By: Matt Hederstrom
Chief Executive Officer
Varley USA, Inc.
A little background
I met Varley in the year 2000 when we collaborated on relatively large program for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). I was working for an aerospace company in Oregon designing and building precision approach navigation aids – ground-based systems installed on airports to give airplanes instrument guidance to land safely. The RAAF acquired a couple of our mobile systems, but wanted their own custom-designed vehicle solution. Building vehicles was not our core competency, so we teamed with Varley in Australia who would design and fabricate the vehicle.
After 9 months of countless late-night phone calls, exchanging interface control drawings, and design reviews, we flew to Australia with our electronics and antennas for final integration, test, and delivery to the customer. Every component fit precisely, the system worked out of the box, the design was creative and elegant, and the customer loved the solution.
Not only was it clear that Varley’s engineering acumen was world-class and their work ethic made them a reliable partner, but I built solid friendships with the company’s management and engineers during the project. I shared their values, focus on the customer, passion for problem-solving, and dedication to exceed expectations.
Fast-forward 15 years
Little did I know back then that, 15 years later, I’d be charged with spearheading Varley’s expansion into the US. Varley has grown to 5-times the size since I met them by leveraging the commitment and values that run throughout the company. The customers keep coming back with bigger and broader tasks for our team. And, now, it’s time to come to the States – for three main reasons:
- The sheer size of the US market relative to Australia makes it an attractive prospect.
- Varley’s current US-based customers have encouraged the company to expand here, so that they may rely more and more on Varley like our Australian customers have.
- The cost of manufacturing in Australia is more expensive than in the US, so for Varley to become more competitive globally, it is helpful to have access to more cost-effective, US-based manufacturing.
Varley currently supports several large defense programs for the US Department of Defense by designing and fabricating systems like ground support equipment, tooling for aircraft production lines, mobile command and control modules, transportable air traffic control systems, and containers for ordnance and missile logistics. Our objective is to bolster our support to these customers and programs, and grow the scope of what we do for them.
Coming to America
The best way to accomplish the objective here in the US is to focus on Strategic Partnerships – a formal, bilateral Agreement between Varley and a US-based company that capitalizes on each other’s strengths. Varley brings so much to the table in terms of access to Pacific Rim markets, myriad facilities across Australia, current Tier 1 US-based customers, and world-class engineering skills and experience which anyone here in the US can leverage.
We are actively looking for Partners who can take advantage of Varley’s value proposition, and provide access to US-based manufacturing, novel technologies, and most importantly, share the values that have been the cornerstone of Varley since 1886.
The Ideal Partner
Being part of a 130-year-old organization affords you a longer-term, strategic perspective on any decision you make. In searching for our ideal Partners, we have the luxury of being particular, patient, and diligent to ensure the Partnership is mutually helpful – the whole must be bigger than the sum of the parts. Our Partners will be companies that:
- Have an experienced, proven management team in place,
- Operate under reliable, repeatable and professional business processes,
- Have adopted a mission, values, and a work ethic that mirrors Varley’s,
- Service a compelling market, adjacent to Varley’s, to fuel expansion for both companies, and
- Can share in a tangible, nearer-term project on which to build the collaboration.
So, now that we’re officially here in the US, bringing all that Varley has to offer, we’re looking for Partners to share in our growth and success. We’re picky about those with whom we do business – the Partnership simply must be a two-way street. We will set a solid foundation for a long-term relationship based on the proven set of values that Varley has relied upon for 130 years – the same values that resonated with me 15 years ago when I met Varley.