Synergy between businesses keeps Australians in the air

Established in 2009, Emerge Engineering and Maintenance (Emerge) provides equipment support and maintenance services for airport ground handlers and airlines throughout Australia.

Recently acquired by TCR, a global leader in airport ground support equipment (GSE) services, the company is responsible for service and maintenance of over 5,000 airport assets around Australia. Emerge’s operation spans 36 airports including six workshops at major airports and a staff of more than 60 employees nationwide.

According to Director Martin Oldfield, the company’s ability to meet its customers’ service requirements at a competitive price has facilitated consistent expansion.

“We run a 365 day-a-year, 24-hour repair and maintenance business, so the expectation is that we can turn around repairs and preventative maintenance quicker than anyone else, to a standard that complies with road transport and airport regulations.

“To do this, we rely on a parts partner that exemplifies these same values, and a strategic partner for Emerge is Truckline,” he said.
Emerge (TCR) services and maintains airport equipment including baggage tugs, loaders, catering trucks and pushback tractors.

“Truckline holds a wide range of parts in stock to handle the general road-going vehicle support aspect of airport equipment. The staff at Truckline are also very knowledgeable and perhaps the most important part of the relationship is that as a business, they share similar values and business goals,” said Martin.

“We are tasked with fast service to keep ground handlers and airlines operational and at the end of the day we task Truckline with providing parts to us quickly. They have a wide range of filters, general safety equipment and generic truck parts on hand at the right price.

“We expect great service, value and availability of products, and this is what Truckline consistently delivers to our business, and why it is such a successful partnership. For us to be able to deliver on our commitment to our customers, we need business partners like Truckline who can in turn deliver – otherwise the flow-on effect is huge.”

Martin said he was proud of how far the company had come since founder Craig Ward started the business back in 2009 from “one man in a van”, building to a business that had become Australia’s most highly-regarded airport equipment maintenance company. The acquisition by TCR will only build on that reputation.

“The acquisition is one of the most significant events of the last decade in airport equipment maintenance in Australia,” Martin said.

“TCR is a global company with unmatched experience in GSE maintenance across the world. Having a global company come into the Australian market with an established national network from day one is a real win for our customers and the local market. Emerge benefits from TCR’s expertise and capital support.”

This commitment to excellence and focus on quality is a commitment that Truckline also shares.

Headquartered in Queensland, Truckline is Australia’s leading retailer of aftermarket truck, trailer parts and accessories. The company has a national network of 23 stores, ecommerce site, and two parts distribution centres, one in QLD and one recently opened in WA.

“Every year is another milestone in the Emerge and Truckline relationship, and we share a great comradery between Truckline’s NSW Territory Business Manager, Matthew Malakou and the key managers in our support office in Sydney. Matthew has provided great encouragement to our business and shares an exciting entrepreneurial spirit and passion for good service,” said Martin.

“We also greatly appreciate the instances when Truckline has gone completely above and beyond the normal role of a supplier.”

When Truckline leased their warehouse to Emerge at short notice back in 2012, the company was in a particularly vulnerable position. Providing an office (fashioned out of a store room) and 400sq m of warehouse space was instrumental in Emerge being able to continue delivering services to its airport customers.

“This just highlights the strength of the relationship – we were in a tight spot and it was no problem for Truckline to help us out. We value the partnership highly and believe that in any supplier relationship, working truly as partners ensures each business gets maximum benefit and support,” Martin said.

Martin’s Top Five Tips for Building Strong Supplier Partnerships:

  • 1. Be better in your space than the next company. One of the keys to achieving this is to challenge yourself before you get the knock on the door from the customer.
  • 2. Follow through – do what you say you’re going to do.
  • 3. Own your mistakes and do everything you can to put them right. Explain to your staff and customer what “next time” looks like – then refer back to point 2.
  • 4. Know your place. We at Emerge are there to serve the needs of the people who keep our airports running: the airlines, ground handlers and caterers – and the privilege is ours!
  • 5. Have a long view. Apart from your own integrity, many times your service and willingness to help someone helps you to be “that guy that can help” when one of your customers needs assistance down the track.

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