“FountainLine has become a key partner for Enware—not just manufacturing components but helping us design new products, deliver contracts faster, and expand our business.”
Richard Vial, Materials Manager, Enware
Australian washroom-fittings specialist, Enware, needed a design-savvy manufacturing company to help fill demand for high-value washroom units. In 2011, they turned to Sydney-based FountainLine IMS, which manufactures precision metal components to-order. After the first 100-strong production run, FountainLine became a valued manufacturing partner, sharing design expertise, reducing production costs, and shortening contract lead-times. Greater flexibility has helped Enware expand its market in Australia and export to Asia and Europe.
Sydney-based Enware is an Australian manufacturing success-story. Using imported and locally-supplied components, Enware creates to-order washroom fittings for a range of government and private-sector clients at two facilities in Caringbah, New South Wales. To complete short production runs of individually designed units inside tight deadlines, Enware relies on a network of specialist suppliers.
In 2011, Enware needed a precision metals manufacturer to supply stands for emergency washroom units used at mining sites. Each batch of stands was made according to varying criteria and to an exceptionally high level finish.
Materials Manager at Enware, Richard Vial, met executives from FountainLine IMS for a consultation. “It was immediately obvious that FountainLine take great care with their manufacturing,” says Richard. “This sounds simple, but if you take the care out of manufacturing, then quality will be hit, and that’s where we used to incur cost.”
FountainLine delivered an initial batch of 100 stainless steel faceplates at their 1500m2 factory in Kogarah. Meticulous packaging ensured the plates arrived in mint condition, and the quality proved faultless.
Says Richard, “As a direct result of our first experience, we switched suppliers, and that decision proved just the start of a broad and fruitful relationship. In the space of two years, FountainLine has become a key partner for Enware—not just manufacturing components but helping us design new products, deliver contracts faster, and expand our business.”
Today, FountainLine is a powerful resource in Enware’s constant drive for customisation. As architects refine their designs, FountainLine helps Enware respond quickly and efficiently, turning out short, high-value production runs to ever-changing specifications.
According to Richard, “FountainLine really understand on-demand and custom componentry. They don’t come back to us with manufacturing problems, they come to us with solutions. This means FountainLine consistently helps us reduce our manufacturing costs.”
Reliable delivery, flexible scheduling
Delivery performance has proved a critical point of difference for Enware. “FountainLine is highly responsive to changes in detail. Many of our customers are architects, and they like to change the designs with each production run,” says Richard. “Never-the-less, FountainLine delivers on time. On one occasion, they produced a totally new fixture for us with only ten days lead time.”
A highly collaborative partnership
According to Richard, the key to their expanding business relationship is transparency and collaboration. He makes frequent visits to the FountainLine factory to satisfy his own company’s quality auditing, and so executives can update him on new FountainLine machinery.
“FountainLine is completely open about their manufacturing capabilities,” says Richard. “That is really valuable to us because it helps us manage our risks. We talk through the critical path of supply, so that we avoid any surprises. FountainLine makes communication easy: I can always talk to the executives who come straight round for a face-to-face.”
A valuable resource for business expansion
Partnership with FountainLine is helping Enware penetrate new markets. “Their engineering guys help us assess whether a new concept is viable,” says Richard. “Also, settling commercial terms is hassle-free. Our price negotiations are never tiresome or painful: we establish a benchmark and keep to target.”
“This makes it easier for us to expand our business. With FountainLine, we know we can supply new customers with new products, on-time at the agreed price: this gives us the confidence to bid for difficult jobs.”
Setting new standards of competition
In Australia’s high-end, short-run manufacturing sector, the partnership between Enware and FountainLine has helped set new standards of efficiency.
“Our customers have got used to us delivering new washrooms and projects in very tight time scales, so what we used to think of as a fast turnaround has become the new normal,” says Richard. “Now they know we can respond faster, we have set a new competitive standard.
“And because they know we have good engineering resources customer expect us to rise to new design challenges. As a result we can continually increase our product scope—that’s a testament to the service we get from FountainLine.”