Taneka: Allan firstly, how was the year at Taipan?
Allan: Taneka the year was massive, no matter which aspect of the business you refer to. We have had hectic moments, sad moments, inspirational moments, and moments we have celebrated huge achievements. You name it, this year it feels like at some point we’ve experienced it all.
Taneka: Can you describe some of the physical achievements or moments you experienced?
Allan: Where do I begin Taneka! Our new Bimal Burst Tester added a boost to R & D the day we got back from our Xmas break. Then we flew to Adelaide for the opening of our new branch in South Australia. Do you know that was only in February! I keep pinching myself. It feels like our Wingfield warehouse has been there forever and not only the warehouse. The team down there are such a brilliant bunch of people who are like extended family. They have slotted straight in, are doing a fantastic job and have made a massive difference to the customer experience.
It was a big year for renovations as well. We completed a new office block in Melbourne and extended Caboolture storage space by another 690 sqm. Haha, 690 sqm, not 700 sqm, I don’t want our customers thinking we have 10sqm metres hanging around spare.
Taneka: I think 690sqm sounds impressive enough, thanks Allan. You mentioned celebrating some huge achievements. What were you referring to there?
Allan: Oh look, when I first took over running the business from my brother Tim, I was about as inexperienced as they come. I was chatting to our new accountants at the time and they asked me if I had a goal to achieve, a particular size of business, or turnover, or staff numbers etc. I didn’t at the time but I ended up setting a goal that day and sixteen years later in June this year, we achieved that goal. It was an awesome day, we even had a cake at each branch to celebrate.
Taneka: That’s so cool Allan, so how much was the goal!
Allan: Do you know what Taneka, that’s a really good question. A lot of our customers and even competitors know how much our company turns over. I know our suppliers do, they need to. It’s so they can prepare to supply enough product and manage their own budgets, but as most business owners know, it’s not the money that matters so much, as what opportunities the money provides. The journey is the important part, you have to be loving the journey otherwise you should rethink what you are doing, which of course I do!
Taneka: I understand Allan, any other standouts as far as achievements go?
Allan: I was on the winning team for walking the most steps in Steptember, we could start there! I earned myself a day in lieu and received a water bottle as a prize. I couldn’t believe Taipan Man didn’t give it to me in person though haha.
Seriously though, there are so many Taneka. I could go on all week but we have just tipped over 100 employees, which for a van operator from the south side of Brisbane, is 99 more than I ever dreamed we would have!
Taneka: Sounds like a big year Allan and I guess to wrap up the interview, the year would not be complete without mentioning what I guess is one of the sad moments for you, when you announced you were stepping down as Managing Director of Taipan.
Allan: You’ve got to be kidding Taneka! I am so looking forward to it, it’s not funny. Firstly, Amy is way smarter than I am, she’s certainly way prettier. She has a massively dedicated team and she has the ability to transform Taipan into something extremely special.
What Amy has planned will blow your mind. It blew mine, that’s why I am stepping aside. Besides, the absolute best part of my year was getting back to where I belong and that’s out in the field talking to our customers and helping add value to the people who actually matter.
Taneka: Do you have a last comment to finish the year on Allan?
Allan: If I was to comment I would repeat Amy’s words from our recent video, “If you would like to be a part of the Taipan journey, stick around because we are stepping it up!”
Our brand new Adelaide branch looking pretty schmick
Neil & Sammy playing with the new Burst Tester
The 2nd Caboolture extension in its inception
The Caboolture team in early 2023 – it’s even bigger now! Hitting 100 staff (nation-wide) in November.
Daughter of MD ready to take the reins as Allan steps down at the end of 2023.