A decades-old legacy of quality and service
For over 40 years, Chemstore International Group, formerly known as Gebel Chemquip, has stood as an industry leader in the design, manufacture and supply of fibreglass reinforced plastic chemical storage, transport, process, and agitated tanks, as well as many other specialised composite products. Family owned through 3 generations, Chemstore initially established themselves as frontrunners in the provision of fibreglass tanks to the agricultural market. With the second generation of management came a shift in focus towards chemical manufacturing process and water freight markets. Chemstore is located conveniently in Parkes, NSW, at the centre of the road and rail link between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
For the past 20 years, Chemstore’s core business has been the manufacture of fibreglass tanks for the storage and processes of chemicals. The capacities of their one-piece units range from 100 to 300,000 litres, with fuel erection tanks available as well for large-scale storage of chemicals. “We deliver our products right across many market sectors, for many applications,” says General Manager Jerry Pridham. “We are a solutions-driven company, and there isn’t anything we can’t help out on or give advice for when it comes to handling chemicals.” Alongside the manufacturing of the tanks, Chemstore also provides tank asset plans and management packages for clients once the product is functioning within their processes.
Customer service is a key priority throughout Chemstore Group’s business model. “We have a philosophy within the business that the customer is the boss. All our employees work under that philosophy, and we want to do the best for the boss, because he’s the one who pays us,” says Jerry. “We are ahead of the pack with customer service in our market, and I personally find, and my team is the same, that there’s nothing more satisfying in a business than to help please the customers by providing solutions. That’s really what we do.”
Chemstore takes a very personal stance on ensuring the continued sustainability and efficiency of its business practices. “As in anything you do in life that’s worthwhile, you have to put measures in place to ensure that you make it sustainable and efficient,” Pridham explains. “It is absolutely imperative, because it’s people and peoples livelihoods that you’re dealing with, and your employees and who you’re supplying your goods to. That’s why it is so important to ensure that it is sustainable and efficient.”
With a background in operations, Jerry is acutely aware of the importance of establishing clear dialogue and healthy relationships with business partners. “I like to think of our suppliers as partners because without them, you don’t really have a business. We often remind our team that the relationships you create with your suppliers are the same as how your customer will view you.”
Chemstore Group has maintained ISO:9001 quality standard accreditation for many years. At present, the company is currently undergoing accreditation for both environmental responsibility standards and workplace safety within the business, and aims to see the process completed by the end of the calendar year.
The continued affordability of the raw materials required for Chemstore’s production remains the greatest point of concern for the group. “In this day and age, you can’t make too many predictions, you’re never sure what’s coming around the corner,” Jerry says, pointing out that all of the component materials that Chemstore uses are sourced from Asia and the Middle East. “We have had seen some supply cuts from some of those countries, I think it’s probably a bigger issue than we are realizing in our own market.”
Carrying on the family legacy, Pridham has operated as Chemstore’s General Manager since 2006. Jerry points out, however, that even within a family business structure, skill, tenacity and passion remain the key components of success. “It has taken a lot of perseverance and persistence to get here. To be frank, if you want to get anywhere in life, you have to be prepared for those sorts of things. I think it’s important to maintain the vitality that’s been going into the business over the past generations to ensure that you’re doing your own bit to make the business viable for the future and everyone around you. It’s people you deal with and care for, and there is nothing more satisfying than doing that.”