Aldridge Traffic Systems Featured in 'Australia's Best' Manufacturing Magazine

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The popular series of publications, Australia's Best, has recently launched its much-anticipated Manufacturing magazine. Within this, an exclusive editorial on Aldridge Traffic Systems was featured, including an interview with Les Sims, Purchasing Manager at Aldridge Traffic Systems.

In this exclusive interview, Australia's Best Magazine talks to Les Sims, the Purchasing Manager of Aldridge Traffic Systems Pty Ltd, about the pivotal role suppliers play.

Aldridge Traffic Systems Pty Ltd is a subsidiary company of the Aldridge Group Pty Ltd and is dedicated to designing, manufacturing and supplying products and services to the traffic signalling industry. Based at Rhodes, Sydney, ATS manufactures LED (light emitting diode) incandescent and halogen traffic lights for road authorities, Federal, State and Local government. The business includes a completely integrated manufacturing facility with electronic board loading, aluminum die casting, plastic injection moulding and sheet metal fabrication capabilities enabling the manufacture of a complete range of traffic signal equipment.

ATS is at the forefront of LED traffic signal manufacture and it's recently released next generation range of LED signals use even less power than the existing LED technology. The company owns numerous intellectual property rights and all its products are "Type Approved" by the transport and electrical authorities. The company has been certified to ISO 9001 since 1992.

The Australian market consists of around 12,000 signalised traffic intersections -- a market that is expanding with increased public and private funding for new infrastructure road funding and conversion to LED traffic signaling. Specific LED upgrade programs in South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland are motivated by the compelling energy savings and other operational advantages. Victoria and Western Australia are yet to initiate large scale LED programs but use the technology for new and replacement intersections.

In May of 2007 ATS was acquired by Traffic Technologies (TT), a publicly listed company on the ASX. TT is a leader in the service and product sector of the traffic and road construction industry. The new channels and structure which TT provides is assisting ATS in the further development of new products and export Market opportunities. ATS is represented on Australian Standard Committee's, as well as other industry associations, and has received numerous awards in recognition of its contribution to the economic growth of New South Wales.

When conducting all business activities the highest standards of ethics and integrity are the cornerstones of Aldridge's corporate philosophy, which include Listening to and understanding the market's requirements, Providing only the highest level of customer service, operating on the principles of thinking ahead and listening -to Road and Traffic Authorities, customers, suppliers and employees, Being a responsible corporate member of the community by making sure that their products do not negatively impact the environment and that their manufacturing operations do not impact negatively on the immediate neighbourhood.

The company has created an effective team of highly productive Australians, from a diverse range of ethnic origins, differing backgrounds and unique skills. ATS maintain their impressive team by providing their managers and staff with meaningful, interesting work as well as opportunities for self development in an open and honest environment.

"Because ATS operate on a quasi 'J.I.T.' basis -- meaning that we carry minimal raw materials, and as a rule bring in material only as required for each month's production -- it is clear that an efficient supply chain is integral to our success as even a slight hiccup could cause serious disruption to our production program. To insure against such a possibility our suppliers carry nominally an extra month's buffer stock in their warehouses at all times.

"It is therefore self evident that the role our suppliers play is pivotal to the continuous smooth running of our operation. In the main with our suppliers we find it acceptable to operate on a forecast blanket order basis which allows for the flexibility required because of the degree of volatility which exists in our sales market.

"With most of our suppliers we have had a long association, in many cases over 15 years, and during this time together have developed excellent working partnerships. The operational process which could be considered complex to others has been refined over the years to become quite straight forward to us at ATS.

"What is required of our suppliers is that they have a substantial technical engineering background and resource, as our engineering department will often design and specify demanding product parameters that must be understood at met. To achieve the required product standard our engineering team will often work closely with those of the supplier to ensure the desired outcome eventuates. Apart from this, for the purpose of day-to- day operations what we have with our existing suppliers -- and would expect from potentially new ones -- is an ability to function very much to the 'KISS' principle with simple unambiguous communications and a willingness to be proactive in catering to our requirements.

"Taking the above into consideration it is clear that all of our suppliers are at the top in their relevant fields."

Key suppliers to Aldridge Traffic Systems include Superior Rubber, Soanar, CIL Circuits, Ullrich Aluminium and IMP Printed Circuits.

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CHRIS DUTTON
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