Born and bred in Melbourne, Marcus Ramsay always knew he wanted to work in the family business. ‘It’s a family company. So from a very young age, I was introduced to the business and fell in love with it’, he says.
After completing degrees in engineering and business management, Marcus is now Managing Director of Lovitt Technologies. Founded in the early 1950s to support the automotive industry, the company has moved into the high-tech aerospace industry and makes structural parts for airplanes, which Marcus describes as ‘the skeleton under the skin of an airplane’. The company has expanded rapidly, growing from 50 to 130 employees in the past six years.
Much of this growth can be attributed to the precision and quality of the company’s work, and to contracts with large US-based aircraft companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. ‘They work out the parts they need, and then task us to produce them to their requirements’, he says.
I really enjoy being in the manufacturing industry. I see that as the pinnacle of wealth-building in a country like Australia.
Marcus’ company has had a long and strong association with Boeing, supplying parts for its military and commercial aircraft for both local and export supply. ‘We’ve had a relationship with Boeing for 25 odd years which has grown from making small, simple parts to now producing much bigger, complex components’, he says.
The relationship has become even stronger since Boeing made Australia its largest base outside of the US. The company has invested around $1 billion in its Australian operations over the years, which has benefited businesses like Lovitt. The Government’s Global Supply Chain Program, which helps small and medium Australian businesses secure work in the supply chains of large international companies, has also helped. ‘The Government negotiates access for suppliers like us into the supply chains of those companies’, Marcus says. ‘Getting long-term supply contracts, and then being able to stack one contract on top of another and another––you really begin to grow.’
Marcus has also guided Lovitt through engagement with the multi-national F-35 Program and has built a strong relationship with Lockhead Martin. The F-35 is at the cutting edge of aerospace technology and Marcus' leadership has positioned Lovitt at the forefront of Australian industry, contributing the company's capabilities in advanced manufacturing to help build the aircraft.
These factors are having a big impact on the industry. ‘We’re really building a very capable aerospace industry within the country. There’s new businesses arriving and there’s more competition. It’s starting to be seen as another manufacturing industry in Australia, which makes us stronger and gives more diversity’, Marcus says.
It’s work that Marcus sees as building security for the country, as well as job security. ‘At the micro-scale, it’s employment and security for our staff’, he says. ‘At the greater scale we're helping provide cheaper transport for us when we want to fly domestically, and helping our military with the latest equipment they can have.’
Marcus is right where he wants to be. ‘I really enjoy being in the manufacturing industry. I see that as the pinnacle of wealth building in a country like Australia. So I get a lot of joy out of seeing our parts on aircraft and seeing the amount of product we export every month.’