The Calvert brothers have been able to offer their clients the “best of both worlds” in their new business venture, Wool Solutions.
Alistair Calvert comes from decades of experience in the wool broking industry, while Rob Calvert comes from the other side of the fence, the export and buying industry.
They joined forces to start their new business in April this year, providing Tasmanian woolgrowers with a unique wool broking and marketing service.
Rob said they thought they could offer something different.
“We started with a blank piece of paper, and took the good from our past experiences, and addressed the things we didn’t necessarily agree with, to create an efficient, cost-effective model,” he said.
“We wanted to create business processes that would drive value back to the farm gate for our clients.”
One of these efficiencies is the process of selling a bale of wool.
“We looked at all of the different options of getting a bale of wool through the system, and decided that for Tasmanian growers, sending wool over to Melbourne prior to the sale made a lot of sense,” he said.
“From a buying perspective, if the wool is already there, it encourages the trade to pay higher prices because they don’t have to worry about freight.”
And Alistair said with the wool market the way it was, this was more important than ever.
“Cash isn’t going as far as it once was, so it’s really important to have it moving through the system as quickly as possible,” he said.
Alistair said it was no longer acceptable to just “put wool in a sale and hope for the best”.
“Through our relationships with exporters, we really understand where products are destined, so we want to make sure we’re really proactive in our marketing of a clip as it’s coming into the store,” he said.
“And as we are storing and coring wool in Melbourne it also opens up the mainland market.”
The Calverts grew up in Tasmania and have a lot of local contacts, but Rob said they still had to work hard to gain a clientele.
“You often hear people say ‘business is built on relationships’, but I don’t 100 per cent agree with that,” he said.
“Relationships get you to the table to present your offering, but you’ve got to have a superior model to properly resonate with clients.”
And they have been pleased with the reaction.
“We’ve only been trading for six months, but the reception we’ve received is great,” Alistair said.
“People respond well to somebody trying to do something different. I’m not saying anything’s right or wrong, we’re just providing options.”