Think HBR

Varley – The Coming of Age

Varley Group CEO Jeff Phillips
The name Varley is synonymous with Hunter Valley engineering, a family-owned company that started in Newcastle that has determinedly and progressively increased both its national footprint and engineering expertise since its formation in 1886.
The change is being driven by Managing Director, Jeff Phillips and implemented by the Divisional CEO’s across the 4 key business groups, Defence, Services, Vehicles and Systems to ensure sustainability as a company in an ever competitive manufacturing environment.
With a focus on Defence, Varley were recently awarded the $45m “LAND8140 Deployable Force Infrastructure” contract and with that achieving the highly valued status of “Defence Prime Contractor”. This is a turning point for Varley who in the past have predominantly served as a sub-contractor on defence contracts such as LAND121, LAND19, JP2072, AIR 7000, AIR 6000, AIR87, JP8001 and JP65.
More recently Varley was down-selected as one of three Australian companies to bid for the LAND8710 Phase 1, Littoral Manoeuvre Vessel - Amphibious Vehicle (LMV-A), the replacement for the 60-year-old LARC-V Amphibious Vehicle currently in service.
The Amphibious Vehicle project is a natural fit for Varley as they are one of a very few Australian Companies to actually design & build a vehicle from the Rubber Up with the “Varley Fire Commander”. When Varley combine that expertise and ingenuity in specialised vehicle design with their strong Naval background both internally and through the recently acquired Norship they will be a strong force to contend with in this bid.
The newly enhanced “Australian Industry Capability (AIC)” Defence Contracting framework implemented by the government have ensured real opportunities for Australian Manufacturers, in particular SME’s to be a part of a sovereign reliable and resilient “Supply Chain”.
As a part of their successful LAND8140 Tranche 1 DFI tender, Varley clearly demonstrated a committed to increasing opportunities and support for Australian SME’s to be Defence Ready when engaging in the defence bid process.
Well ahead of the AIC contract component, Varley proactively developed strong local supply chain networks, not just for defence contracts, but across all their specialised divisions.
In addition Varley had to demonstrate a strong history as an equal opportunity employer committed to support and the development of STEM, University Graduates and Apprentices as well as Veteran employment & Indigenous opportunities across all of its 10 Australian sites.