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Global connections and local supply chain solutions: the Nice team driving SA’s economic growth at Tonsley

Garages, gates, fences, or giant warehouse doors – where building automation company Nice Australia sees a barrier, it also sees an opportunity.

In its striking 2,000sqm headquarters at the heart of the Tonsley Innovation District, Nice Australia is designing and manufacturing automated motors powering gates that defend some of Australia’s most high-risk sites while supporting Australian jobs.

Prisons, schools, hospitals, military bases, energy infrastructure and industrial sites are just some of the critical infrastructures employing Nice Australia’s South Australian Gate Drive System, designed, engineered, and assembled at Tonsley.

And by doing so, they are sustaining nearly 60 suppliers across Australia, including 35 small- and-medium-sized enterprises in South Australia, providing the materials and componentry that go into Nice Australia’s industry-leading product.

“We try and keep everything as local as we can to make access to products easier. COVID played a huge role in that approach,” Nice Australia supply chain manager Casey Jose said.

"Electronic components are probably the biggest item we source locally, we get our gearboxes from a South Australian company, we source cables in SA and all our machined parts we get just around the corner from a South Australian family company. The large chassis, which can weigh hundreds of kilograms, we source from Murray Bridge and down the road from St Marys."

Nice Australia supply chain manager Casey Jose

Nice Australia’s 22 permanent Tonsley staff are part of a 3,000-strong global workforce leading the way in home and office management solutions spanning gates, garage doors, shutters, home security, and smart home systems that can be controlled remotely via smartphones and tablets.

The expertise also extends to anti-terrorism boom gates capable of stopping 40 tonne trucks.

Founded in 1993, the Italian headquartered Nice Group has 23 branches and 13 industrial plants – including Tonsley – serving 100 countries and contributing to annual global turnover upwards of $1.6 billion.

In 2017, the company relocated its Australian and New Zealand headquarters from Sydney to Adelaide following the purchase of fence and gate componentry company Gate Drive Systems, which operated from an industrial area in nearby Melrose Park.

Nice relocated to its state-of-the art purpose-built premises at Tonsley in 2022, attracted by the location, facilities and opportunity to support the company’s growth through the innovation ecosystem.

“The benefit of being in Tonsley is that we haven’t had to disrupt our supply chain; we have been able to retain most of our existing suppliers,” Nice Australia managing director Roberto Giacometti says.

“That’s very important for our business, by moving just a few kilometres down the road we did not experience any impact in terms of cost and lead times, and it has also meant our customers have not experienced any impact.

"Being within an innovation district has given us an opportunity to connect and liaise with other leading companies in our industry boosting our growth opportunities; Tonsley has a great prospect for growth, and we’re excited to be part of it."

Nice Australia managing director Roberto Giacometti

“They were really happy to be able to work in a new environment and have a new factory from which to operate,” he said.

“Tonsley is an extremely attractive place to host customers and showcase our capabilities.”

The Tonsley showroom also supplies Nice’s full range of automated home and office solutions including its smart home gateway systems that allow homeowners to control all smart devices in their home.

Its technology also extends to solutions to monitor energy use and motion-sensor lights to increase home sustainability.

“By reducing energy consumption and improving efficiency you can create an eco-friendly house,” Mr Giacometti said. “This is starting to become a bigger priority in Australia.”

Nice Australia is aiming for 12% business growth over the next 12 months.

According to research by Statista, projected revenue in the smart home market in Australia is projected to reach US$3.7 billion in 2024 and grow annually at nearly 9% annually over the next four years.


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