Perth, Australia-headquartered manufacturer OEM Group has acquired Tasmania-based AMS GSE as part of a wider plan to grow the business
OEM Group has historically supplied the agricultural, industrial, marine, mining, oil and gas, transport and aviation sectors with a range of products that include cleaning systems, heaters, access platforms and safety jacking stands.
It was about a decade ago that it first moved into the aviation sector through beginning to manufacture maintenance access platforms and stands, and it continues to supply access platforms to airlines across Australia.
Thus, says CEO Vincent Allegre, the acquisition allows a natural extension of the OEM portfolio while significantly expanding its aviation business, given AMS GSE’s position in the market as a manufacturer of patented designs and its speciality in manufacturing passenger steps, assisted passenger access lifts, baggage dollies and de-icing units.
AMS GSE’s Tasmanian factory has been closed and moved to Perth, says Allegre, and OEM’s newly expanded aviation department is performing above expectation, with orders for local operations already exceeding budgeted projections in the first few months.
The investment in AMS GSE’s purchase was not without risk, given the effects of the pandemic on the aviation industry. But OEM is looking beyond that.
“We were aware AMS GSE was a specialist in designing and manufacturing passenger access stairs for aviation, as well as other ground support equipment,” Allegre informs. “At the end of last year, we decided buying the company was a risk we wanted to take and an investment we wanted to make – to buy a company that is a specialist in the aviation business, knowing that aviation would open up again soon.
“It is an opportunity to do something different in that aviation sector,” he continues.
As well as the AMS acquisition, OEM recently expanded its operations by opening an office in Karratha and intends to market its aviation products more widely internationally.
Group business development manager Ryan de Mol notes that OEM Group has historically only marketed its products nationally. However, with the acquisition of the new business, the company now supplies the USA, Japan, Maldives and Iceland.
“Relationships, the quality of our product, the intellectual property and drawings we now own for these unique products – these are the key to our competitive edge,” he says.
“This recent acquisition helps grow OEM Group’s footprint, workforce, product line and most importantly shows our clients that we don’t just rely on one income or revenue stream; we’re a nimble, innovative and diverse business that can agilely move around in different markets to suit current market trends.”
Allegre also adds that sustainability is a key part of the OEM strategy. It is a very exciting time for the company, which he intends to grow in a sustainable manner. “That’s something we are doing as we speak,” he says.
Allegre tells Airside more about what the acquisition means to OEM and its future. “Due to the move from Tasmania to Western Australia, the remaining [AMS GSE] workforce chose to look for other positions within Tasmania. This has allowed OEM Group to create four new jobs in the Western Australian workforce, which we predict to grow further into the future with the downturn of Covid and the return of international aviation travel services.
“OEM Group will now be supplying further products into the GSE market including passenger access boarding stairs (fixed and self-levelling), assisted passenger access lifts, combination passenger stairs and access lifts (SALs), aircraft de-icing units and baggage trolleys. Furthermore, we will also be offering spare parts and accessories for our GSE and asset management.”
AMS GSE will continue to exist during a transitional period and as an extra trading name for existing AMS GSE clients. “However, our aviation ground support equipment product range will be a product brand known as AMS GSE by OEM Group,” Allegre confirms.
The company first expanded into aviation as an extension of providing goods and services to one of its mining clients that operates its own fly in/fly out (FIFO) airport facilities within Western Australia. And, says Allegre: “It has been imperative to our organisation to ensure that we don’t just rely on one income or revenue stream; we’re a nimble, innovative and diverse business that can agilely move around in different markets to suit current market trends.”
Today, AMS GSE has an “established international client portfolio” that will allow OEM Group to manufacture and supply GSE into the global market, he remarks. “OEM Group also plans to expand its network to offer its other safety products into the global market, including other safety access work platform ladders, fixed plant access solutions, mobile equipment access solutions and wheel chocks.
“We currently plan to expand by means of organic growth in the ground support equipment industry. Focusing on [selling] our core product range into the international market, OEM Group can also work with customers to create tailor-made GSE solutions if a viable option is not currently available on the global market,” Allegre concludes.