Driveline and Markinson – a 35-year partnership that has grown together
Driveline’s story began in 1982 as a two-man tail shaft workshop. Now 40 years on the business employs nearly 100 staff across 12 branches and is Australia’s leading underbody auto business, specialising in the manufacture export, import, supply and distribution of underbody and power transmission across mining, agriculture, road transport, light vehicles and 4-wheel drives.
My journey with Driveline is 22 years in the making, at which point Markinson had been with us for 15 years. That was already a great success story as the businesses had grown together, and there was still much more to follow.
Over the time that I have been with Driveline we have grown to be a multimillion-dollar business and the key to that growth has been the changes that we have made to meet the needs of our customers over that time.
Where we have been successful is our diversification. We have moved into new industries as well as new products and additions to our range. Adding more armours to our offer has all been a part of meeting the demands of our growing customer base and the rapid changes that have occurred across the industries we are now involved in. We are constantly looking at different opportunities to act on or to improve on, and to stay relevant.
This growth has resulted in our having several entities under the Driveline corporate banner. This has meant multiple warehouses, increased complexities around stock management, and invoicing across our new businesses. Increased need to import and export meant that we needed to be able to handle foreign currency exchange.
As a key partner, Markinson has not just seen this growth but has been able to step up and cater for the changes in our business. For me, that is a key advantage of having had a partnership that has lasted the test of time. Markinson and MomentumPro have grown with us.
We were one of the pioneer clients of Markinson, so we grew together including having key involvement in how MoPro was set up. Each time we had new requirements as a part of our growth, the team at Markinson would work with us to find solutions that helped our business as well as added new services and components to theirs. For example, the ability to import foreign currency really assisted us and continues to do so.
For the future, a key area that we need to get a better handle on is using the internet and managing more aspects of the business online. This is new for us because to date we have relied on our client’s systems and process with many still ordering via email or phone. We now have new areas of our business that expect us to be more internet savvy and to have a stronger online presence. This is something that Markinson is now helping us with.
The real strength of a great partnership is the ability for the two partners to grow together and for it to be a win-win for both, which is true for Driveline and Markinson. After 35 years we continue to be a partnership that is helping make us both successful and for me, after 22 years in the business, I am confident that there is still much more to come.