Advanced Focus: Helping clients ‘see the future’

Advanced Focus helps its clients to ‘see the future’. Their expert strategic advice, education and process engineering services, coupled with a focus on disruptive technologies, enables Advanced Focus to improve client effectiveness and productivity.

According to Mark Fusco, Managing Director, Advanced Focus, “I started in 2005 as ‘Manufacturing Focus’, a single employee start-up company, working from my kitchen table at home. My goal was to provide the market with services to improve manufacturing performance at both a tactical and strategic level that had not been achieved before in sectors that had been sheltered from global forces.”

“From these humble beginnings, we have carefully grown our team and services to extend the early manufacturing engineering services we offered to a more complete service offering to more than 40 sectors today. In 2014, we changed our name to Advanced Focus to better reflect the broader industries we work with, and the aspirations of our clients. Our background in globally competitive advanced manufacturing DNA remains. However, these attributes are valuable and relevant to any industries that have the ambition to be globally competitive,” said Fusco.

How to win on the world stage

Advanced Focus has earned a reputation as a high-value-adding partner with some of the manufacturing industry’s key players, from ASC, Thales, and Lockheed Martin, through to Siemens and REDARC Electronics.

Advanced Focus’ stellar reputation is, in part, due to their unique supply chain approach.

“We take quite a different supply chain approach. Most companies start with price, and don’t move off that. In contrast, we take a much more a strategic view of the supply chain—one that is focused on identifying gaps in capability and expertise, and determining how to manufacture better and smarter,” said Fusco.

“In Australia, if you’re going to win on the world stage, you need the best expertise and capability that you can get your hands on. Finding other companies to work with is essential to success.”

Complexity necessitates collaboration

“Advanced manufacturing is becoming more complex. This complexity requires even greater levels of research and development, and greater levels of expertise in specialised areas to create value and world class IP. Because of this, companies are recognising that they cannot develop world-class capabilities across all facets of their business,” said Fusco.  

“Instead, they must find ways to collaborate, and build relationships, with partners whose domain expertise sits in different areas to their own. It is only through these types of collaborative partnerships that Australian companies can create greater value, and capitalise on the market share that is available—but only if they’ve developed something that is good enough.”

“Too often, in Australia, we try to do it all ourselves. This is too slow and too expensive, especially when it comes to advanced technologies. For me, it has been a bit of an ‘unlearning experience’. We’ve had to rethink the way we will engage in the future. Other country’s cultures are sometimes more receptive to the idea of collaboration—we can learn a lot from this. Spending a lot of time in other countries and learning about their ecosystems is vital.”

“It all comes back to the value of a business and strategies they set. If you’re trying to build lasting value in what you deliver to the market, then having collaborative partnerships with experts who can improve and augment your own capabilities is essential to creating a solution,” said Fusco.

Industry 4.0 to improve supply chain competitiveness

Advanced Focus is set to embark on a major collaboration together with AMGC, BAE Systems Australia, Flinders University, Axiom Precision Manufacturing and RUAG for the world’s biggest defence program, the Joint Strike Fighter. The project will develop a new approach to supply chain digitalisation that avoids the use of expensive, proprietary software.

According to Fusco, “Advanced Focus is pleased to be facilitating the process mapping and evaluation of the supply chain processes for the Joint Strike Fighter project. We will use both our strategic operations expertise, combined with lean and advanced manufacturing industrial engineering tools to help redesign processes that leverage the benefits of Industry 4.0 technologies.”   

“We believe Industry 4.0 technologies have the potential to increase the competitiveness of our supply chains through the effective sharing of information, building visibility and trust, and simplifying transactions. Collaboration within the supply chain requires careful planning, but the rewards are there for those prepared to work together.”

“Industry 4.0 technologies make it easier to collaborate, to generate systems that help all members of the supply chain trust one another. I look at it like a window—if I can see what’s going on outside, then I don’t need to go outside and check,” said Fusco.