Andrew Jessett

Andrew Jessett
MINEWARE
MINING SERVICES

Age: 33
Business Est: 2001
Number of staff: 15
Growth: 30 per cent
Turnover: $4.6 million

CUTTING costs and boosting productivity are two standard goals for any mining company, but for MineWare CEO Andrew Jessett they are how he makes his living.

Jessett developed the Pegasys Dragline Monitor System which sets benchmarks for machinery, monitors results and finds solutions to improve productivity.

“We’ve targeted high capital cost equipment and the machines we put our products on go for $300 million so any small improvement gets converted into a very high profit gain for the organisation,” he says.

“We try to target a 5 per cent improvement on a machine so in dollar terms that would tend to work out at $5 million, and with so many of these machines the cumulative effect is quite large.”

It is a technology that has seen MineWare recently sign a six-year $20 million deal with BMA, a BHP Billiton subsidiary, in addition to a foray into the South African market with Becsa. Other key clients include Wesfarmers and Anglo Coal.

MineWare is also involved in a joint tender with US company Modular Mining in India and has also given a few quotes in the US over the past year.

“There’s been a reasonable response – the US market is difficult for any Australian company as they tend to be a bit parochial and take a while to make decisions,”
he says.

“We’re still a small business and still very much getting over the start up struggle phase that comes with any new business, particularly when you’re developing a new technology. At times we were thinking if this doesn’t pay off we’re in a lot of trouble here.”

Jessett is focused on developing sustainable income by building long-term contracts with clients, rather than concentrating on sales.

“For an entrepreneur this is very important – for anyone going into entrepreneurship it’s tough to manage cash, it’s just so critical for the first four or five years or so.

“Unless you’ve got a product that people are falling over themselves for, which is rare, then you need to manage your cash and maintain relationships with clients – it’s the best way to sleep at night.”

The winner of the Mercedes Benz Young Business Person of the Year Award at the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards 2009,
says it’s much easier to absorb risk at a young age.

“High energy levels and enthusiasm definitely help. You’re often more flexible, open to new ideas and approaches, and have not been entrenched in one way of thinking and working.”

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