Okuma Aus­tralia ap­points new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

DEAN MCCARROLL is the new Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor for Okuma Aus­tralia and Okuma New Zealand fol­low­ing the re­tire­ment of in­cum­bent Philip Hayes.

McCarroll be­gan his ca­reer at Okuma Aus­tralia as Na­tional Sales but has been Gen­eral Man­ager for more than ten years work­ing closely with Hayes over this pe­riod. Philip Hayes com­menced with the Okuma brand at Gil­bert Lodge and Com­pany Lim­ited in 1991 at the very depth of the Keat­ing re­ces­sion. He was con­fronted with a ma­chine tool busi­ness that needed sig­nif­i­cant change man­age­ment suit­able for emerg­ing trends in new tech­nolo­gies, cus­tomer ser­vice, mar­ket­ing, sales method­ol­ogy and ap­pli­ca­tions sup­port.

Ac­cord­ingly, the ma­chine tools divi­sion of Gil­bert Lodge was rapidly over­hauled and for­tunes be­gan to change al­most im­me­di­ately. A fire that de­stroyed most of the Oak­leigh premises couldn’t pre­vent the Com­pany mov­ing ahead in leaps and bounds and achiev­ing a mar­ket lead­ing po­si­tion within three years.

In a re­vived co­op­er­a­tion with the man­age­ment of Okuma in Ja­pan, mas­sive an­nual gains were posted year on year. Valu­able lo­cal as­sis­tance by Geoff Cof­fey, then of At­las Steels, and em­ploy­ees placed in strate­gic po­si­tions, at­tracted and gained the trust of the best of the best tool­mak­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and job­bing shops. Their in­vest­ments de­liv­ered a com­plete trans­for­ma­tion of the com­pany and helped set in con­crete the foundations for what is de­scribed as one of the most suc­cess­ful and con­sis­tent op­er­a­tions in ma­chine tools in Aus­tralia.

In 2002, on be­half of Okuma Cor­po­ra­tion in Ja­pan, Hayes ne­go­ti­ated the pur­chase of all the shares in Gil­bert Lodge and Com­pany Ltd, by then known as At­las CNC Ma­chines, from Email Lim­ited and in 2004 es­tab­lished Okuma New Zealand Lim­ited and ap­pointed long- time Okuma cham­pion Fred deJong as GM Okuma New Zealand.

“Most peo­ple gave me lit­tle chance of re­cov­er­ing Gil­bert Lodge,” re­mem­bers Hayes. “But it was what I strongly wanted. I also em­ployed the peo­ple that I wanted. Those who weren’t suited to a new and ac­tive regime soon found out and made ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sions about their own fu­tures for them­selves. Our em­ploy­ees over the years have done well for the var­i­ous in­car­na­tions of our busi­ness, but fab­u­lously well for our hun­dreds and hun­dreds of cus­tomers whose trust we have to thank for hon­our­ing our hard work and our truly great Okuma ma­chines.”

Ex­ter­nally of Okuma, it was Hayes, as Pres­i­dent of the In­sti­tute of Ma­chine Tools Aus­trala­sia (IMTA), who ini­ti­ated, guided and or­ches­trated the merger with The Aus­tralian Ma­chine Tool As­so­ci­a­tion (AMTA). That merger re­sulted in the birth of AMTIL and the se­cur­ing of the ex­clu­sive rights to the AUSTECH ex­hi­bi­tion.

DEAN MCCARROLL

PHILIP HAYES

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