In September 2021, Schlam CEO, Matt Thomas, held a series of Townhall presentations at the company's locations in Forrestfield and Waroona.
The presentations walked Schlam’s growing workforce through results from the previous financial year in the areas of safety, human resources, finance, sales, and the company’s response to COVID-19.
“Australia is probably the envy of many countries throughout the world. Having been fortunate with elevated commodity prices keeping our economy strong,” opened Matt.
“Schlam had a solid year financially off the back of demand from loyal customers and an increased market share across all of our business units.”
In the previous 12 months, the company welcomed more than 40 new people, with some in the audience only joining a few days prior to the presentation.
Matt said that the company continued "to send our people home safely" with no lost time injury events on the safety front. Despite this, the CEO stressed the need to improve in this area, saying that nothing was more important for the business.
"In FY21, we kicked off the Safer You, Safer Me program, which is a three-year safety strategy aligned with international standards," said Matt,
"Pleasingly, we trained nine Schlam employees to become Mental Health First Aiders. Mental health is an issue not just in our business or our community, but across the world."
Not only did the HSEQ team grow in FY21, they successfully recertified Schlam’s ISO 9001 quality certification on the back of a growing focus on quality across all business units.
“We continue to strive for diversification and cultural awareness amongst our staff. We have a very mixed population of people, which is fantastic. And we developed innovative recruitment programs to attract the best firefighter resources,” said Matt.
“And finally, we expanded our recruitment and admin teams to cater for growing demand.”
This demand was best demonstrated in the mechanical services team, which quadrupled in size in FY21 and established a reputation in the Pilbara for the supply of mechanical based trades. The team was awarded panel contracts with CITIC Pacific and Rio Tinto and increased its placements at FMG and BHP.
A highlight for the mechanical services team was conducting the largest ever Schlam shutdown in the Pilbara at CITIC Pacific, with 25 people working back-to-back 24 hours a day for almost three weeks.
While this was easily the most significant shutdown that the Pilbara mechanical team has completed to date, the job was completed on time and within budget.
On top of this, the client said that the drill rig reached its first service without any breakdowns - a key performance indicator for any drill post-shutdown.
The client went on to say that they had not witnessed this after any shutdown and that both team leaders were to be commended for their professionalism and work ethic.
"Our fabrication team doubled in size and completed many major tray refurbishments at our Tom Price facility, which is an amazing result for the small team we have there. We now include MACA and CITIC Pacific as clients, and we completed our first fixed plant shutdown," said Matt.
"Importantly, we celebrated five years lost time injury-free at West Angeles with Rio Tinto, which in itself is a huge effort."
On the topic of COVID-19, Matt expressed his gratitude to all employees saying that the company has managed the situation exceptionally well and that Schlam had continued to operate without significant disruptions.
"I really appreciate everyone's efforts, but as we move forward in the Pilbara, clients are clear that staff will need to be vaccinated to attend site," said Matt foreshadowing a recent WA government directive.
"Apart from protecting your health and for clients site access requirements, there are other reasons to be vaccinated. To protect your family, your friends, your colleagues, and the community."
Matt went on to say that Schlam’s future is bright but not without its challenges.
“Our growth strategy developed from our ideology, purpose, and principles helped us become clear on our position in the market.
“We're building out our board and have appointed a new director to help add capability and experience at the top level. Finally, I want to thank you for all of your efforts. It's a great time to be working for Schlam,” finished Matt.