Sullair Service Business Consultant Brett Dunlop celebrated 2 decades of working for the company last year, so we sat down with him to chat about life at Sullair and what the future holds for him.
Lives can be changed during a simple conversation, which is exactly how Brett Dunlop came to be working at Sullair, after kicking off his career with Qantas back in the ‘90s. Brett began an aircraft maintenance engineering apprenticeship with Qantas in 1996, completed it in 2000 and went on to work for the company for another 2 years. However, a casual chat with a colleague one day encouraged him to explore a new direction. “One of the apprentices I went through with at Qantas went for an interview with Champion back in the day. He rang me after it and asked me if I was thinking of leaving, because they’d be happy to talk to me”. That interview was with the Sydney branch and other than a diversion to the Wollongong office for a year, Brett has become a permanent fixture in the Sydney team.
Finding work life balance
Brett’s initial role was as a service tech, doing field service on compressors, attending breakdowns, and commissioning. Life happens while we’re busy working and in 2003, Brett became a first-time father. As many parents experience, this has an impact on availability for work and Brett quickly realised the service tech role no longer suited him. “I needed to be home at certain hours, so time wasn’t as flexible for me anymore. Brett decided to wait it out and shortly after, transitioned into a Customer Service Tech Support role in Sydney. “The Service Tech role had been longer hours, with no real start or finish time. It was very much dictated by customer’s requirements, so I was often on call 24/7 as part of that, which is not conducive to family life”. This turn of events was unexpected for Brett, but in hindsight he sees the company has always operated in this way. “It was a nice surprise to be offered the role when I needed more flexibility, and I’ve had that experience throughout my working life with Sullair/Champion. Whenever I’ve had to tailor my work around what’s happening in my life, they’ve always been really supportive of it”. He stayed in that role for about 3 years (yes still in the Sydney office) before stepping into a role in Wollongong to replace the Customer Service Manager who had to take time off after an accident. “I was down there for 12 months filling in for him. I worked in Wollongong but commuted from Sydney, until that branch closed, and I went back to the Sydney office”.
A customer focussed approach
Brett’s next role was as a client Contract Administrator for about 18 months, before he took on what is now his current role, as a Service Business Consultant. “My primary focus is maintaining current customer contracts and scouting around to find new ones for our service business. This might be new business that we don’t currently have, or existing business that we may have lost a year or two ago who need some support to come back on board”. Ongoing support from compressor providers is an industry wide issue and, in this area, Sullair Australia’s reputation is unmatched. In addition to this, Brett’s role also includes offering tech support to sales and service teams. “I think we’ve been quite successful in picking up new work because we haven’t really drifted from our core business”, explains Brett. “From day one when I started with Champion it was always about the customer. The company has always been very customer focussed, always had the customer’s best interests at heart. We still do that really well and I think that’s what has held us in good stead over the 20 something years I’ve been here”.
Excited for the future at Sullair
Brett has seen the company evolve in many ways across the last two decades. The focus on service people nurturing their customer relationships has been a constant. “Sullair has evolved and changed but the reason it’s a good company to work for is that we still have integrity and close relationships with our customers. The business allows us to be quite fluid in our dealings with them and that’s ultimately how we’ve succeeded over time. It’s a great company to work for”.
So, what’s next for Brett Dunlop? “I’m still really happy doing what I’m doing. In the future I may see myself transitioning more into a national technical role”. Brett, like many on the team at Sullair, is also inspired by Hitachi and Sullair’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. “I’m really quite excited about where the green future will take us”, says Brett. “For me that’s really our next big moment in time. I think there’s a lot of learning and it presents a great future for the company. I’m really happy that Hitachi are taking us in that direction”.