Founders: Kevin Cooper, 42 Greg Fleay, 41
Head Office: Western Australia
Selling, hiring and modifying sea containers was not a new idea but the founders of Sea Containers WA saw that they could do a better job than the market incumbents.
Kevin Cooper and Greg Fleay started the business in 2008 after Cooper returned from working overseas to get involved in an existing business.
“We saw the opportunity to help safeguard that business, that was experiencing tough times in a tough market, through the start-up of Sea Containers WA,” Cooper says.
“There are a number of large players in the market and we saw through some instances that the customer service experience was quite poor.”
Starting up the business the pair found managing cashflow and supplier relationships were both challenging tasks.
“Prioritise the important aspects of building the business and get good people on board as soon as possible to avoid trying to do it all,” Cooper recommends.
However, Sea Containers WA managed to avoid any near-death experiences by being “very conscious” of cashflow and by keeping debtors in check.
“Cash is the life blood, it's great to have customers but there's no point in having ones that don't pay on time,” says Cooper.
“Push hard for your own creditors terms and push your own debtors harder to honour their commitments.”
After sticking to this mantra the business is now expanding, with plans to relocate to a new yard with a over 13,500 square metre lease.
“Fortunately we're in a buoyant West Australian economy and our exposure to the mining industry is a benefit,” says Cooper.
“But we're building our business with a focus beyond the boom to ensure we're here for the long-term.”