Land Forces 2022 brings Systematiq out in force
Land Forces 2022 wrapped up on October 6th with record exhibitor numbers and three busy days of major industry announcements, engagement opportunities, and collaborative presentations for those both representing the ADF and organisations supporting this vibrant industry.
The biennial three-day networking and exhibition event brings together many of the worlds and Australia’s largest defence manufacturers, their Australian Defence Force and international customer base, and numerous Australian small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and industry bodies.
With 810 participating exhibitors, the expo was a lively event, showcasing the latest in unmanned and robotics systems, Australian SMEs demonstrating their innovative solutions, and highlighting our innovative sovereign capability. Land Forces 2022 also hosted 40 conferences which informed on subjects from uncrewed systems technologies to workforce development requirements, often with “standing room only” in the conference rooms.
Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Simon Stuart, AO, DSC, said the event provided a catalyst for the teamwork needed to provide Army with future capability. “It’s been a really energising event,” Lieutenant General Stuart said. “I think we’ve got more participants this year than we’ve ever had before, and I think that speaks volumes to the degree of teamwork and partnership between industry, academia, and our Army as we get around solving the problems that our soldiers face on a day-to-day basis.”
Justin Giddings, CEO of LAND FORCES 2022 organiser AMDA Foundation, said the event had achieved its goal of bringing the land defence community together in a safe, collaborative environment. “LAND FORCES 2022 has seen great representation from all areas, including industry, Army, government and academic institutions,” he said. “The conferences were of consistently high quality, Army took every opportunity to interact with industry, and there was a constant background hum of thousands of conversations happening at once on the exhibition floor.”
Systematiq benefits from a strong presence
Systematiq had a strong presence this year, with our Business Development team, key Account and Regional Managers, along with our Marketing and Capability Leads who all enjoyed meeting clients, suppliers, and partners face to face after two and a half years of travel restrictions.
Brydon Johnson, Systematiq’s Director of Strategy and Contracts observed that one of the reasons he enjoys attending is that it is an opportunity to see the innovative capabilities of Australia’s SME community, and how it is responding to the emerging priorities of our nation’s defence requirements.
“This year, seeing the outstanding stands from J3Seven with their parachute simulator and the raft of capabilities they are bringing to the ADF was a real highlight. Likewise, seeing clients of ours such as BIA5 displaying their Modular Unmanned Ground Vehicle robotics, and how their presence has grown and developed not just at Land Forces, but with providing the ADF innovative solutions in more broader terms.
Greig Hutton, one of Systematiq’s key Account Managers also commented on the opportunity to connect with clients and the broader industry: “It was great to meet up with our longer-term clients, who have always had a strong presence at industry expos such as Land Forces. It is great to see their product developments and have the opportunity to engage with them in the broader industry context, for example Tectonica with their advancements in protected navigation and protection systems, and Radlink with their communications technology and power solutions.”
Systematiq also met up with some of our current clients who are working on large campaigns. Advanced testing facility APV owner Harry Hickling, along with General Manager for Testing Services, Carl Liersch leveraged the opportunity to raise the profile of their response to the Commonwealth’s need for Sovereign Test and Evaluation (T&E) capabilities. APV’s consortium, Future Edge which includes Memko, the Friedman Research Centre and RMIT were all present to meet with ADF T&E stakeholders.
Brydon commented, “Whilst we often support clients with their market strategy and proposal documents, rarely do we get to support the ongoing work done by our clients, so it was really nice to be able to meet the team in person and support their discussions with the ADF during Land Forces.”
Regional growth and support is amplified
Systematiq’s regional expansion also includes supporting a growing list of clients around the country. Tasmania’s support of the Australian Defence Force, and their growing local ship building, and manufacturing capability was in evidence by a strong contingent at the Defence Tasmania stand, who reported strong engagement with their current and potential customers.
Brydon, together with our Business Development Manager Erin O’Brien, was delighted to be able to catch up with our Tasmanian clients to discuss current and future opportunities.
“Systematiq has built a great working relationship with consulting firm DIAS and Andrew Garth, and it was great to have the opportunity to meet together with businesses that benefit from our combined capabilities. One company is PFG and their CEO, Rob Inches who have been successful entering the Defence market through the support provided by both DIAS and Systematiq. I was also able to assist Rob while he met with ADF Stakeholders.
Paul Gibbs, our Regional Manager for QLD, took the opportunity to raise the profile of our expanded presence in Queensland, with new and existing clients. As we have recently opened our Brisbane office, it was great to take the opportunity to share this with his broader network of both serving and ex-Defence members.
“By attending Land Forces, and the associated networking events, such as the Systematiq-sponsored RAEME event, I was able to use that as a way to align our goals for the establishment and growth of our presence here in Queensland.
“Whether I engaged with clients myself, or joined discussions involving our other team members, we were able to share news of our local office and growing capabilities of the team. A lot of our clients have a stated preference for having a face-to-face local relationship, so it was important to highlight this. We were also able to extend an invitation to our office opening, which we held during Land Forces to make it convenient for our clients and staff to attend. It was a great way to celebrate our growth.”
With defence budget announcements focused on a new training simulator facility in Townsville, and other Queensland-based businesses winning key defence contracts such as NIOA with its official receipt of the LAND 159 Tranche 1 contract, there is a growing focus on industry development in this region. Systematiq is focusing on providing support and employment opportunities to match this potential.
Matching our clients’ needs with Systematiq’s capabilities
Systematiq’s key Account and Regional Managers Greig Hutton and Andrew Harvey expressed how important it was to be able to connect with both key customers, as well as the broader defence industry and ADF stakeholders to understand some of the key priorities as well as challenges that are currently being experienced in very challenging and uncertain times.
This then enables us to prepare and provide solutions that are relevant and beneficial to our clients, and that meet their needs. Our Training Systems team made the most of the opportunity to connect with key clients to discuss targeted training solutions. ACT Regional Manager Andrew Harvey, along with Training Systems Group Lead Samantha Goodman, met with key stakeholders and discuss future needs.
Andrew commented, “By spending time with COL Anita Rynne from Army Education, MAJ Michal Lane from Army Future Training Systems, as well as clients such as Explosive Protection Equipment (EPE) and Fujitsu, we were able to get a clear understanding of training outcomes and explain Systematiq’s capabilities and how we can enhance their training programs moving forward.”
Account Manager Greig Hutton was able to spend significant face to face time with a number of our long-term clients, as well as visiting new stands to understand some of the emerging technologies and manufacturing SMEs.
“One of the benefits of attending for me personally is to chat with new and existing clients and get a broader understanding of the issues they are experiencing with resourcing or project management and then sharing our capabilities to see how Systematiq can help. We have the ability to support our customers through each stage of project delivery, from pre-contract and bid support to resourcing in project delivery so it is great to understand what phase our clients are in.”
Erin O’Brien supported these statements and enjoyed the opportunity of attending her first Land Forces conference.
“It was wonderful to connect with so many old friends and colleagues from different organisations and leverage this in my new role with Systematiq. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk about our capabilities and spend time with new clients to strengthen what have been up to now ‘virtual’ connections with clients.”
Let’s hope the ‘virtual’ environment can now firmly be replaced by in person events, that demonstrate the strength and importance of connecting to build trust and partnerships for the future ahead. Land Forces continues to be a highlight in the defence industry calendar and Systematiq looks forward to the next business networking opportunity early in 2023 at Avalon, where new and existing relationships will continue to support both ours and our industry’s growth.