SALIX general manager Mark Fulford is excited about the future and the possibilities the new pipeline of works across Australia and New Zealand will provide.
“The market is currently going through an unprecedented boom, with a number of regional and metro projects coming online at an extremely fast rate – we are seeing the same trend internationally,” Fulford said.
“For more than 15 years, we have been supplying turnouts and other rail products to the Australian market and our vision is to expand into the export market and showcase our engineering expertise and product knowledge worldwide.”
The Australian owned company has experienced major success and recognition in the local market for design and supply of turnouts, while competing against internationally-owned businesses.
Salix has developed innovative railway product solutions – and now with a new business name and brand, the team will focus on taking Australian-developed railway product solutions to the global market. Salix has already achieved growth from exports that have resulted in an increase of 30 per cent in revenue attributed to these export sales. The company is strategically investing to grow export revenue by a further 70 per cent.
Fulford said the Salix Products tagline ‘Enabling the Future’ referred to several key themes, including:
• A willingness to take on large-scale and complex projects;
• Opportunities within the local and international rail markets;
• A readiness to provide new and diverse rail construction products;
• Delivering complete supply solutions for all rail products, and
• A focus on quality assurance, ensuring products are made with sustainability in mind.
“We enjoy taking on the tough and complex projects and providing a best-for-project solution for our clients and that’s what sets us apart,” Fulford said.
“Under the Salix brand, we offer expert product knowledge and innovative design solutions to consistently deliver construction benefits, operational performance and maintenance cost savings.”
Fulford said the key to Salix’s success was a collaborative team culture and the passion of its talented engineers, project managers, designers and support services.
“Our in-house product design and manufacturing teams understand the construction process – specifically around safety and efficiency – and this allow us to develop products and tooling to benefit rail construction projects.”
Salix has emphasised the importance of ‘customer service’ to its business. But what does this mean?
“It means that we are there for the client from beginning to end,” Fulford said.
“Our customer service approach is to collaborate with the client to ensure they have a fit for purpose product, we work with them through the whole supply chain process to ensure we capture all their needs and wants.
“We not only need to ensure our product complies to rail owner and national standards but also that the client is involved through the whole delivery process so the client’s project runs smoothly, and they have a product that will perform for its whole life cycle.”
Fulford said the scale and diversity of rail projects on both sides of the Tasman provides a unique opportunity for an Australian owned company to excel, albeit there were always challenges.
“This is a great time to be working in infrastructure and getting to partner on many blue-ribbon projects,” he said.
“Over the years, various projects provided us with opportunities to design and develop 1200 turnout solutions in Australia.
“Due to the opportunities presented by both projects and clients, we have expanded out products catalogue enormously – and that includes everything within the rail corridor – through from civil to railway system needs.
“This was also made easy by our extremely knowledgeable team, robust supply chain and knowledge of rail products.”
Fulford said the Australian rail market was a particularly interesting one.
“The market is so unique with multiple network owners and operators all working to their own set of track standards, as you know many of these networks operate with different track gauges, different rollingstock and therefore very different requirements as you can imagine,” he said.
More recently, the team successfully delivered tailormade solutions for Forrestfield Airport Link in Western Australia and KiwiRail in Auckland.
“We focus on providing the best tailormade solutions for our clients, we recently received an extension on our turnout supply contract with KiwiRail and remain their exclusive turnout supplier and have been for the past five years.” Fulford said.
“The other unique aspect we face is product type approvals. Currently each network has its own approval process for new products, therefore to supply a product to a new network even if you have it approved in other networks is a whole new application process which can take up time and resources.
“The team has navigated these challenges and received all necessary approvals across all railways which enables us to extend our reach across the globe,” he said.
“The team has already received international recognition our quality of design and fit-for-purpose product solutions and we are looking forward to what the future holds for the business.”
From a unique experience working across multiple networks, Salix looks set to well and truly service the growing international rail market.