Mort & Co | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2020
The Mort & Co name has been part of Australia’s agricultural landscape since the mid-1800s. Under the guidance of current proprietor Charlie Mort the company is a lot feeding specialist, offering supply chain services to producers and graziers, and providing premium Wagyu and Black Angus beef products to customers worldwide.
In 2018 Brett Williams was appointed General Manager for meat sales and operations. He was tasked with assessing existing processes and supply chain management, with a view to rationalisation.
Brett comes from a process and management background. He identified areas of potential improvement including clarity around product quality and specification, as it pertained to customer expectation, along with the mechanism to better deliver that clarity. He also saw potential for sustainable growth and development of the Mort & Co team, and a charter common to every business — cost reduction.
Mort & Co supplies Black Angus and Wagyu beef of varying grades under the Phoenix brand name. The company had existing sales arrangements within specific geographic territories but encountered discrepancies regarding product quality and specifications. The team spent considerable time in market, meeting with customers to understand their needs and to ensure those relationships were built from a place of mutual benefit, rather than from the product up.
Rectifying these issues meant in-house changes including deployment of dedicated quality management personnel to perform and oversee
inspections and associated tasks, rather than utilising staff from adjacent business areas as had previously been the case. Production processes were rationalised to avoid double-handling and marketing efforts augmented to build better awareness around product grades and brands.
The implemented changes have had the desired effect: unwieldy processes have been streamlined, customer expectations and relationships aligned, and costs reduced. That success has consequently helped build a strong workforce with a focus on safety, mental fitness and teamwork. The upshot is a more agile organisation, able to clearly define its offering and better positioned to withstand the inherent fluctuations that international markets present.