Supplier Insider: Faber Toolboxes
Tell us about the business?
Faber Toolboxes is a nationally renowned business manufacturing heavy duty toolboxes designed specifically for use in Australia’s harsh conditions. They are produced by our team in Narrabri NSW and are highly sought after in heavy industries such as agriculture, mining, earthmoving, contracting and transport where quality vehicle mounted toolboxes and storage units are required. Designed by Ray Faber in 1985, they have stood the test of time and are well known to outlive their 20-year warranty.
How long have you been doing business?
The sheetmetal fabrication business was established in 1984 by Ray and Robyn Faber and is currently in its 37th year. Soon to be 38 in June.
How many people work for the business?
Currently we employ 25 staff across three areas of our business: fabrication, powdercoating and retail industrial supplies. Over the next two years we will increase our fabrication team by 12 additional staff members.
Describe a typical day at ‘The office’.
Haha nothing ever typical at Faber’s!
But seriously, we have a focus on lean manufacturing which means we are at work by 8am, following our production planning and scheduling through multiple areas of our manufacturing process from sales to folding to fabrication, powdercoating to shipping. We’re done by 5pm, time for a quick beer (light of course!) and a catch up, then off home we go to do it all again tomorrow.
What’s the best thing about the business?
Family owned and operated focusing on quality, teamwork and customer service. We consider all our employees family.
The worst thing?
We are struggling to keep up with demand and this puts a lot of pressure on our team.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business?
Skill shortages. We are experiencing a period of growth and expansion and are finding it difficult to source tradespeople in our region.
What is the biggest opportunity for your business right now?
Growth. With a current focus in the country for quality Australian made products which can be sourced in a reasonable time frame, we are seeing steadily increasing demand for our toolboxes and other industrial units.
What is the business most proud of?
Apart from our quality toolboxes, we are most proud of our employees and the quality training we provide to upskill our team. We have trained over 150 apprentices since our establishment and employed more than 500 people.
Community or other causes close to its heart and values?
There is a strong sense of community in Narrabri, and we like to be involved whenever we can locally. Donations for raffles and auctions are made every year to multiple fundraisers either for a specific cause or one of the towns many sporting clubs.
Cancer support is close to our hearts as many of our employees have been affected by cancer either directly or indirectly. Mental health is another cause that we like to support at every opportunity.
We are also a regular donator to Prince Charles Hospital’s “The Common Good” Charity raising funds for much needed medical research.
Any funny or heartwarming stories to share?
Ever heard of a toolbox being parachuted from a plane to its owner on the ground in a remote part of WA? Apparently, this is actually a thing that people do, only thing is when you drop an 80kg toolbox out of a plane loaded with over 200kg of tools, it needs a backhoe to recover it from the crater it made upon landing! Yes, this actually happened and no, nothing happened to the toolbox. Went straight on the ute ready for work. This is one of many Faber survival stories and if you keep an ear out, you’ll most likely come across one.
Any employees that deserve a shout out?
All Faber’s employees deserve a shout out. But we would like to acknowledge Ray Faber who recently passed away in November. Ray started this business and created a legacy for his family to continue and we will do so with the same passion he gave in honour of his memory.