It’s the day before a long weekend and you’re heading off to catch up with friends. But then a phone call comes in from a customer who’s had a machinery failure and needs help – fast. The afternoon plans are abruptly cut short and it’s back to work. That’s all part of the service for Driveshafts Australia (DSA) whose customers rely on the highest quality product, delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.
DSA was established by Paul Simons 12 years ago and specialises in the repair, balance and manufacture of drive shafts, as well as a custom-design service. The DSA team works on all types of drive shafts – from automotive and industrial, to those for heavy vehicles in the transport, mining and agriculture industries – and Paul says his staff understand just how important their job is to the customers who rely on them. It doesn’t matter when an urgent call comes in, it needs to be dealt with – no matter the hour.
“The guys know the rules. It could be 3.55pm and we think we’re knocking off at 4 o’clock, but we get a phone call saying a truck’s broken down and that’s it. A couple of guys will stay back and we’ll get the job finished. It’s about providing the quickest service we can to keep people rolling. While the trucks and machines aren’t moving, they’re not making money,” Paul said.
Parts are all important to a business like DSA and to ensure they can source the best-quality drive shaft products, at the best price, when they need them, they use Truckline, which has a similar philosophy to Paul’s: get the customer what they need as quickly as possible, with the best advice and support available.
It’s no surprise to learn then that Paul was once a Truckline employee, starting with the company 30 years ago and working for them for almost two decades. He said he was taught by some great people at Truckline, who all instilled in him the values of loving what you do, and doing it to the highest standard.
Paul said he has a close relationship with his nearest Truckline branch manager and most of the parts they needed were always available from the branch. If not, he said they could rely on Truckline to source them as quickly as possible.
“Every month when we put a stock order in, they supply it quickly and ensure everything keeps running smoothly. We know we can count on them,” he said.
The drive shaft business is a competitive one and DSA is always striving to go that extra mile in all they do, from customer service, right up to the most technical of design and manufacturing requests.
“A lot of people have this idea about drive shafts – ‘oh yeah, it’s only a drive shaft’ – but if the drive shaft is not working properly it can cause a lot of problems,” Paul said.
“Transmission problems, differential problems, that kind of thing. That’s why when we started the business we invested in Schenk balancing, which is German technology, They’re one of the leaders in this area, so when you’re doing your balancing, which is one of the most important aspects of it, you know it’s being done right.”
For a large manufacturing business with the pressure of tight deadlines and maintaining profit margins while remaining competitive, caring for the environment might seem to be the last thing on the priority list, but for DSA it’s always been a consideration.
“We’ve had a big solar panel system for quite a few years which is our way of doing something for the environment. People ask ‘how much did that cost you?’ and I say that doesn’t matter. I did it for the reason of reducing our carbon footprint because I think anything you can do, it’s all going to help,” Paul said.
Going that extra mile is all part of the DSA philosophy, whether it’s for the sake of the environment or the customer who needs assistance fast.
“We take pride in what we do and that’s one of the things I instil in the guys. If you’re not happy with the job you do, don’t expect the customer to be happy with it,” Paul said.
“We’re also always learning and looking for new ways of doing things. While some businesses might say ‘sorry we can’t help you’, we think the opposite and say ‘yes, we can help you – we’ll get you going again.”
Paul’s Five Business Mantras
- The customer always comes first
- Be happy in what you do
- Be proud of what you do
- Every day is a new day to learn
- Pursue your passion