Outdoor Décor Maker’s Blind Ambition

Australian Outdoor Living has seen strong demand-driven growth, with in its manufacturing operations jumping to two shifts at the beginning of 2010.

The South Australian outdoor lifestyle improvements firm has seen staff numbers jump more than 80% since it began making outdoor blinds in August 2006.

“We now employ 15 people at our Royal Park factory using state-of-the-art equipment.” MD Colin Kuchel says.

“The manufacturing operation is one of, if not the biggest in Australia specialising only in exterior shade and cafe blinds.”

AOL started making blinds when difficulty sourcing a reliable supplier began to impact customer relations.

“We had little to no experience in making blinds but this played to our advantage,” Colin says. “Our wholesale clients and even suppliers raised their eyebrows initially but we have become an industry leader by going against the grain.

“The team prides itself on offering the best service, meeting deadlines and tailor-making products.”

AOL’s growth has enabled reinvestment to foster development of standards beyond expectations.

“All precision work is done digitally and the factory recently installed a $150,000 plotting table usually reserved for the high – quality crafts of curtain and dress making,” Colin says.

Another $200,000 has gone to commission a machine to eliminate off cuts of waste metal tubing used for blind axles. The machine will cut monthly waste by $5000 to $10,000. It will also use up “dead stock” now stored in the facility.

“We see the future as bright for our manufacturing business because the product we offer is high quality, well-priced and matched with superior service from staff,” Colin says. “We don’t see demand for outdoor blinds dropping anytime soon.”

Established in 2005, Australian Outdoor Living offers outdoor lifestyle products such as artificial lawn, roller shutters, verandas and pergolas, timber decking and swimming pools.

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About Jeff Reyes