There are lots of great jokes about consultants, but AWD Group CEO Paul Jenkins is one who’s delivered a big result. And who looks set to deliver even more.
The AWD Group, headquartered in Sydney, has been providing capital equipment sales, service and parts support to the Australian and New Zealand market for over 15 years.
The company’s backbone is made up of a number of key products, including sales of the Dieci Telehandler range and LiuGong machinery.
The company has expanded from supplying just capital equipment and now also provides out-sourced national parts distribution facilities as well as workshop and on-site service for all brands and types of capital equipment. It also supplies Australia-wide, supported by a broad-reaching network of service agents and dealers.
That’s a fairly hefty presence for a business that’s only been around 15 years, and that points to some very competent management.
Meet Paul Jenkins.
“I’m the big six-zero!” confirmed the irrepressible, Sydney-based CEO in answer to our query. Jenkins spends a lot of time either chuckling or laughing out loud, and it seems he’s a man who takes very great enjoyment in both his work and his life.
Jenkins started his working life as a computer engineer and plied that trade for around 15 years. From there it was a short hop into computer-telecoms and PCs, both in Australia and overseas, then, as Paul describes it, he took a ‘mid-career break’.
“I went sailing in maybe 2000 or 2001,” said Paul, clearly not too concerned about detail. “I did about 40,000 miles sailing around the place, starting in Europe and ending up in the US.” Back in Australia in 2006, Paul did what he described as ‘a number of bits and pieces’ before in 2008, as a consultant, becoming involved with a small materials handling company employing 10 people.
MAN WITH A PLAN
“I had a consultancy firm,” explained Jenkins, “and it was one of those things where I came in to write a business plan for the company. After I’d written the business plan they needed someone to implement it, and I found I was working there two or three days a week, just lending a hand.
“One thing led to another and I became the General Manager, bought a substantial shareholding in the company, and moved forward from there.”
‘Moved forward’ is probably accurate, but it seems an understatement for AWD Group’s progress in a comparatively short time.
In 2009 the name of the company was changed to Dieci Australia. Paul felt there was a small personality conflict because all their competitors were company-owned branch offices of multi-nationals, while Dieci Australia was this country’s only independent provider of telehandlers.
The name was used until 2015, when the addition of the LiuGong product line to the existing suite of services brought on the current brand, AWD Group.
Currently there’s six components of the company:
- Dieci sales – Italian telehandlers and mixers
- LiuGong product sales – forklifts, skidsteers, wheel loaders and excavators
- Rough Terrain Plant Hire – all the Dieci and LiuGong equipment is available for hire
- AWD Group Finance – a full service offering finance underwritten by De Lage Landon
- AWD Parts – a cost-effective solution to all capital-equipment parts needs
- AWD Service – on-site and workshop support for a broad range of capital equipment
“Taking the first two,” explained Paul, serious for a moment, “LiuGong and Dieci sales are handled by a direct-sales force in NSW/ACT, a combination of a direct sales/ support office in Brisbane and via dealers in more remote parts of Queensland, and moving towards a total dealer network strategy in Victoria and the Northern Territory.
“There’s a lot going on.”
We suggested Paul still had a fair bit of time ‘in harness’ to look forward to, and this set off such a joyous round of mirth we were left with the feeling this CEO was enjoying himself and his work so much that the idea of him being ‘in harness’ was a joke in itself.
And a very humorous one, apparently. “I’d like to spend more time on my boat,” said Paul, wiping away the tears of laughter, “but AWD Group is going through such a really exciting growth period at the moment it’s impossible to stay away. From bringing on the LiuGong product and the opportunity that has opened up for us… it’s absolutely fantastic.
The story is bigger than us just taking on a quality-brand product. It’s a really major expansion to our business on many fronts.
“So for now I think I’ll continue on at six days a week and maybe squash the sailing in between.”
[colored_box color=”yellow”]For more info call 1300 888 479 or visit www.awdgrp.com.au[/colored_box]