Andrew North is the Managing Director of Major Furnace, an industrial engineering and manufacturing company from Melbourne founded in 1912. The business has been in Andrew’s family since 1986 and over the past 20 years he has faced the unique challenges of leading a business with a historical legacy that must also keep pace with an industry that is evolving and changing rapidly.
Andrew came to the OMP at a crossroads. He knew something had to change for his century-old business to stay competitive. And like most owner managers, he felt responsible for his family and employees. “There are very few courses out there tailored for the Owner Manager,” he said. “I wanted to be able to look at the man in the mirror and say I’ve done everything for my business to succeed.”
“The format of a course was greatly beneficial in that you really can immerse yourself in it.” He unplugged for the duration by putting his phone on silent and out of sight and enjoyed the process of being thrown together with a group of like-minded people.
For Andrew, what he learnt through OMP was well worth the outlay. The return on this investment was that OMP brought a newfound confidence, which led him to branch out to make an acquisition in a new area for his business. “The lightbulb moment came when I had the confidence to make that acquisition and I think a lot of the learnings out of the course gave me that real opportunity to take on that acquistion.”
Since completing the OMP five years ago, Major Furnace has continued to evolve to such an extent that it won the Victorian Manufacturer of the Year award in the medium size business category in 2017.