Kelly Engineering

Kelly Engineering is a South Australian manufacturer of tillage equipment for the agriculture industry, focusing on improving sustainability across farming.

Industry:

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

Sector:

Manufacturing

Solution:

Working Capital

Region:

North America

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Need

To keep up with high demand in its export markets, Kelly Engineering required finance to improve its USA capacity by making machines locally in Australia.

Solution

Our Export Contract Loan enabled the business to export its machines to augment its capacity shortfall in the USA.

With sustainable growth at the forefront for Kelly Engineering, our support enabled the business to increase capacity in Australia to fill a shortfall in its supply in the United States.

Kelly Engineering produces a range of tillage equipment. Meeting the need for an integrated approach to weed control and improved field management, Kelly Engineering’s machines support more sustainable farming practices by improving soil health and minimising the use of herbicides.

Our biggest challenge is keeping up with the demand for our products. The support from Export Finance Australia has allowed us to take advantage of this demand and export from Australia to augment our capacity shortfall in the United States.

Calvin Stead

CEO, Kelly Engineering

Calvin Stead, CEO at Kelly Engineering highlighted that the machines have significant cost-saving benefits for farmers, which has contributed to a rapid global rise in demand.

“While exporting is a huge focus for us as a business, the quality of our products and our purpose to improve soil health now and for future generations is non-negotiable,” Calvin said.

After beginning its exporting journey in 2006 to the United States, Kelly Engineering has grown significantly across the USA, Europe, Eastern Europe and Southern Africa. Today, exports are the mainstay of the business representing approximately 85% of revenue.

“Over the last five years, we have seen a strong growth rate, and we're looking to double our business size at least every three to four years,” Calvin explained.

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Finance to support sustainable growth

To keep up with high demand in its export markets, Kelly Engineering approached us for a working capital solution.

We provided a $3 million Export Contract Loan to Kelly Engineering*, which enabled Kelly Engineering to increase its capacity to manufacture additional machines for the USA market.

“Undoubtedly, the support from Export Finance Australia has allowed us to hit our budgets, and actually do better than budget. This will also put us in a good negotiating position with our suppliers going forward and open up options for us to maintain capacity in markets around the world.”

Calvin’s advice for other exporters is to know your business and understand the drivers in your markets. “You can quickly fall short in meeting demand if you don’t fully know the drivers,” he said.

Looking forward, further growth and expansion are on the horizon for Kelly Engineering, with Calvin noting they would look to expand into new markets as well as set up additional manufacturing facilities around the world.

*Through Haidnay Pty Ltd as trustee for the Kelly Family Trust