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More choices and more solutions with consolidated Motion

The story of Motion Australia begins over a century ago, spanning the supply of bearings, industrial drives, motors, lifting, sealing and fluid power solutions as well as engineering services. Food & Beverage Industry News reports.

Leon Stefanec, national product development, Motion Australia, said with an extensive selection of products, expertise, and branches nationwide, the company is living out its promise to provide Australian industrial businesses with ‘more choices, more solutions’.

Stefanec works closely with food and beverage manufacturers in the Australian and New Zealand markets and has heard first-hand the benefits that come with working with a global company like Motion.

“What our customers tell me is they like that they can buy a wide range of products form Motion which helps reduce the number of suppliers that they have,” he said.

“We have around 130 branches and when you can pull that strength together it becomes very powerful.

“With that national footprint, and particularly now that we have become Motion Australia, is that we are looking to replicate what we do well right across the country.”

National business development manager, Leon Stefanec, works closely with food and beverage manufacturers for Motion Australia / Image: Motion Australia

Leon Stefanec, national product development, Motion Australia, said with an extensive selection of products, expertise, and branches nationwide, the company is living out its promise to provide Australian industrial businesses with ‘more choices, more solutions’.

Stefanec works closely with food and beverage manufacturers in the Australian and New Zealand markets and has heard first-hand the benefits that come with working with a global company like Motion.

“What our customers tell me is they like that they can buy a wide range of products form Motion which helps reduce the number of suppliers that they have,” he said.

“We have around 130 branches and when you can pull that strength together it becomes very powerful.

“With that national footprint, and particularly now that we have become Motion Australia, is that we are looking to replicate what we do well right across the country.”

Stefanec also said the buying power Motion has built is another key reason why it’s commercially beneficial for companies to work with Motion. 

Among Motion Australia’s specialities are bearings, power transmission, fluid power, and engineering services. All of which play critical roles in the food and beverage manufacturing industry. 

“If it moves, we can add value to it,” says Ryan Kendrigan, executive general manager of Engineering Services at Motion Australia. 

“Each business within the Motion family comes with its own specialty. What’s advantageous is that with all these businesses and their specialties consolidated, our customers have an incomparable breadth of offer.”

Stefanec said one of the most talked about benefits of working with Motion was the ‘one stop shop’ aspect the company continues to build. 

“The customer only needs to make one phone call or one email, which is to me, and I can bring in the right person with the right expertise,” he said. 

“Whether that be someone from our workshop to discuss plastics, or an engineer, it extends to several areas. 

“For the customer to know they can contact one supplier and get access to a wide range of solutions at a competitive rate means a lot to them.”

Under each of these businesses is a vast inventory of branded products – totalling over 600,000 individual items – which is supported by a network of over 1600 employees, 180 branches, 30 repair and service facilities and eight dedicated distribution centres.

As a result, Motion continues to build a strong reputation in the food and beverage manufacturing industry for its wide variety of cutting-edge solutions. 

Stefanec said the global presence of Motion also provided deep expertise which are easily transferrable to the Australian and New Zealand food and beverage manufacturing industries. 

“I often work with some large corporate accounts and some of them have got presence in foreign markets, so when we say we are a global company it really means a lot to our customers,” he said. 

“If we are servicing a much larger operation overseas then that helps create confidence for potential partners here in Australia.” 

In recent decades Motion shifted its focus from being a supplier of componentry to being a full solutions provider after working so closely with key industry stakeholders. 

The insight Stefanec has built up over his years working with the industry has also given him the insight to provide the right solution at the right time. 

“Some of the biggest priorities for food plants are in keeping production going and food security,” he said. 

“Those are among the many reasons why it’s very important to be sending out high-quality components that will last and have all the required certifications,” he said. 

“We have the right understanding of those products to make the correct recommendations to fit their requirements. It’s all about service and keeping their plants up and running.” 

Meanwhile, Stephen Forbes, executive general manager of Fluid Power Solutions at Motion Australia, says that Motion’s approach is still fundamentally a family-business – which is essential to the company’s evolution.

“For most of our history, we’ve operated as a group of family-owned companies and this heritage is reflected in the approach we take today, which is relationship focussed,” said Forbes. 

“And our customers are looking to us to make it easier for them. They trust us, the brands that we supply, and the expertise we have to now provide full-service solutions.”

As executive general manager for Industrial Solutions, Nick Kerwin says the consolidation of the company’s core businesses has only had positive implications for customers. 

“We’ve worked with many of our bearing and power transmission suppliers for decades and have built on a wealth of expertise both in partnership with suppliers and in our own team,” he said. 

“Being able to go to industrial businesses with a holistic offering – that incorporates everything from traditional rotating componentry to hydraulics, 

hoses and fittings to bespoke engineering services, training, and even energy efficiency reviews, is hugely beneficial.”

A key example of Motion’s commitment to building its solution offerings, particularly around industrial hose fitting and fluid power, is in its string of key acquisitions over the past two years. 

“The largest was Powell Industrial, which really bolstered our stock profile, inventory, workshops with bespoke hoses, and expertise,” said Stefanec. 

“And the calibre of a lot of the people we have in that team is incredible.”

Motion provided a solution for one of Australia’s largest bottlers. (Before & After) / Image: Motion Australia

Engineering growth

The Motion family also includes long-established businesses such as BSC.

“We started out as a bearing company that provided engineering support for traditional rotating equipment,”
said Kendrigan.

“Now we can look at anything that’s operating in rotary motion, linear motion or hydraulic motion and provide a turnkey solution that will maximise the efficiency and output of
that equipment.”

Having such a broad range of expertise means that the Motion engineering team can come up with a process for a challenging situation.

“It’s being able to offer that turnkey solution. We can design a concept, manufacture a concept, install it, maintain it. It’s a full-service offering,” he said. 

“We’re constantly looking at how we can better support our customers in Australia, and actively expanding our offering and capability,” he said. 

A fluid approach

“It’s quite a large market, and one that has been fragmented with lots of smaller, specialised businesses,” said Stephen Forbes, executive general manager, Motion Fluid Solutions.

“A key advantage of us having these specialised businesses under the one umbrella is it really makes it a lot easier for customers. We only provide products that meet strict Australian standards and can provide technically precise solutions that industries like food and beverage industries require.”

Importantly, Forbes stresses that the consolidation of brands under the Motion banner will not come at the expense of the small business mindset.

“It’s still vital that we have regional sales reps with strong local connections and knowledge,” he said. 

“But as part of Motion, they also have access to our extensive network of expertise, which will help them deliver the right solutions and advice to
their customers.”

A solutions-focussed industrial supplier

Meanwhile, Kerwin is enthusiastic about the opportunities that are unfolding in the industrial
solutions space. 

“We’ve got a solid foundation in the bearing, power transmission and mechanical drive solutions space, largely due to the relationships forged over the years with our legacy companies BSC and CBC,” said Kerwin. 

“What’s exciting is being able to customise solutions so that businesses don’t have to consult with various suppliers to get what they need.” 

Crucially, Kerwin says, being a customer of any one of Motion’s divisions means customers can benefit from the resources and experience shared between them. 

“Our purpose is to keep the world moving,” he said. 

“That is what our customers want. They want to keep producing and maintaining their equipment to keep them moving, productive,
and profitable.” 

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