Building a ‘zero leak’ business

Originally founded in 1986, Aquamate manufactures, supplies and installs large-volume, polymer-lined steel tanks across Australia and around the world. The company has established itself as a leader in the industry and has ambitious plans for further growth.

Managing Director Danny Di Iorio and his wife Joanne, originally bought Aquamate in 2001, when it was nothing more than a sole trader with no employees and no manufacturing capability. Since the major focus across the business is on ‘zero leaks’— from the time of order to installation — Danny set about becoming vertically integrated. In 2003 they set up a steel fabrication facility, and a plastic fabrication facility followed in 2008.

Overseas interests

Aquamate now serves three major client groups: rural homes and businesses across Australia; commercial clients including construction and government and the US market where they have a sales and distribution business in Dallas, Texas.

The US market opportunity started with an enquiry from a Texas rancher who needed some tanks for his farm. Aquamate sent two tanks over on a container ship and developed the market from there. Since Texas is coming out of drought conditions similar to those facing Australia a few years ago, the market opportunity is vast, and Danny sees this as a primary growth opportunity for the company.

In addition to their work with major clients, Aquamate has donated several tanks over the past 10 years to charity organisations working for communities in need in Africa and the Pacific. In 2017 they entered a formal partnership with World Vision to donate a number of tanks each year to farmers in Southern Zambia.

Why it’s a great business

Since 2001, the company has increased annual turnover from $250,000 to over $5million. They now control all the most critical manufacturing processes for their tanks and have gone from zero employees to more than 20.

Keys to success
  • Setting up their own steel & plastic fabrication facilities
  • Adding installation services to their business
  • Hiring carefully and getting great employees
  • Finding sustainable growth opportunities & new markets

In 2013, Accru Harris Orchard helped Aquamate use their existing Superannuation assets to facilitate the purchase of an impressive manufacturing and warehousing facility. “Accru Harris Orchard is proactive. They take the time to understand our business and our objectives,” says Danny.

Moving forward, Danny is focusing on sustainable growth that will help Aquamate become “Australia’s leading water containment systems company”.

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About the Author

Chris Marshall
Chris has spent his entire career at Accru Harris Orchard. After joining in 1981, he left to study, and to gain experience working overseas – and then returned to the firm he feels so much a part of.

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