By on July 3, 2003

By Paul Wilkins

Bob Beaumont from Beauchamp Consulting was one of the keynote speakers at the CMPA annual dinner. Recognition of Family Businesses was the theme of the evening, and with his many years of experience investing in family businesses, Mr Beaumont spoke aptly to the title of: “Three years on, where are we?”

One of the main themes of Mr Beaumont’s speech was togetherness. He said that in the last three years, people within the industry through the formation of the CMPA, had set out to do things ‘together’. He mentioned that one thing that has been achieved in the past three years has been ‘best practice’. He made mention that before the formation of the CMPA, the small operators in the quarry industry in Victoria had been an un-assembled rabble. He referred to the potential for small businesses to ‘think small.’  But with a smart bunch of operators running the association, which he described as an ‘innovative industry group’, best practice has clearly been achieved.

Mr Beaumont stressed the importance of ‘corporatisation’, within both the association, and the individual companies’ workforce. He said that as an association, speaking with one voice is one of the key ingredients for the ongoing success of the CMPA. Mr Beaumont suggested that when you ‘corporatise’ and ‘skill up’, there are places to go!

Mr Bob Beaumont addresses CMPA Members at the 2003 AGM

Mr Beaumont presented some very striking figures regarding the industry’s performance over the past three years. He referred to a previous speech given to CMPA members, where he said that margins and prices had to be increased for the continued viability of small businesses within the industry. His most recent figures showed that margins and prices had actually decreased over the past three years. He warned that if this trend was to continue, many of the family businesses within the CMPA would not be able to survive.

Mr Beaumont mentioned an alternative path forward, which would be to ‘unionise’ the association’s approach to terms and conditions of sale. A common set of terms and conditions for members of the association would alleviate many disputes that currently arise between suppliers and their customers, which often leads to discounted, late, or non-payment of delivered materials. 

He finished his forthright and entertaining speech with the encouraging declaration: “Aim high, stay high, and you’ll make it.”

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