BOURGAULT Australia has stamped its imprint on the Western Australian market with a $9.5 million investment at Kelmscott.
In a "we're here to stay" move, the company is re-building and renovating premises, which ironically, is less than a kilometre from its original premises when it set up shop in WA in 1997.
When finished, within the next two months, it will be one of the biggest fit-for-purpose warehouse and assembly buildings in Australia, associated with the agricultural industry.
In total, 10,000 square metres will be under cover and a further 10,000sqm will be allocated for yard space, car parking and landscaping.
Formerly a hardware franchise, the site comprises two buildings - a 7000sqm assembly workshop, parts store and administration area and a 3000m2 wholegoods store.
According to Bourgault Australia WA operations manager Ben Bulley, the new facility will be a game-changer for the company's presence in the WA market.
"We have outgrown our Armadale premises because of the larger volume of business we're doing and more particularly, because of the increasing sizes of machinery we're dealing with these days," Mr Bulley said.
"This new site will be a game-changer for our productivity, our parts supply and our general logistics in remaining in a centralised location and you get a better sense of what we're doing when you compare our Armadale premises which has 1000sqm of undercover space.
"Our spare parts area is four times larger than our current storage area.
"We are now in a position to store undercover anything that comes in from the factory and we've expanded our capacity to assemble more machinery over a quicker period.
"We will have a vastly improved flow of goods from container to the wholegoods store and then into the assembly shed and goods can either be dispatched from there or moved back to the wholegoods store.
"That sort of movement of big gear meant we designed the sliding doors 6.5 metres high and 10m wide for smooth ingress and egress of goods."
The administration area comprises two stories and includes a showroom area, modern offices, conference room and staff facilities.
At the rear of the building, there are spacious training facilities which are wired to cater for live video links, including sessions from Bourgault's specialist instructors in Canada.
"This will give a very flexible capability for dealer training and customer schools," Mr Bulley said.
Two management offices on the second floor are equipped with large flat-screen televisions that mainly will be used as live monitoring screens linked to 10 CCTV cameras mounted throughout the premises.
They also can be used for live video links from the company's Canadian headquarters in St Brieux, Saskatchewan.
Because of the vast undercover area, strict regulatory controls were enforced for fire control, which saw Bourgault install two 100,000 litre water storage tanks.
"We had to upgrade the sprinkler system and we found out there was inadequate pressure coming from the mains supply," Mr Bulley said.
"So to ensure we had adequate pressure, independent of the mains supply, we installed electric and diesel pumps."
Mr Bulley, who in effect has been project manager for the past two years, knew what he wanted with the new premises and worked with architects, engineers and the company's Australian managing director Denis Dorval.
"Because of the size of our equipment, we had to raise the roof by 1.8m in the assembly area to get additional height and install two eight tonne-capacity cranes which run the full 67m of the assembley area," Mr Bulley said.
"We have 2000sqm of space underneath the cranes and a further 2000sqm either side of the cranes."
With the expansion, Mr Bulley said it was self evident the company's workforce would have to grow.
"We are gearing up the business on all fronts so we're keen to attract people who would like a permanent career," he said.
"One of our first priorities will be to strengthen our assembly side and we're already moving in that direction."