Machines4u is recognised as the leading machinery sales website, Australia-wide. For over a decade, founders Luke and Steve have put blood, sweat and tears (literally!) into making their marketplace a powerful, user-friendly and dynamic tool for machinery dealers, private sellers and buyers alike. Given their remarkable success, one might expect them to be sitting on a beach somewhere, beer in hand and taking it easy. But that’s not how these guys roll…
noun –from a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
Luke and Steve foster the idea of ‘continuous improvement’ in their organisation, and this filters through to their dedicated staff, and to everything they do. Always striving to move forward, to develop (personally and professionally) and to take their operations to the next level, Machines4u is never resting; and neither are their team!
Constant improvement is the name of the game—and the business’ recent move to the sunny Gold Coast, in Queensland is just the most recent in a long line of decisions which characterise this organisation. Moving their team from the trendy city of Melbourne, to the surfing haven of the GC was not so much a business decision, as a lifestyle one. As system architect, Shivam puts it:
“If you were wearing an accountant’s hat, you would never have made this decision. But then again, what’s the value of your life? And where do you want to go?”
So, how did the team deal with the change, and uprooting to the Gold Coast? Shivam is pretty happy with the move.
“Me, I like change, and ten years in one place was more than enough. Not to mention the weather. The beaches, the sunshine, the lifestyle all make it worth it.”
As for the others, a bit of a survey of the Broadbeach office (just 100 metres from the beach, if you were wondering) resulted in a resounding affirmative. It seems the GC weather and lifestyle are making the upheaval a little easier to manage.
“Look at the location, the palm trees outside the window, the beach 100 metres away, the cafes and restaurants downstairs—that didn’t happen by accident. It was very deliberate.” says Machines4u director, Steve.
And has it paid off?
“It’s almost a joke. An unfair advantage.” Steve says, as he gestures to the perfect, blue-sky day outside, “People like coming to work here. The lifestyle difference is huge. Even for personal life, it’s such a difference. I ride to work every day, past the surf break. It’s no comparison.”
“People are more relaxed, happier and enjoy coming to work. People who enjoy coming to work produce better outcomes.” he explains.
As the business develops, and constantly shifts, the spirit of the ‘hustle’ is something that is constantly at play. Long hours and non-existent weekends are not unheard of. The passionate team at M4U are putting in some hard yards, to ensure that the business is the best it can be. With the recent launch of their new ‘Free Listings’ model, all hands are on deck to make it happen.
Adapting to change, executing new ideas quickly, and being happy to roll with the punches are all an integral part of the operating model for M4U.
“We’ve grown up with the philosophy of ‘hustling’ – when you have to hustle, you do.” Shivam, who has been with the business for a decade, explains. “You don’t think about the small stuff, you don’t watch the clock. Over the years, the ones who have most enjoyed working here are those who’ve enjoyed the hustle.”
Digital media specialist and account manager, Rhys elaborates on this principle:
“If there’s a reason to do it, we’ll do it. And our clients know that. We get ideas from some of the biggest companies in the world who work with us, right down to the one-man band in the outback. If our dealers need something to make this work better for them, we’ll do it.”
Machines4u is also a place which encourages the development of great people—a philosophy which sits nicely with their ‘Kaizen’ mantra. Here, great people learn, grow, and go on to chase their dreams. This doesn’t always mean staying with M4U, as Shivam explains.
“Some people have gone out on their own, after working here. If we can inspire people to give it a go, and go on their own, that’s a positive thing. Everyone grows in this place. Sure, some people leave here. But people will go to where their heart is. That’s a positive, for sure.”
Luke and Steve are building their ‘dream team’ as they put it. Along with uprooting their team from Melbourne, setting up on the Gold Coast meant expanding their operations, and bringing on extra staff. Searching high and low for the best candidates, team culture is a driving factor for Machines4u.
“The number one thing for us is culture. We know that the people is everything.” says director, Steve. “I have to honour each person who works for us, so that they know they’re working alongside the best people. When we recruit, we look for the ‘One Percent’, the cream of the crop—people who come in with a very high level of skill, but who are keen to grow and develop with us.”
Rhys, who was the first of the new Gold Coast recruits, explains that it’s not all work and no play at Machines4u—there is a large element of fun involved.
“Working at Machines4u is a lot of fun. A lot of messing around. There are a lot of different backgrounds between the staff, and we are always challenging each other.”
The new Machines4u magazine, which launched in February, is has hit the ground running, bringing news of industry innovation, know-how and events to the M4U audience.
“We want to be the Google of machinery. When someone thinks ‘machines’, they will think of Machines4u.” says Machines4u director, Luke.
It’s not just ‘Woodworking Tips 101’ and ‘How to Choose the Best Excavator’ type articles, either! ‘Getting (Legally) High at Work: The Life of a Tower Crane Operator’, ‘The Internet of Things: Agriculture Revolution or Rise of the Machines’ and ‘Asteroids: The Next Mining Boom?’ are just a handful of examples of how the magazine team aren’t afraid to have some fun exploring the quirky, the fantastical and the downright bizarre.
With the launch of the magazine already developing a large readership, and the website users growing steadily, there are big things happening at Machines4u. Watch this space!