Engineering firm: Diversification key to surviving long term

INNOVATION: Mick Staley is one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Staley Automation, which is celebrating 20 years this month. Picture: Kate Healy
INNOVATION: Mick Staley is one half of the husband-and-wife team behind Staley Automation, which is celebrating 20 years this month. Picture: Kate Healy

A Ballarat electrical engineering and automation firm is celebrating 20 years of operation this month.

Husband-and-wife duo Mick Staley and Sam Fraser own and operate Staley Automation, which services some of Ballarat’s most well-known manufacturers and companies, along with interstate clients and overseas contracts.

The firm has come a long way from the home office set up with only two employees when it first started. 

“We’ve built ourselves on long-term relationships and that shows we have that trust and respect from our clients,” Mr Staley said.

He put the key to survival down to diversification, with the business expanding into different industries such as water, food and beverage.

Mr Staley said the firm could take on clients from any sector where processes and machinery were involved, including manufacturing, mining and agriculture. 

“Manufacturing would have been maybe 80 per cent of what we did (when we started) and that’s swung around the other way so now it’s 20 per cent,” he said.

“Our mantra of innovating is a big part of that. It’s about understanding that markets will change, people come and go, and there will be new ways of doing things.

“We just have to adapt and do things differently – that has been a big driver in keeping us relevant.”

Mr Staley is excited about what the future holds.

“There are a lot of new things happening such as alternative energies, recycling, and new industries,” he said.