Fieldays Innovation Awards, have provided an unparalleled opportunity for innovators across the globe to connect, network, and ultimately scale primary industry-focused innovations.
And whilst the format, award categories, and entrants have evolved over the years, one thing that has been constant is the interest and support from well-renowned businesses to help elevate the inventions.
Gait International, was founded in 2004 by Daniel Given, a Kiwi born in Tauranga with a vision to optimise supply chain management and product development. It’s now paving the way for Kiwi start-ups to go global.
We sat down with Niamh Given who heads up the brand and marketing at Gait to pick her brains on the business, and why they have chosen to sponsor the Innovation Awards for a second time.
Fieldays: Who are Gait Intl and where do you sit in the market?
Niamh: The founder of Gait International, Daniel Given, went to Asia after university, immersing himself in supply chain and mechanical engineering in Taiwan before moving to Shenzhen, China. He has an exceptional engineering mindset, not just in products, but his whole mentality on how to optimise and reduce waste from processes.
Gait Intl was conceived when one of our clients came to us, with a high design spec, highly aesthetic product, and needed to ensure supply chain and manufacturing were at the same high standard. We applied innovative thinking, looking at every minute product design aspect and to address how we could create a high quality, reliable, and sustainable product with minimal manufacturing and cost wastage.
Fieldays: Tell us about your own experience as entrepreneurs.
Niamh: Living in such a fast-paced and innovative environment as Asia for over 15 years, has made innovation and entrepreneurship part of who we are.
Daniel and Reon Oak (Director of Operations, Gait International), co-own and manage Balex Marine (www.balexmarine.com) a New Zealand startup, which produces and sells the Balex Automatic Boat Loading System. I also work as a startup consultant with Soda Inc in Hamilton, supporting early entrepreneurs build out their vision with a sustainable business model. Three years ago, Daniel and I moved back to New Zealand to support the New Zealand and Australian customer base for Gait International and to grow and scale Balex Marine as a global business.
We are always looking to work with startups and help support them on their journey. We’ll be showcasing some of them on our booth at Fieldays.
Fieldays: How is Gait Intl helping shape the landscape for innovators within the primary industries?
Niamh: We’re giving them the capability to be able to take it to the next level and help them scale at a faster pace. When you’re developing your prototype and want to take the next step to produce it at a bigger quantity or scale, we can make a difference in getting your product to market at the time and quality level you need.
Fieldays: How can Gait support someone in the ideation phase who hasn’t got to prototyping yet?
Niamh: By providing invaluable information about considerations early on that may be costly once they get to scaling! It’s about early education, and learning the do’s and don’ts before they go on to manufacture their product.
Typically, they come to us at the prototyping stage. We assess how to optimise materials, reduce manufacture wastage and ensure the product will have manufactured longevity. We provide material and cost analysis and provide recommendations.
Fieldays: Once your customer is ready to scale, how do you support the logistics of delivery and inventory?
Niamh: Our logistics team work closely with our clients. Some clients prefer us to completely manage all their inventory and ensure they are delivered on time to where-ever they’re needed. We set up warehouses in different locations around the world, depending on the needs of our clients.
One of the benefits and why many people come to us is because we have offices and a warehouse facility in Asia. It’s very central, allowing us to ship to the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. There’s no limitations on where we can ship in the world. We’re set up so businesses can be reared and ready to hit all markets when they need to. So again, that’s why being closer to central markets, being able to consolidate all your stock there, and shipping from Asia is a massive benefit of working with us as well (especially given the current freight rates!)
Fieldays: Are there any limitations to the materials you can help source and supply for products?
Niamh: We predominately work with steel, aluminium & plastic materials which make up the bulk of most customers material requirements. The biggest challenge with materials can often be the minimum order requirement (MOQ) from the raw material suppliers. In many cases we are able to consolidate a number of different clients materials to allow us access to better pricing or lead times on materials. We have built a sizable catalogue of raw material suppliers over the last 17 years which helps us keep pricing competitive and reduces our risk of supply issues.
Fieldays: Why was it important to you to sponsor Fieldays Innovation Awards again this year?
Niamh: We’ve been living and breathing start-ups for over ten years and have the expertise to support the innovation and manufacture ecosystem in New Zealand. After our sponsorship agreement for Fieldays Innovations in 2019 we felt so much more connected with the industry.
Fieldays is iconic and an incredible opportunity for start-ups to shine and network, and New Zealand has some incredible innovators that are helping the growth of the primary industries globally. We want start-ups to be able to leverage our expertise and succeed sustainably and quickly.
If you have an idea, an invention, or you want some expert innovation advice, you can find Gait International at Fieldays 16-19 June 2021. You can find them in the Innovation Hub, alongside all the other incredible innovators that New Zealand has to offer.
You can also connect with the team through their website: www.gaitintl.com or email: email@example.com