Supplier Insider – Drives & Controls

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Tell us about the business.

I’m Danny Jones, the Area NSW & QLD Area Manager for Drives & Controls (DCS), a private business of USA origin. DCS provides high quality, customised services in electrical engineering, control system/automation engineering and on-site maintenance support services, specialising in the mining industry (draglines, CHPP and infrastructure).

How long have you been doing business?

Whilst the business has been active in the USA since 1992, it reached into Australia soon after. Dave Barrett who is in the picture second from the right, was the American pioneer to Australia offering a competitive edge to the dominant GE market, focused primarily on Electric Draglines.

How many people work for the business?

12 based in Mackay, Rockhampton, Emerald, Kingaroy, Brisbane and Newcastle. Approximately 20 in the USA.

Describe a typical day at ‘The office’.

Usual phone calls and emails. Quoting, invoicing, parts procurement, stock management. Some, but not enough time, in the engineering space. When in Mackay, I take our daughter late to dance classes each day. Attempt to complete the days loose ends. Then our daughter and I head home for a late dinner.

What’s the best thing about the business?

The engineering and breakdown support is interesting and unique. We have a great team to bounce ideas and questions off. A lot of problems are solved due to everyone’s collective thoughts.

The worst thing?

Due to the present strength in the mining industry, work and social balance can be a challenge. Miss a lot of children’s school events and awards etc. This is particularly difficult for the guys who spend a high proportion of their time on site.

What are the biggest challenges facing your business?

Immediate: Maintaining and acquiring the correct people to continue to build a solid steady growth.

Out of our control: Bad government policy and industry responding to poor share markets.

What is the biggest opportunity for your business right now?

Growth, with present customers and potential new customers. Electrical engineering is on the way up. Electric powered machines are becoming even more popular in the mining sector.

What is the business most proud of?

High-end engineering with our products finished 110%. Complete design, drawings and engineering right through to fully commissioned. It’s also very rewarding leading the old draglines and CHPP’s into the 21st century.

The DCS team has some of the most talented and hard-working engineers you will find anywhere reinforced by an excellent reputation with its clients.  

Community or other causes close to its heart and values?

We sponsor Moranbah Hawks Football, Mackay Cutters and Harrup Park. Prior, we supported the Community Pantry Appeal and Mackay Crusaders.

Any funny or heartwarming stories to share?

Mitch and I are headed to the Las Vegas Mining Expo, meeting with Don (The capital “D” in DCS) at Nashville. We had a failed Data-Q recorder, basically a small box packed with electronics but conveniently they are from the USA. DCS USA can easily have this repaired. Let’s give this to Don to take back to the Texas office for us. What could possibly go wrong. Don is held up at the gate scanner. As Mitch and I are rushing for our flight, Don is spread eagle against the wall, contents of his backpack all over the floor. Mitch and I looked at each other, ‘What have we done?’ Fortunately, Don does have a sense of humor. ?

Any employees that deserve a shout out?

Andrew Schloss our Safety and Compliance Officer. Andrew is responsible for developing our safety and compliance policies including site boarding. Additionally, he is our central electrical draftsman, looks after our vehicles, and WRAC coordinator amongst other roles. He also takes on the tasks that nobody wants to do, such as business insurances. Andrew is a family man on a cattle farm near Kingaroy. His phone is always on, and he is always a pleasure to deal with, both internally and externally.

Your efforts are much appreciated Andrew, from the DCS Team.

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