Smart50 Awards 2016

48 Nuflow Technologies

Revenue

$3.5 million

Growth

47.7%

Founder

Ed Ahern, 58

Head office

Ashmore, Queensland

Year founded

2004

Employees

17

Industry

Manufacturing, transport and logistics

Website

www.nuflowtech.com.au

Nuflow Technologies 2000 Pty Ltd_AhernEd Ahern was a construction plumber on the lookout for new solutions to “rehabilitate” pipe systems when he went to Canada to negotiate the rights to sell a specialised set of products into the South East Asian region.

When his business, Nuflow Technologies, launched it was the only player in the game, which meant Ahern had to build up all elements of the operation from scratch.

“In an infant industry, the tools required for our specialised services are not readily available and we employed various engineers to carry out design work of the unique tools of our niche trade,” he says.

“In addition, we work with our polymer engineer to continually improve and develop new resins.”

Twelve years in, Nuflow has grown to a network of 41 franchise partners and $3.5 million in annual revenue. The business has been able to successfully expand into Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia.

There’s more work that ever but also more competition than in the early 2000s, and the team have their eyes on markets beyond residential.

“Nuflow has identified key target markets for our products – strata, facility managers, engineers, hospitals, hotels/resorts and civil contractors,” Ahern says.

“Our goal over the next twelve months is to penetrate these markets at a national level and increase sales through a targeted lead generation strategy.”

New players in the market also mean monitoring the company’s intellectual property is crucial. “We are also seeing competitors trying to replicate the repair process we utilise,” Ahern says.

With 46 franchise partners on deck, Ahern says there’s plenty of energy around for innovation and ideas.

“If ideas have merit, then these will proceed to our research and development stage,” he says, meaning there’s never a shortage of new concepts in the pipeline.

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