The Federal Government has engaged AMTIL to provide the Rail & Haulage Supply Chain Export Hub, an initiative to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access international markets in the rail and haulage sectors.

AMTIL has been working on putting plans in place for the development of the Export Hub, and these are now starting to build momentum.

Phase One – Get ready

The first stage of the Export Hub has involved setting up its governance structure, with an advisory committee and financial management system put in place, and the appointment of an Export Hub Manager and Export Hub Coordinator.

Industry engagement will be done through four mechanisms:

  • Primes and OEMs will be approached to identify their critical key supply chains and encourage them to work with the Export Hub on aspects as networking, business improvement programs and trade mission activity.
  • Key partner organisations such as the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the Industry Capability Network, the Australian Rail Authority, and Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) will be invited to suggest relevant companies.
  • AMTIL Members in these supply chains or who wish to access them will be encouraged to be involved.
  • Other companies who find out about the project will be allowed to enter the eligibility process.

Any company that wishes to become a participant in the Export Hub must be approved by the Advisory Committee.

Export Hub participants will be required to undertake an audit to assess their Export Capability level and identify the productivity improvements required for them to become High-Performance Companies. Each Participant will be provided with a personalised assessment, and a tailored approach to building capacity and capability through training, facilitation, and engagement with other group members. The training will be carried out by High Performance Consortia (HPC), a specialist organisation which delivers education, and tailored support services with target market opportunities for SMEs engaged in rail and haulage supply chain commercial enterprise. These services will help participants to develop the knowledge, capability and capacity to successfully export their products and services.

Phase Two – Get fit

Market research and intelligence across the rail, bus and truck industries will be sought through Austrade and AMTIL’s international network of associations. This market intelligence will form the basis of AMTIL’s Export Strategy and Trade Mission activity. Factors for consideration include country overviews, macro-economic factors, political environment, legal environment, tariff and non-tariff barriers, free-trade agreements, logistics and transportation issues, industrial trends, compliance issues, infrastructure issues, language barriers and ease of doing business.

Each Participant will engage in a process to deliver a Participant Export Plan. The Export Plan would cover the following factors: SWOT analysis; core business values and purpose; value proposition, audacious goals; resources; market niche; opportunities; budget allocations; demand validation; competitor analysis; sales channels; and customer service modelling. The Export Plan would take into consideration the overall Export Hub Plan to ensure all opportunities are addressed.

Each Participant will be invited to participate in Export Hub activities including facilitated member meetings, networking and social engagement activities, planned workshops, one-on-one mentoring sessions, plant visits, business breakfasts and progress reviews.

Phase Three – Export

An overall Strategic Export Plan will be developed that covers Participants’ capabilities, target markets, resources and budgets. This will be developed in consultation with the Consortia and Advisory Committee.

The Exporting stage does not tie into an actual timeframe as such; it is dependent on Participants’ capability, capacity and preparedness to undertake trade mission activity. Local exhibitions that are relevant will also be considered for Participant involvement, including Ausrail (December 2019), Megatrans (May 2020) and Austech (May 2021).

Each participant would have access to AMTIL’s marketing, communications and design team and develop material that will assist in the promotion and marketing of the participant in export activities. “Team Approach” material will also be developed to showcase the capabilities of the consortia as an entity.

Trade mission activity is dependent on the outcomes of export research and specific opportunities identified in their individual participants’ Export Plans. However, initial plans are to conduct a trade mission to Innotrans in September 2020. InnoTrans is the leading international trade fair for traffic technology, which takes place every two years in Berlin and covers five core areas: Railway Technology, Railway Infrastructure, Public Transport, Interiors, and Tunnel Construction.