The company was set up in 2006 by a group of private partners with interest and expertise in manufacturing, concrete and construction. Before long, it had established itself as a specialist precast concrete panel manufacturer for the Western Australian building industry. There were humble beginnings with a team of just five and a determination to exceed expectations.
Two years into operations, PERMAcast diversified into structural precast with the supply of drainage and other custom products for various construction projects. There’s been no looking back and PERMAcast is now a leading supplier of precast and prestressed concrete products to Western Australia’s oil and gas, mining and resources and infrastructure sectors.
PERMAcast project highlights
Managing Director Alberto Ferraro has been with the company from the start. He says the oil and gas sector played a vital role in the company’s early growth. “One of the foundations of PERMAcast came through one of our first major projects, Woodside PLUTO. The liquified natural gas plant in Karratha was really important to our company. It was such a significant job and allowed us to demonstrate our capabilities.”
Mr. Ferraro says there have been so many successful projects over the years that it’s difficult to choose the highlights. Most satisfying for the company are those projects that are seen and used by members of the public, according to Mr. Ferraro. PERMAcast is currently supplying precast elements for the new Perth Stadium, due for completion in early 2018. The arena is set to be a landmark for the city’s skyline.
Mr. Ferraro also cites the Elizabeth Quay development on Perth’s Swan River. The project is part of a plan by the State Government to revitalise the area. Forgetting for a moment the company’s significant successes in the oil and gas and resource sectors, Mr. Ferraro also cites PERMAcast’s involvement in other major infrastructure projects such as the $1 billion dollar Gateway WA project, Perth’s New Children’s Hospital and the State Government’s renowned desalination plant as other highlights.
Leadership brings success
Mr. Ferraro says several factors contributed to the company’s on-going success. “Definitely the leadership from the company’s board and the willingness to reinvest in the business from its inception to today have been major factors. Shareholders have reinvested back into the business to enable good infrastructure and capabilities for projects,” he says. “It’s important the business always comes first when making decisions. It’s not always about the financial benefits.
“We had to show that we could do this work, and we’ve done that. We have a good team and we’ve performed when it mattered. We’ve delivered in service and quality and been able to prove ourselves in major infrastructure, mining and gas projects. That started years ago and the ride has continued.”
According to Mr. Ferraro, personal connections and level of service have also been critical.
“We’ve developed good relationships with our clients, so that definitely helps. Our willingness to work ‘with’ our clients as opposed to ‘for’ them has built a definite level of mutual trust and respect. When this is combined with a determined effort to always provide quality products on time, it has created a reputation which now precedes the company.”
Importance of service from the start
PERMAcast offers a complete design and manufacture service to all its clients. “We work together with our clients and consulting engineers to help our customers progress their designs so that potential problems are avoided. Our input at this stage can help our customers achieve more effective designs that generate cost-savings, minimise construction schedules and ensure their original concepts are translated into completed projects,” explains Mr. Ferraro.
He says clients also appreciate the company’s substantial location at Cardup in Perth’s outer suburbs. The 250,000-square metre facility is used to store vast amounts of product for clients, allowing flexibility to maximise production efficiencies and meet delivery deadlines.
The next ten years…
For a company that has thrived on versatility and adapting to market demands, the future looks very bright for PERMAcast. The company never rested on its laurels nor seen its past achievements as its only measure of success. Rather, the company has used its project experiences and consultative humble approach to diversify and adapt to meet both its clients’ needs and the changing economic conditions.
“We will continue to evolve and adapt to meet what we know and understand will be a very tough economy for at least the foreseeable future,” says Mr. Ferraro. “This will include evolving our already well structured business management systems as well as our internal structures and processes to ensure that we continue to drive efficiencies and remain relevant and competitive in a changing market.”
The company has recently invested in a new modern prestressed bridge beam facility, which will play a significant part in the continued diversification and success of the PERMAcast business. With a highly skilled and determined leadership team, an efficient production facility established through years of reinvesting in the business as well as solid industry relationships built on past successes, there is every chance that despite the changing economy, the next ten years will be even better than the first for PERMAcast.