Together Team.eX and AMGC empower SMEs to achieve more

Collaboration is at the very heart of Team.eX. In fact, the very premise of the Team.eX program is Together we can achieve more.

A specialist business program established by the Defence Teaming Centre, Team.eX is about bringing advanced manufacturing and cyber security SMEs together to achieve greater levels of capacity and capability often required to achieve export success.

By doing so Team.eX enables companies to take on larger projects, diversify their revenue streams, and enter global supply chains.

This is particularly important, given the once in a generation growth opportunity for SMEs operating in the trillion-dollar global defence, advanced manufacturing, and cyber security sectors, which are growing at between 4% and 13% a year.

Bringing SMEs together to achieve a common objective

According to Emilio De Stefano (General Manager, Team.eX), “At its core, Team.eX is all about collaboration. We are focused on bringing SMEs together to achieve a common objective.”

“The program was established based on feedback from the defence industry primes that manufacturing and defence companies in Australia are just too small. With 97% of companies in Australia comprised of 19 people or less, it makes it very difficult for the primes to award major contracts. Many SMEs just don’t have the financial viability or capacity, which means the primes have little choice but to use their incumbent offshore supply chains. Team.eX is helping SMEs collaborate, so that together they can behave like medium-sized companies, with increased capacity and capability.”

For instance, Team.eX recently brought together a steel fabricator, an engineering consultancy, and an automation company. Instead of the defence prime signing three small contracts, there is one major contract for the delivery of a complete, turnkey solution.

“Team.eX is not only benefitting industry, but the primes as well. BAE Systems Australia has backed the program since its inception and has been involved in its co-design and content creation. BAE Systems really sees the program as being instrumental in the development of SMEs who want to be part of their global supply chain,” said Emilio.

Team.eX and AMGC Work Together to effect real change

Funded by the SME Export Hubs Grant, Team.eX originated as a pilot program that gave SMEs access to half day business development classes. With the expansion of the pilot, Team.eX and AMGC have worked together to create a much more holistic program of mentoring and ongoing support designed to help SMEs make real changes in their business to access global supply chains.

“AMGC has a wealth of advanced manufacturing knowledge, embedded within its Manufacturing Academy. Our original concept was to create a collaborative learning portal, featuring peer-to-peer learning. When we discovered that AMGC already had these resources on-hand, it was a natural fit—why would we duplicate something that AMGC had already created?” said Emilio.

“The peer-to-peer learning really underpinned what we wanted to do. It’s no good us lecturing business owners; it is much more effective to learn how other companies have applied lessons and learnings. It’s just one of the many reasons we collaborated with AMGC and leveraged the Manufacturing Academy for the Team.eX program,” said Emilio.

Scale & maturity secure future building projects

Emilio believes that collaboration is key to the future of Australian manufacturing for several reasons.

“First and foremost, Australia’s manufacturing SMEs just don’t have the scale and breadth of capability that foreign owned primes are used to dealing with. To participate in future acquisition programs like the Hunter Class Frigate program, SMEs must possess business maturity. Collaboration for projects like this is essential, not only to create capacity, but to enable access to global supply chains.”

“Secondly, the world is becoming more and more complex and uncertain. SMEs do not have the knowledge base or expertise to deal with this uncertainty on their own. You only have to look to the likes of Google to see the power of collaboration—the tech giant collaborates with all sorts of organisations, in all sorts of ways. This is how they create the impact they do,” said Emilio.

Foundation Partners of Team.eX are Adelaide Business School (The University of Adelaide), Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), Department for Trade and InvestmentDe Stefano & CoJones Harley Toole and Knowledge Perspectives.