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David Williams is the Co-founder / Director of Rapid Hardware Group (RHG), an Australian owned manufacturer and supplier of fabricated steel hardware products such as fencing and wire mesh products.
With offices and warehouses in all major Australian cities, New Zealand, and the UK, RHG has expanded its global footprint to include international offices and factories in Hong Kong, Beijing, Qingdao, Nanjing and Ho Chi Minh City.
In a highly competitive industry, RHG has secured lucrative supplier contracts with big brands including Bunnings and Mitre 10, as well as supplying products to the construction industry.
However, RHG is by no means an overnight success story.
The business began in 2009 and has taken some time to build it up to what it is today.
Whilst challenges such as Covid, and rising international freight costs have created barriers, the business is well-positioned to withstand these challenges, all thanks to Anna Samios and the Scaling Up methodology.
David was first introduced to Scaling Up by a contact of his who had applied the Scaling Up principles to his own business successfully.
David read the book and became intrigued. David and his co-founder partner attended Verne Harnish’s Australian Scaling Up Summit in February 2020 where they met Anna Samios.
They engaged Anna in March and haven’t looked back.
The biggest impact to RHG of Scaling Up has been its unwavering focus on the People decision.
David states “our culture was toxic several years ago and I hated going to work every day”.
In fact, at one point, he and his partner had had enough and were even contemplating selling the business.
Guided by the Scaling Up framework, RHG focussed on its people and made some difficult decisions about who had to stay and who had to leave.
In just over 12 months, RHG has managed to turn the toxic culture around.
“Anna has become part of our family. She understands our business and is passionate about helping us get to where we want to be. She exudes the same level of passion for all her clients and is laser focussed on helping Australian companies succeed in the global arena. Whilst she keeps us on our toes, every moment we spend with her is pleasurable. Anna makes strategy fun!”
Today, RHG is a warm and welcoming environment where each one of its 40 staff is motivated, aligned and focussed on the same end goals.
Through Anna’s direction in following the Scaling Up framework, David is excited about what the next 10 to 15 years have in store for the business – a far cry from wanting to selling the business not so long ago.
The other aspect of Scaling Up that has been a game-changer is the Strategy decision. Before engaging Anna, the company didn’t have a clear understanding of where it was heading. There was no vision and certainly no accountability.
RHG would chase every opportunity it came across without stopping to ask whether this was a good or bad opportunity and whether it aligned with where the company was heading.
Through the Scaling Up Masterclass and quarterly resets facilitated by Anna, RHG has a clear vision and a strategic plan of how it’s going to get there.
It has a measurable BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), understands its quarterly priorities, and importantly, has the entire organisation on board.
“Whilst it all sounds very structured, there’s fluidity in the process to allow RHG to pivot as and when the external environment necessitates”.
Far from wanting to sell the business, David and his partner are excited about fortifying the Australian operation and expanding globally.
David feels that working with Anna has been a game-changer and thankful that Anna make strategy fun and is laser focussed.
"Anna' is a champion. You don't often come across people with her enthusiasm and genuine interest in helping people. This is more than a job to her... it's her passion. Peter Salveson, CEO Hansen Yuncken.
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