Our team is our competitive advantage.
This is the ideology behind PlantMiner—an online portal that aims to save time and money for procurement officers, estimators and project managers across Australia when hiring plant equipment.
“We are Australia’s largest equipment hire market place, we’ve got the most equipment hire companies and the most individual items of equipment listed in one place,” said Michael Trusler, CEO of the company, in a recent interview. “At our portal, clients can hire everything from portable toilets, generators, and air compressors, right up to the largest graders, dozers and dump trucks.”
Being an all-encompassing one-stop shop is the most important asset to PlantMiner’s success.
A competitive advantage
In Australia, there was a real need for a service that solved the issue of saving the time it took to procure plant and equipment hire quotes.
“The business has flourished because of that but also because we deliver a real return on investments for our clients,” said Trusler. “They’re earning a lot of money through the service because they have been making themselves a lot more accessible to searchers of equipment across the country.”
Over 70 experienced plant equipment hire experts make up the team at PlantMiner, building the business day in and day out.
Their expertise and ability to innovate as a team allows them to recognize a problem within the industry or be given a problem from a client and then procure a solution almost immediately.
“The way we innovate with our technology, through our website and our business development team, we can come up with a new fix within our service to ensure that the problem is solved,” explained Trusler.
Expanding into New Zealand
PlantMiner’s success is leading them to grow their business and venture into surrounding territories—such as New Zealand. The New Zealand branch of the website went live back in December 2014 and received an immense amount of traction.
“We’re already signed up in the marketplace with clients, and a lot of those clients are already seeing return on investment,” said Trusler. “Some of these clients have only just paid their subscriptions and they are winning thousands of dollars worth of work already. That’s very exciting and we have guys on the ground over there at the moment who are really just getting out there and educating searchers for equipment so that they can come to our service and save time and money looking for hire quotes.”
New Zealand is a land filled with opportunity for growth as the culture is open to innovation.
“It’s a good place to do business—especially for a tech startup,” said Trusler.
Overcoming challenges when expanding
There are always challenges that come into play when doing business—especially when doing business abroad. It’s a new economy with a unique culture in a remote location that isn’t the easiest to travel to.
“An Australian company with an Australian idea operating in New Zealand probably isn’t going to go down that well,” said Trusler. “Having a couple of New Zealanders selling a New Zealand product is a lot easier and we recognized that quite quickly.”
Additionally, in New Zealand, business is much more personal, with face-to-face interaction being the norm. Online startups, therefore, have to compensate for this.
PlantMiner, however, has found a solution for this.
“Something we’re now doing is meeting everyone initially and getting out there on the ground,” said Trusler. “It’s pretty seamless from there, as [clients] seem to know the product and what it’s all about.”
New projects on the horizon
With expansion still on the mind of Michael Trusler, the United States is next in his line of sight.
“We’re doing some investigation into the U.S. at the moment and working on an entrance strategy,” added Trusler.
For now, PlantMiner will continue to reinvest into its team, its staff and its culture.
“The major investment is into our team and our team culture and ensuring that the product that we have is successful and all of our clients are adequately serviced,” said Trusler.
PlantMiner is currently shy of being two years into their five year plan and the company has already exceeded their initial expectations.
“We have a couple of exciting things on the horizon,” concluded Trusler.