Coronatude is a mindset
COVID has impacted the world and inspired reflections and actions that show the goodness of folks.
During Stage 4 lockdown restriction across Victoria, we’ve witnessed the resilience, connectivity and inspiration of many.
I know so many Victorian’s who have adapted and contributed in inspiring ways.
So why not share their stories?
This Q and A series shares how others have navigated 2020’s impacts and changes, and the attitude and ideas that have sustained their business and wellbeing.
If we’ve learnt anything from these times, it’s that a generous spirit and determined attitude in COVD times can have lasting positive impacts. These are Victorian’s worth meeting and supporting!
Welcome to the Coronatude Chats!
Meet Murray Turner
Tell me about your business Murray?
Lindsell Hoists is a business I established over 25 years ago and named it after the family name. We have a factory in Somerville that is ideally located for work-life balance for our staff and ourselves. We manufacture specialised hydraulic cranes, tippers and material handling equipment for exact clients needs.
We are an Australian OEM manufacturer and source local product and local engineering services. We supply nationally to all industries including agriculture, energy, water authorities, small business and both state and federal government.
We employ local people with a staff of 5 in total.
Two of the staff are from local schools and attend Chisholm TAFE as we provide apprenticeships in Welding Engineering and Fabrication.
One of our key expert areas is manufacturing products to suit people with disabilities due to medical conditions or Trauma (like strokes or accidents.
Currently, we are manufacturing cranes to clients with paraplegia and require lifting heavy electric chairs onto vehicles for improved mobility and lifestyle. Pre COVID we were feeling the effects of an alleged recession approaching market early 2020 and the market was flat. As COVID19 embedded and sales slowed we meet the 30% reduction but as time went by we actually got busier, extending wait times for production.
How did the Coronavirus impact your business?
At first, a reduction in sales early in pandemic and then clients realised we are an Australian manufacturer and our pricing was very competitive with imported styles. We set up strict protocols and all staff temperature checked. No staff to leave for lunch and meals were provided if they forgot their lunch.
We supplied an Indian lunch most Fridays from local restaurant Vini Tandoori in Somerville as a way of thanks and help local a restaurant as well.
We had many enquiries with clients firstly asking
A: Are we OK and everyone safe B: Is production affected and when can it be supplied.
The comments from clients and their concern was really encouraging and we passed this on to staff to ensure they knew that as a collective we had support. We sit together at lunch and breaks and discuss how COVID-19 affects both work and personal lives. All staff are able to take time off if the climate of COVID19 was impacting their health or families.
How did coronavirus impact your own life?
Fortunately, we are considered an essential business hence work continued.
Homelife … I am so fortunate to live at Point Leo and close to the beach. So, regular walks and a large garden with native habitat which is the basis of our garden design.
We have a small orchard and vegetable patch and small wetlands. We helped set up a community notice board and Point Leo Community Facebook Group.
Our son Liam in his final year of Astrophysics at Swinburne is able to FaceTime and call by phone regularly but personal visits under restricted Covid19 movements impossible.
Socially we have a strong neighbour network and hence cakes, jams and eggs, fruit and flower swaps still continue.
Some holiday home-owners have asked me to check properties and I have been able to check and repair minor issues. The best fun was making short films of my neighbour Jacque Reymond telling him that camembert cheese was growing in his garden … LOL
How did your business evolve during COVID times? (What did you offer, how did you adapt, who did you call on to help?)
We have very solid suppliers and well-established relationships. In early 2020 we had plans in place to maintain supply and distribution networks.
We made use of regional television advertisement as I figured viewing numbers would be up. We made changes to our web page to inform we are OPEN during COVID-19.
What do you customers and community tell you they appreciate about your service right now?
I had this great feedback this week from a Lindsell Hoist owner
“Murray if I could buy you a beer I would that’s exactly what I’m chasing thank you legend …Matt.”
Many clients are appreciative of getting custom changes and a product that has a long warranty 10 years for our products. Getting prompt service advice and trouble-shooting using FaceTime is also excellent for onsite diagnosis. Having over 5000 clients using our products gives us strong advocacy and also supports new buyer’s confidence in tried and tested products.
What has been the hardest thing for you to overcome?
Right now we are designing a specialist unit for inside a wind turbine with limited capacity for operators to move. Components need to be small and compact with a design completely outside the square. To date this has been our biggest challenge as the client has had this lifting issue for over 15 years and not been successful in fixing the issue … we are looking forward to resolving their lifting issue.
We have friends living in Bali and seeing the hardship and now tourist income is just heartbreaking We are able to send some financial support but you just know its just not about money. The people of Bali and other struggling communities need to know we care and we will help.
I am in serious discussions with the Federal government on training Mental Health First Aid and the current shortfalls … not be able to travel is extremely frustrating and a challenge for all concerned.
Who has inspired or motivated you to keep going during the pandemic?
Those health workers on the front line – I am in awe of them
Those people in our community who you ask once and they respond twice.
Those ordinary people doing extraordinary things that they consider just their job, and don’t realise they are critical in the success of our community.
On the political level Premier Dan Andrews, and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern
Dr Norman Swan for just getting the facts out there on COVID-19
But really my partner Carol who just puts the shoulder to the wheel and keeps it going.
During the crisis, she sent pre-Christmas gifts to all our family to just brighten up their days. Carol continues to send items to a remote aboriginal community we support.
Can you share something you’ve learnt about yourself or others during these times that you’d like to continue to explore or offer?
Many Australians do not budget for that rainy day and I’m lucky enough to come for the 1960s and hence “the rainy day” was instilled in us. Living within your means and waiting to get that item when you have the cash and definitely not keeping up with Kardashparadoes !!!!
I want to continue to learn about our oldest culture and share their world.
My son Liam has shown resilience and determination and that makes me so, so proud.
His ability to assess a situation and maintain a steady mind and hand is inspirational to me.
Thanks for sharing your story Murray. You’re a ripper of a Victorian to support!
Keep that Coronatude going strong everyone.
If you know a regional Victorian story worth sharing, I’d love to hear from you.