If you had to create a strategy for business success, would it look something like this … the formula being used by one rapidly rising West Australian company:
- Quote philosophers in your conversation with customers
- Reduce your customers operating costs by providing fuel to them at special rates
- On tough days at the office, make sure everyone gets an ice cream when Mr Whippy comes around
- Take the path less worn to ride out WA’s downturn
- Don’t forget about fun
- Upgrade your equipment fleet when others are selling off theirs.
KEE Group is a unique beast, crafted by two brothers into a diversified and integrated equipment and services provider that is charting its own course upward in market share.
Credible. Reliable. Professional … and different; good different.
Brothers Damon and Clayton Spiers have come a long way from working in the family’s heavy haulage business – establishing and developing KEE Group into a customer-centric organisation which is not afraid to ask “would you like fries with that?”
Yes, we all know that’s the up-sell line used in fast food, but KEE turned its intention inside out. Instead of them profiting from the value-added service, their customers do … and in this case, it is not fries but fuel which is being sold.
“We have developed an industry first discounted service that has the sole intention of delivering real savings to the one thing that nearly every industry relies on – fuel,” says Damon.
“We know that before we came along it was a service that had huge profit margins, and if there was any one product that could be discounted fuel would be top of the list.
“Customers of KEE Hire, for instance, are asked if they want the option of discounted fuel delivered. If the answer is yes, they save money. Then, if they were to engage any of the other KEE services such as transport, road sweeping, asphalting or profiling, there are synergies which magnify the savings.”
KEE Fuel started with a single truck last year and has doubled this year.
But it is just one element of a creative company that continues to build on its reputation for quality across the group. By way of example: KEE Surfacing, under the guidance of Antonia Spiers, has established itself over the last six years as the most respected asphalt contracting team in Australia.
Since its inception, KEE Surfacing has been a successful partner of nearly every major road project in Perth and has also just been awarded, from BGC Asphalt, the contract to lay the largest tonnage road project in the history of WA … North Link 2.
A few months ago they also established a fully operational profiling division to work hand in hand with asphalt to provide an overall value proposition that has no equal, while also ensuring continuity of supply. Only two months on the ground they, too, have picked up major contracts thus demonstrating the ability of KEE to dominate in any service area that can be vertically or horizontally integrated into their structure.
Group-wide, KEE already boasts more than 170 pieces of new plant and equipment in its renewal process – a process undertaken when the downturn in WA’s civil and mining sectors was seeing other businesses shed their gear.
And that’s where philosophy comes in. Damon and Clayton put their thoughts down on KEE’s LinkedIn site, quoting the words written by Alexander Pope 306 years ago:
For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
What does that mean? Well, Damon and Clayton were riding out criticism of their renewal rejuvenation to maintain an article of faith with customers:
KEE Group was founded on the provision of the best equipment, services and people working safely.
“As it says on our website, we place the customer first, every time, with machinery of superior quality,” says Clayton.
“Whether we are working with major league companies on some of the state’s biggest projects or with small or single operators, KEE delivers the same level of service.
“To be able to do this we have not shed staff and equipment, as others have done. Instead, we work with equipment suppliers such as Case Australia and financiers – including Ledge – to ensure we can deliver what customers want as the state’s economy recovers.
“We are not like everyone else – we have a plan and the passion to make it happen. And that means developing initiatives like discounted fuel under KEE’s loyalty program and becoming genuine partners with customers.