Hope you’re all well and coping with the changes that continue to impact us on a work and personal level. Our health and wellbeing are number one, and of course keeping our livelihood and employment on track is the other priority.
Like many of our staff, I’m grounded and working from home with Evelyn (my boss!). She has encouraged me to share the story of how we came to acquire Summit Innovations, because this newsletter is only interesting if we use it to share a little with each other.
About 8 years ago, we saw an advertisement in The Australian Financial Review for the sale of an Aussie technology business, based in Keysborough Melbourne. After an intense year of investigation and due diligence, we signed on the dotted line and became the new owners of Summit Innovations. Needless to say, it took a while after that to truly understand the complexity of this specialised business.
As you know, we invent, design, manufacture, ship, install, service and warrant the world’s greatest drive-thru solutions. In today’s world and from Australia, that is very bold and takes a multitude of specialised and skilled people to work together to make it happen!
Getting to know the team was the priority, and of course building relationships with our customers and suppliers.
Since acquiring the business, we have now more than twice the number of employees and have expanded into a complex global market with being in 3 or 4 countries to nearly 30 today. Breaking into new international markets is extremely challenging and expensive when you’re headquartered in Australia.
Finally, after years of persistence and investment, we have based our U.S. headquarters in Dallas Texas with Kim Redstall spending much of his waking hours overseas working on the international business (there are actually rumours that he doesn’t sleep!). Through these efforts, we are proud to have KFC USA as our largest customer and a number of other QSR brands in the US and around the globe. Perhaps we can encourage Kim to share some of his war stories for our next Summit Social Newsletter?
Whilst a lot (but not all!!) of the installation work is currently on hold or delayed in Australia, we are grateful that the QSR drive-thrus are open and headset repairs continue. The international situation is also mixed and challenging with many installations on hold as some countries’ drive-thrus are operating but others are closed, depending on the local laws and restrictions. One thing is certain is that our customers are wary of spending money in these troubled times.
We are an innovative company and in the last few weeks we have launched our new headset hygiene packs and are currently sourcing more materials from alternate suppliers in order to meet our QSR customers’ demands. We are also looking to use this time to catch up on administrative (read Salesforce), technical and software development projects, which will hopefully help us with the ‘bounce-back’ down the track.
No one knows how long this changed environment will continue. However, I do want you to know that I have managed large technology companies such as Autodesk and Altium through SARS, Avian Flus, the Asian currency crisis, multiple recessions, the Global Financial Crisis and other upheavals. During these times things always seem very grim but there is always an end to the crisis and a rebound.
We are confident that although we may have to adapt as never before, we will get Summit through this. We all need to be patient, adaptable, strong, fit and healthy and we will help get us all back on our feet once this is over.
Best wishes to you and your families and remember to please connect with your Manager or myself directly if you have any concerns that you wish to discuss.