Following a potentially insurmountable setback when a catastrophic fire destroyed more than 50% of its stock and much of its infrastructure, TJM, one of Australia’s leading 4WD accessories manufacturers, has come back stronger than ever.
TJM is one of Australia’s leading 4WD accessory manufacturers and continues to develop stylish products for on and off-road use. TJM manufactures an extensive range of vehicle frontal protection systems (bull bars and nudge bars), side and rear protection bars, side steps, roof racks, XGS Gold Suspension, winches, recovery equipment, Airtec snorkels, Pro Lockers, roof top tents and awnings.
The origins of TJM date back to the early ‘70s when three adventure-seeking mates got their off-road thrill with customised Volkswagen Beetles and Ford pick-ups souped up as beach buggies. Each fitted with custom-made bull bars, roll bars and sand tyres, they drew the attention of friends and bystanders. Before long, Lloyd Taylor, Cliff Jones and Steve Mollenhauer were making hand-made custom bars for a growing number of fans. As the demand continued to grow, they decided it was time to get serious.
In 1973, with little more than their combined initials, shared passion and appreciation for quality products, TJM was founded and the rest is history. They were pioneers and TJM became the first company in Australia to manufacture and distribute quality 4WD equipment.
37 years on, TJM products has expanded to over 40 stores nationwide, covering all states of Australia with this figure set to grow. In the last couple of months alone, TJM has seen new stores open in Parramatta, Orange, Armidale and Alice Springs.
TJM Products Marketing Manager, Chloe Eady, said that the opening of the four new stores is a clear reflection of TJM’s increasing popularity and strength in the market.
“It is exciting to witness the TJM brand continuing to develop as it enables the Australian community to have greater access to our products. The Australian environment presents many challenges and, if you’re not equipped to tackle them properly, the situation can easily become dangerous. We want every Australian to have the opportunity to conveniently experience the high quality, functionality and individual styling our products present.”
Ms Eady also mentioned that the company expansion is even more exciting considering the challenging times TJM has been through over the last 12 months. In October last year, TJM headquarters witnessed a fierce fire spread through the manufacturing, warehouse and offices of TJM’s head office.
“Over 50% of our stock had been demolished in a matter of minutes. Without an office, half a warehouse and limited manufacturing facilities, the day-to-day business operations were significantly affected. However, through all the chaos, we continued to develop award-winning products, release new marketing projects and expand our distribution network. 11 months later, we are back in the original, refurbished building, ready to continue our drive for developing market-leading products.”
Ms Eady said that this is a true testament to the TJM team and its loyal customer base: “For a company to get through such a significant challenge as this in a difficult financial period, we can be confident in saying we won’t go down without a fight. TJM is a strong brand that is here for the long run and we look forward to delivering top-quality products for many years to come.”
The Challenges Faced By The TJM Team Following The Fire
The polishing, finishing and packing areas were completely destroyed. Thus, for 11 months, the TJM team had to improvise, working in cramped and dusty conditions, exposed to the weather in order to keep production flowing. Raw product was spread out all over the place, creating a most ad-hoc, unstructured system for preparation.
In the packing department, all mounting kits, indicator lenses and fitting equipment were lost and had to be re-made. The shock storage area had been completely destroyed, along with the hydraulic winch testing equipment. All recovery gear, including hundreds of recovery kits, were lost. However, the team put in the long hours and kept their spirits high to get through.
It’s safe to say that well over 60% of TJM stock was lost in the fire, or written off as a result of smoke damage. The delays in getting systems back in order significantly affected TJM’s ability to meet demand.
The offices for Sales, Administration, Purchasing and Planning had suffered significant smoke and water damage. After the fire, 20 pallets of paperwork and files were salvaged from the offices, and staff had to filter through the soot and determine which of the files needed to be kept and which were okay to discard.
The impact on the ability of staff to operate efficiently was a major drawback. Some staff were given leave, whilst others were relocated temporarily.
After assisting with the transition and cleaning duties of the warehouse, TJM’s engineers hit the ground running. Since the fire, TJM has delivered a variety of innovative and exceptional designs.
The whole range for the Prado 150 series has been released, including the T13 Outback, T15 Alloy Deluxe, T15 Steel, T3 Classique, Nudge Bars, Underbody guards, snorkels and suspension. Bumper replacement designs were increased across the product range.
Finally back in the new office at 150 Robinson Road, Geebung Brisbane, TJM has grown stronger and even more determined to succeed. In particular, the TJM team is motivated and committed to delivering quality products to its important customer network.