GM Blog: John Cochrane shares insights and takeaways from 2022

Growing Smart Manufacturing in New Zealand

It’s never been a better time to grow and transform advanced manufacturing in New Zealand. As the demand increases for adaptive manufacturing - smaller batch sizes - highly flexible, it’s now time for New Zealand to join the industry 4.0 revolution and shine in the industry of manufacturing and innovation.

Given the forces of growing technologies within advanced manufacturing and our heritage of being a member of the Haier group of companies, we’re now able to respond to consumer demand where product life cycles are shortening. We’re able to work in close proximity with our customers and shorten the distance to consumer.

Historically speaking, New Zealand, would not be seen competing with USA & Chinese or German manufacturing at a comparably large scale, however in recent times the model of distribution has shifted where large, campus style manufacturing facilities are no longer the best option to be at the forefront of smart manufacturing and rapid customer fulfilment.

Tech Industry Advisory Group

I’m super proud to be Facteon’s voice on the newly established Auckland Region Tech Industry Advisory Group. The primary purpose of the association is to create high-value jobs in Auckland - High value meaning a combination of aspects such as well paid, good career paths, transferable across industries.

The association is a is a multi-faceted opportunity for business, unions and workers, government, Māori and wider stakeholders to co-create and co-own a plan to accelerate the growth and transformation of New Zealand’s advanced manufacturing sectors.

The Importance of Face-to-Face

Due to COVID-related border controls, the inability to visit many of customers in person over the past 2.5 years has presented extraordinary challenges.. Earlier this year when international borders opened up, we were able to recover from the distance we suffered and have emerged as a better business. We’ve learnt what our  customers want, what they don’t want, and also what they value the most. And we’ve been able to do so with a very fresh perspective in a post-pandemic economy.

As a result of our findings and experience we’ve successfully branched outside the home appliance industry and home appliance processing, and gained a wider, three-dimensional scale of other projects we’ve taken on this year. We’ve realized that it’s not just about designing and building full production lines anymore. We’ve been able to identify areas of improvement for single cell solutions which our  customers love.  We’ve diversified our portfolio of product offerings to be able to meet our customers wherever they’re at in their journey of the maturity road map and elevate them to where they want to be.

Now that we’re back in market where conversations can take place face-to-face, we can identify on a deeper level what’s important to our customers and co-create solutions with them.

Thank you

2022 has been a year of successfully overcoming challenges experienced over 2.5 years of isolation. We’ve worked hard to maintain close proximity with our people, our customers, as well as our strategic partners. Being at the cutting edge of emerging technologies and advances in existing technologies is our priority to remain at the innovative forefront we’re use to so we can continue to co-create with our customers and design and build advanced manufacturing solutions for their ongoing growth and expansion.

John Cochrane

John Cochrane

General Manager - Facteon Group

John began his career as a Chemical Engineer. He has since worked across the globe, holding over 20 years’ experience in senior management. Having lived and worked in China for several years, John speaks conversational Mandarin and he has a keen interest in Chinese culture. Part of John's time in China was spent working with NZTE in a government role as Trade Commissioner. John also has a depth of experience in the area of predictive maintenance having helped manufacturers to optimise their operations through improving overall equipment effectiveness. John leads the Facteon Group in delivering the latest automation, Industry 4.0 and Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions to factories across the globe.


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