The winners of the top gong at the Moreton Bay Region Business Excellence and Innovation Awards have celebrated their win with doughnuts for breakfast this morning.
Brendale-based Elexon Electronics was named Business of the Year and also took out the inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Excellence Award at a gala event at the Eatons Hill Hotel on Friday night.
The company specialises in the design, development and manufacture of a diverse range of electronic products for niche local and export markets.
Elexon Electronics marketing manager Sandra Simpson says the awards caught the team by surprise.
“Pieter and Leigh told me not to enter because we were so busy – but sometimes it pays off to be a little bit stubborn,” Sandra laughs.
“We’re really proud to be part of the Moreton Bay Region – it’s where we belong.
“The community here is very strong and supportive and co-operation with the Council is very close.
“It means that with what we are doing we are on the right track,” she says.
Sandra says one of the greatest strengths of the Moreton Bay Region is the willingness of the business community to collaborate.
“We always feel that our neighbours are our customers and our partners.
“(Mike Arieni) from Solar Bollard Lighting was the one who told us about these awards – he’s one of our customers.
“It’s a very generous community – almost everyone is looking out for not just themselves, but also their neighbours.”
Sandra says being close to the Petrie campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast is allowing Elexon to develop the electrical engineers of the future.
“Electrical engineering and manufacturing is such a niche area and it needs to be supported.
“Students often don’t know what they want to do when they finish, so we invite them to come and see what we’re doing.
“They can change the world; they can change things with their innovation.”
Elexon Electronics has seen a surge in interest in manufacturing in Australia and Sandra says with shipping costs and delivery delays, outsourcing to China is increasingly seen as a less attractive option.
“A lot of people went to China (for manufacturing) and now they’re actually returning and thanks to the equipment we have the cost is not as great as you might think,” she explains.
“A lot of people are coming back to us and they are happy and proud to be working with an Australian company.”
Elexon owner and technical director Leigh Bateman says the Moreton Bay Region is a perfect fit for the business, which moved from Sumner Park about 20 years ago.
“This has been a terrific area to grow up in,” he says.
“We are actually running out of space – we moved in 12 years ago and have grown into it and we’re now looking for a new place to live that’s why we’re looking at The Mill (at Moreton Bay).”
Owner and managing director Pieter Kuiper says the awards are testament to the hard work of the Elexon team.
“It really just comes down to having an awesome team of people and most of them are here at our table.
“Just over half of our team is female, which we’re really proud of.
“We’re also a very diverse team, so diverse that in our reception area we have a little flag for every country of origin for our people.”