Innovative power supply manufacturer, Setec, has appointed Louise Bayliss as Chief Executive Officer, making her one of only a few women CEOs in Australian manufacturing today.
Designers and manufacturers of Australian-made power supply solutions for the medical, defence, gaming, communications, RV and automotive industries, Setec exports just over 20 per cent of the nearly 200,000 units they produce in-house annually.
Returning to the fold of Setec’s strong, family-owned tradition, Mrs Bayliss – daughter of company founders Peter and Jill Lloyd – rejoins the company where she previously held the role of Managing Director from 2000 to 2009 before taking time out to raise her young family.
Mrs Bayliss replaces her husband David Bayliss who helmed Setec as its CEO from 2009 but is stepping away to pursue new business opportunities.
In addition to her previous role as Setec’s MD, Mrs Bayliss also acted as the company’s Business Development Manager and is credited with significant achievements that include bringing in key customers across a range of industries as well as the commencement of Setec’s relationships with their offshore manufacturing partners.
“Our growth over the last 16 years is due in large part to our understanding of the marketplace and our ability to identify new opportunities through our improved capabilities. We’re in a great place to make the most of these exciting times.” Mrs Bayliss said.
Bucking the trend: from offshore to onshore
With more than 80 employees at its Knoxfield Victoria design and production facilities, Setec recently made the decision to bring all of its manufacturing back to Australia.
“As CEO I have a number of core goals that will be achieved in the short to medium terms. First and foremost is to launch our new battery management solutions by way of our consumer range, BMPRO, which caters to the recreational vehicle, caravan, marine, automotive and camper trailer industries.
“This diversification into retail is instrumental in Setec maintaining its leading edge capabilities and inventive solution offerings for the industries we serve.
“A productivity improvement program implemented this year has seen the labour cost component reduced from 40 to 10 per cent. Through investments in advanced design and manufacturing technologies, we are now manufacturing 40 per cent more product than previously with half the staff.
“Cost effective electronics manufacturing is the name of the game,” Mrs Bayliss said.
Other objectives include growing the team, which has included the recent appointment of a QA manager to further enhance Setec’s quality and reliable product offering and fostering a culture of constant improvement and teamwork.
“It’s an exciting time for both Setec and BMPRO as we continue to invest in our local manufacturing facilities, producing great products for both our new and long-term customers.
“David’s seven years at Setec have left the business in great shape with a vitality and confidence that will further the company’s next period of growth as we continue our quest to deliver the best Australian designed and manufactured products with confidence.”
Opinion on the future of Australian manufacturing by Louise Bayliss
The future of manufacturing in Australia offers endless opportunity for smart manufacturers servicing the local and global markets.
The combination of Asia’s rising labour costs, a low Australian dollar, the utilisation of new technology in conceptualising and design, and the reduction of labour content has seen our production experience go full-circle, from ‘in-house’ to ‘offshore’ to bringing everything back in-house. This has resulted in Setec investing even further in our local manufacturing expertise and our people.
Setec also operates in a value marketplace, where we offer solutions rather than just a ‘me-too’ product, all supported with local engineering support and customer service. Setec will continue to invest and innovate in its design and manufacturing to ensure a healthy, long-term manufacturing environment here in Australia.