An accomplished electronics specialist who restarted his career from the ground up after emigrating to Australia is now doubling the size of his own manufacturing company in Sydney to accommodate demand for his top-quality low-voltage switchboards.
Matt Izadi founded his All Switchboards company in Dural just as Covid lockdowns started, after originally migrating from Iran with his wife and young son in 2012, following more than 25 years in electronic manufacturing, including being general manager of a company producing components for globally recognised automotive brands.
“Australia turned out to be a good move, despite (to some degree) starting my career over again and despite the difficulties with Covid when I finally founded my own business. But the time with Covid lockdowns gave me opportunity to focus on setting up a strong business foundation on which to properly build using all the lessons about quality I learned in my original career and also the lessons learned with the excellent switchboard manufacturers who gave me my start in this country,” he says.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity those employers gave me to learn here and in turn contribute my knowledge here to the low-voltage switchboard industry,” says Matt Izadi, who rose from production roles when he arrived in Australia, to project management and technology leadership positions within locally and nationally respected companies.
“My journey to found my own business really started in 2021, but the foundation was built in everything I did beforehand to commit myself to high manufacturing Standards, good cost-efficient management to benefit customers, and the best technology to deliver top results, reliably and on-time.”
“I was very fortunate that our commitment to the best quality – getting it 100 per cent right, with no loose ends – impressed the electrical contractors we work for. They stuck with my colleagues and myself while we built up the business, focussed through them on commercial, industrial, high-rise residential, and social infrastructure, such as schools.”
A long-time NESMA supporter – who has held NESMA Standards Committee roles with the NSW branch – Matt Izadi says industry focus on quality that the Association promotes has paid dividends for him, as customers return again and again to his business.
“In addition to customers who have been with us since the early days, we find people who found us by word-of-mouth or through means such as LinkedIn, they give us a first opportunity and then come back twice, three times and often again and again.”
Steady growth – the formula for success
“We are doubling our size now to incorporate new 250 sq m engineering areas and investing in the best technology to do the job better. We invest everything we can of what we earn, putting it into better and better technology for quality and customer satisfaction, because that’s what will keep us growing.”
“Any company could spend more of what we earn, and do ok, but that’s not what we want as a team. We want to grow sustainably, and continuously, be the best in our market area.”
“I say to my colleagues at work, if you buy a beautifully engineered car, and it costs you more, you don’t expect there to be niggles with the finish or engineering that have you going back to the supplier. It has to be 100 per cent – you have a right to expect that.”
All Switchboards has already invested in computerised technology to thoroughly model switchboard systems before metal is cut, so faults and delays can be eliminated before they are built into the physical board, possibly incurring cost and delay. Matt Izadi has also invested in advanced Italian HT FULLTEST3 technology, which combines into one unit, a whole series of test functionalities that were once conducted individually. Already, the company’s broader technology investments mean it can often produce in four weeks what would typically take twice that time to manufacture and thoroughly test.
“These technology examples are only a fraction of what we want to do. One of the big reasons we are moving to larger premises is to find more space for the technology we want to have in-house, so we can do the job better and maintain control of the quality throughout the entire production and testing process.”
“We are not interested in being the cheapest at the expense of high Standards attainment, such as the new AS/NZS 61439 Standards for low-voltage switchboards. We want to make the best switchboards. If a tender was ever received wanting a price for a switchboard built to proper Standards, and a cheaper price without proper Standards, we are not interested.”
NESMA Standards Advocacy
“And if someone decides we are not the right company for their job, we would still urge them to choose someone else who adheres to the Standards NESMA advocates, even if we didn’t get the job ourselves.”
“We are not interested in producing cheap switchboards that are not up to the safety and reliability standards required, because the quality we invest in goes right down the line to the reputation of the people we contract for and the customers they deliver to.”
“The switchboards have to be right from the time they leave the shop, after being comprehensively tested for correct performance, through compliance and traceability, right through to Ausgrid inspections. Anyone who sends poor quality product down the line will find there is a risk of liability coming back to bite them – and everyone they are involved with, because of poor Standards compliance and risk management. That’s not us.”
Matt Izadi sees a bright and expanding future for quality switchboard manufacturers as Australian transitions to a clean/green energy future – “Personally, I am fascinated by the transition to Electric Vehicles and see great opportunities there.”
“I don’t think you will see many fossil fuel burning vehicles in the not-to-distant future. All those petrol stations may be given over to EV charging. The technology is surging ahead – it is a great future.”
As for his own future, Matt Izadi is very happy with the journey of life he is undertaking – “I am very happy in Australia. My wife is happy as a nurse, contributing also to the essential services needed here. My son, who was 12 when we arrived, is now completing a double degree in Civil Engineering and Law.”
“For me, I see our low-voltage switchboard industry has an outstanding outlook for those who contribute back to its future, and support top Standards, including being involved in NESMA. As the industry advances in scale, responsibility, and complexity, Standards adherence will advance from being a choice, to becoming an essential component of quality, compliance, and traceability.”