Joe shouts Hoshizaki success
Joe Thorp is Managing Director of Hoshizaki Lancer - one of the world’s largest providers of draught beer, soft drink and frozen beverage dispenser systems, ice machines and professional food service refrigeration units as well as heat recovery systems.
Tell us about your career and how it led to Hoshizaki Lancer
I started my working life as the “payroll boy” for ETSA and during the next 20 years, become its General Manager of Marketing. When ETSA Power was purchased by AGL in 2000, I joined Seeley International and became General Manager International with sales and production offices around the world. In 2005 I was head-hunted and left the joys of continuous international travel to become the Managing Director for Lancer when it transferred its head office from Sydney to Adelaide.
The job enables me to utilise the skills I have acquired in such areas as strategy, product development, marketing, manufacturing and international distribution. In 2006, Lancer was purchased by Hoshizaki.
What have been the highlights of your career to date?
Earlier this year, Hoshizaki Lancer won a prestigious Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) Supplier of the Year Award. We won the Sustainability award for our efforts in achieving more than 30% energy reduction and 1.79 tonnes per annum reduction of CO2 per unit in our flagship product, the Lancer S4E Soft Drink Superchiller. This was a great result for the company. During the Global Financial Crisis, our sales dried up, but we were able to make changes to our business model which saved the company and we were still able to deliver a profit. This year’s profit will be higher.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your role?
Watching the results of our research and development become products which capture market share. It is great to see the results of these efforts fly. We also have a great team of people and watching them develop and grow gives me a lot of enjoyment. This whole industry is very sociable and a lot of fun.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My partner Trish and I have three young children, so my primary focus is on them. We enjoy cooking, entertaining and travel, while I’m involved in the church at St Peter’s Cathedral. I also enjoy bike riding and fishing with the kids.
Briefly, tell us about Hoshizaki Lancer
Hoshizaki Lancer is one of the world’s largest providers of draught beer, soft drink and frozen beverage dispenser systems, ice machines and professional food service refrigeration units as well as heat recovery systems.
We pioneered the development of frozen beer founts and high volume beer and soft drink dispense systems. Our flagship product – the S4E Beverage Chiller is a remote carbonated soft drink system used by Coca Cola Amatil, Schweppes, Hungry Jacks and a range of other large hotel groups and quick service restaurants.
We are also unique in being the only manufacturer in Australasia that manufactures and supports complete beverage and ice systems from back of house to front.
Hoshizaki Lancer has offices in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland and Hong Kong and exports to a range of countries including New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Korea and India.
We supplied the glycol beer system for Wembley Stadium in the United Kingdom, the high volume Coke systems for Jollibee restaurants in the Philippines and recently exported our first beverage system to Nepal.
What are the major challenges you face?
We are in an extremely competitive industry. There are a lot of large, well organised international companies fighting in the same space. Running a company of our size means we must be resourceful. We have to make long lead time planning decisions. However, we have a good R&D department and fight above our weight.
What direction do you see your company evolving in coming years?
We have developed from a small jobbing business to now be a medium sized lean manufacturer. We will see the Hoshizaki portfolio expand to include more food services equipment. We are actively developing export markets. We are also confident that our environmental portfolio of products, such as our free hot water heat recovery systems will help reduce CO2 emissions and will become increasingly important in our business mix.
Is it an advantage or disadvantage to be working from Adelaide and why?
A bit of both. Many of our major customers are on the east coast of Australia, but we travel there a lot and this is not an insurmountable problem. On the other hand, the cost of doing business in Adelaide is less and we have ready access to people with great skills. The lifestyle in Adelaide is fantastic.
If you could change one thing about doing business in SA, what would it be?
Nothing really. It’s a good place to do business.