BuiltQuik rebuilds with UOW
The BuiltQuik team rebuilds with their University of Wollongong research team to developed a supply chain model for their modular housing systems that is changing communities and the world.Connect with BuiltQuik
So so when I was about eight years old I moved on to a big shed on my father's property with my brothers and my dad and myself. It was very humbling because it helped us appreciate the basics of having a roof over our head and that's actually where the first models were started before the Builtquik frames. So my father, Bruce, has always been a crazy inventor, who's always had crazy ideas but he did not have the ability himself to turn it into a business.
So that's where my brother, Hayden, took it on himself to go and do an MBA and from there we got funding. We developed and patented the housing product. These days my dad and brothers and myself are all running businesses together, developing construction products and systems for bridges and housing. The whole philosophy behind all of our businesses products is to support regional installation, regional jobs.
In Northern Territory the current delivery method for housing is through tenders. There isn't much consultation in community on country with the tenants that are going to be living in the houses or the elders of those communities. And it was only after we started to actually develop our stakeholder network and relationships with local Aboriginal corporations and cultural consultants up in the top end that we started to really understand the needs and refine the product to suit those needs. If our product was to be delivered into these remote communities the whole business that delivered that needed to be community-led.
We also had to look at the supply chain in detail to understand how we could engage with local businesses to support local employment. So as a small business trying to achieve such a grand vision we recognized quite quickly that we needed the credibility of an academic institution such as the University of Wollongong. So when Hayden and I first met Tillmann the moment we met him he took the challenge on for himself.
It was really a very innovative concept that they've presented and they were looking for a researcher that can help them with developing and refining their business model as well as developing a supply-chain solution.
The deliverables from the collaboration were really focused on having a turnkey solution for both the community's expectations of the product but as well as at the Northern Territory government and the federal government's requirements to actually fund our housing which makes the business model for the communities viable.
The aspect that I brought in is really I see BuildQuik as a service provider to community moving it from a frame manufacturing business to a licensing IP business.
So then we actually license our technology to the communities directly. The frame is also a vehicle for for job creation and skill development, instead of just delivering product that we supply. We actually train people to deliver the product themselves. So you don't have people flying in and flying out building houses. You develop skills long term to create sustainable housing.
When we're designing supply chain we're actually designing a system. We're looking at it. It's like reshuffling the parts.
Rather than just being a product which is shipped out, that used simple walls. We don't provide walls because regionally available materials can be used as your wall. The fit out and the design of the central frame is left to the community. They can determine how they want to live their life. The fabrication is done by Indigenous fabricators.
So the end-to-end physical supply chain is owned by the Indigenous communities. Supply chain concepts embedded is mass customization. I had a whole team working on this project as well colleagues from IT joining, students from the Masters of Science. So it was a real team effort.
The main reason Tillman helped to make the concept viable was to refine the details and to identify the necessary elements of the system which still needed development. We have then been able to go back up to Northern Territory and establish relationships to fill in those certain parts of the model with local partners, local businesses to provide all of the supplier capabilities that would actually be the turnkey delivery partners for remote community delivery of housing. Upon completion of the Tech Voucher we had a roadmap to the commercialization of the system.
Fairly soon after we've completed the initial phase it got really silent. And then the tragic news hit us that Hayden passed away unexpectedly due to a heart condition in Sydney.
The last time I saw Hayden was actually in this building where we were having a meeting to sort of evolve the database project. It's really hard to talk about it hey. Like how can you focus when your life just changed forever? So it's been quite hard getting back on the horse per se.
Because we established this mentoring relationship early on it continued and it got very personal at some point.
Tillmann has been absolutely instrumental to my healing and supporting what needed to be done, getting done. We found ourselves having the network that we were trying to support up north and around here locally turn around and support us.
He realized himself that what we've been working on is larger than himself.
When you've worked with someone to create a dream that they won't see that's what hurts the most. I won't rest until that dream is a reality.
When we finished the initial collaboration it really was the end of the development phase of our business and the beginning of the commercialization of our designs.
What we're doing is we're designed a Supply-chain in theory. And now it's about implementing it, testing it and make it work in practice. There's this strong belief in the solution and we continue working together looking for the next round of funding.
We've had so much support from government, industry, communities and it's an obvious paradigm shift. It's an obvious step change but not one of us can get there individually. We have to all get there as a collective.
I think BuiltQuik's future looks bright. They have a great product with a great business model. Because it's modeled on a 20-foot container, you can provide shelter, homes and economic stimulation anywhere in the world.
Basically, it's going to change the world.
Thanks for coming. Anyway.