross Instruments in 1997, and Garry MacPhail, a qualified engineering surveyor, who managed Topcon’s Western Australia branch for 12 years before starting Stadia Instruments with Bernard Cecchele in 2001.
Andrew McCleave has been appointed chief operating officer of the new company and brings many years of experience in the precision positioning industry.
Formerly with Leica Geosystems, McCleave has held senior global roles in sales, marketing, product development and management including extensive experience across Europe, North America and Asia, as well as Australia.
This includes being a partner with one of the world’s leading civil engineering consulting firms and having wide industry experience in Geo-IT, surveying, GNSS, site management and machine control technologies.
McCleave’s academic qualifications include a degree in land information, graduate degree in surveying and a masters degree in business. He is also a licensed surveyor.
“We'll have more locations and more people on the ground, while maintaining the industry-leading levels of support, experience and service that customers have always received through the previous independent dealer network.
“Position Partners combines the many decades of experience from Topcon’s state dealers into one, focused, powerful, national company,” McCleave said.
“No other organization in Australia can match the depth of knowledge, product range and experience in the supply of lasers, machine control and surveying equipment that we can bring through Position Partners.
“And in addition to our knowledge and expertise in supplying, servicing and supporting Topcon precision products, Position Partners offers Australia’s largest hire fleet of lasers, survey and machine control systems.”
McCleave said there were a number of reasons for the formation of Position Partners.
“Increasingly we are dealing with large national contractors, often on a daily basis, who work locally and across state borders. Now we are able to provide a seamless, consistent level of service anywhere in Australia.
“Over the past few years, as separate businesses, the principals have all worked increasingly closely together, sharing information, hire equipment, spare parts, replacement systems and so on – so this is a logical development from that point of view.
“And while all the state dealers had their own comprehensive service and repair facilities, two dealers – ABC Lasers and Laser Beams – had gained accredited Topcon Regional Repair Center status, which all the other dealers have been accessing as well. “By joining together into a single organization, we are now much better placed to take advantage of the economies of scale and synergies we can achieve,” McCleave said.
“This development will also mean substantial advantages to our customers.
“As GNSS-based machine control, survey and GIS products move into the mainstream construction, surveying and infrastructure-management sectors, there is increasing demand from our customers – and future customers – for strong, sophisticated dealer organizations with the expertise and resources to provide the service and support levels required,” he said.
“Not only will our customers have the assurance of doing business with a larger, more substantial company, offering increased financial, human and technical resources, but they will also be dealing with a single national distribution organization.
“This, along with a world-leading suite of products is a substantial differentiator that is unmatched by any of our competitors.
“And at the same time, through the on-going involvement of all the former dealer principals as shareholders, we will maintain our friendly, personal, hands-on service for all customers – from owner-operators and one-man survey companies, to the largest contractors, survey practices and public sector organizations,” he said.
“As individual dealers, they have always taken pride in delivering on their promises, on time to be the supplier of choice – and we will continue to do so as Position Partners.”
Further information: Position Partners - www.positionpartners.com.au