CONSTRUCTION started this week on Digga Australia’s $2.5 million plant in Iowa in the American Midwest.
CEO Suzie Wright (pictured) has left the earthmoving manufacturer’s Yatala base for the United States to oversee construction of the 3200sqm factory at Dyersville, which will employ 30 people.
Digga North America is expected to add 8 per cent to the company’s $50 million revenue in its first 12 months, with forecast growth of 20 per cent over three years.
The earthmoving parts and drill auger manufacturer will focus on the eight to 50 tonne excavator market in the US. It will continue to supply the Paladin group with gearboxes.
The company employs 200 people at its 12,500sqm Yatala plant. Wright says the expansion into the United States has made the Australian plant busier as it ramps up production to cater for the increased demand.
She says the excavator market is growing rapidly and Digga screw anchor products would be used “anywhere a hole needs to be dug”.
“This expansion will allow us to grow our US excavator market and as a result we have ramped up production in Australia over the last six months so we can hit the ground running,” says Wright.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for our company and this move will broaden our global reach as well as allow us to be on the ground in the US and grow relationships there.
Wright says the Dyersville Economic Development Corporation (DEDC) was proactive in attracting Digga with a raft of staff training and tax incentives.
“It’s incredible what they have offered us in return for employing people,” she says.
Dyersville is a small town (population around 4800), about 350km northwest of Chicago. It was the site for the baseball diamond in the movie Field of Dreams.
Wright will oversee Digga North America, while the group’s chief operating officer Paul Taylor will manage the Australian business from the company’s Gold Coast headquarters.
The Australian headquarters will service the domestic machinery market and supply sub-assembly components to the US operation.
“Digga Australia will export product to our North America operation and also ramp up its commitment to the domestic market here in Australia, which represents the majority of our business,” says Taylor.
Four staff from the Gold Coast will relocate to the US, including two engineering and fabrication personnel, while vice president of sales Alan Wade will relocate in July.