Tell us about the business?
SKALA Australasia (skala.com.au) is an equipment and solutions provider for mining, recycling and industrial processes. We combine leading international equipment manufacturers with local spares, technical support, design, integration and installation for mining sites, coal handling plants, recycling facilities, ports, smelters, quarries and other material handling businesses.
To help these types of businesses with dust, waste and spillage, we brought Sweden’s DISAB industrial vacuums to Australia and New Zealand to provide a solution for removing, transporting and recovering waste and spillages, and for dealing with essential cleaning and housekeeping of plant. Our DISAB range (disab.com.au) is available for rental & sales, providing short-term solutions for shutdowns or spill control plus the ability to trial various systems before committing to a permanent solution. The equipment is reliable, oil-free, and doesn’t require regular servicing.
How long have you been doing business?
SKALA has been operating since 2012 and we established the DISAB industrial vacuum portfolio in 2016. We operate across Australasia, with equipment in every Australian State & Territory, as well as New Zealand and other neighbouring countries.
How many people work for the business?
We have a core team of eight plus several key partners that have been working closely with us for a decade on our larger, more complex projects. These partnerships are a significant force multiplier for us to resource larger projects and custom DISAB centralised vacuum systems.
Describe a typical day at ‘The office’.
No two days are the same because SKALA and DISAB have such a varied client base across numerous industries. On any given day we could be providing technical support to a mining installation, installing equipment in a port, getting DISAB vacuums out to a mining site, or exporting equipment and spares to our regional neighbours in New Zealand or New Caledonia.
What’s the best thing about the business?
Repeat customers. It is very satisfying to earn repeat business from our SKALA and DISAB customers, developing mutually beneficial relationships that support each other’s growth. There is no better endorsement than when customers come back to us again and again, particularly with complex and innovative projects.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business?
Global material shortages place uncertainty and pressure on supply chains, which can slow equipment availability for both SKALA and DISAB. To combat this, we’re continuously working with our suppliers, investing to stay in front of equipment stock levels and to have alternative contingencies in place.
What is the biggest opportunity for your business right now?
Awareness of dust issues and the impacts not only on human health and the environment, but to plant productivity and reliability is driving massive interest in our DISAB industrial vacuum solutions. Our rental systems are enabling maintenance and operational management to immediately achieve improvements for their workforce whilst also improving the bottom line.
What is the business most proud of?
Over the years we have delivered a number of pioneering projects that have introduced new technology in Australia, such as the first two mass mining screens in coal or a current project bringing automated vacuum cleaning into tunnels and areas where our clients want to eliminate risk to personnel. Seeing these projects through from concept to successful delivery is most satisfying.
Community or other causes close to its heart and values?
We support the RFS as we have seen the impact of bushfires on our friends, family and customers. We also support the MND Association.
Any employees that deserve a shout out?
As a family business, it’s exciting to have David Toal join us recently to head up our expansion and service delivery in SE Queensland. David has a background in aviation maintenance and adds significant technical and procedural capability as we continue to rapidly build our client base in Queensland.