• New ground provides new opportunity for ADE

    After more than 15 years with the same warehousing supplier, the Department of Education (DoE) has taken a new path and engaged an Australian Disability Enterprise (ADE) to provide this service. This outcome is a result of the recent changes to the State Supply Commission’s Open and Effective Competition policy allowing agencies to directly engage ADEs where they meet the required criteria.

    Workpower is one of seven ADEs in Western Australia (WA). It was awarded the three year Warehousing Services contract in April, and now stocks over 800 public schools across WA with required furniture. And this isn’t just your standard tables, desks and chairs. Items such as fridges, fry pans, ladders, bins, jumping mats and paint pots are also stored at Workpower, covering a school’s every need.

    Photo of ADE warehouse staff Haydn Lowe, Craig Chenell, Steve Padley, Stephany Macguire, Peter Pustkuchen, Michael Pirie

    The contract is into its fourth month and both parties are happy with the outcome. Regular meetings, clear communication and the building of good relationships have provided for the smooth start.

    “The contract has had a smooth transition to Workpower. We have great communication with Steve Padley (Workpower’s Product Supervisor), and fortnightly catch-ups enable this contract to continue to meet the required needs of schools across the state,” said DoE’s Peter Pustkuchen.

    After initially having reservations around Workpower’s capacity, the seamless transition has impressed all involved. Workpower went through the tender process showcasing both the willingness and the ability to service this contract.

    “One of the initial concerns was whether it was able to fulfil DoE’s warehousing service needs. Information emerging from the tender process gave us the confidence that it could do it, and they’ve since proven this.”

    Not only has this been a great outcome for DoE and Workpower as an organisation, but also for the many employees involved.

    Workpower’s Stephany Macquire sees the many benefits this contract is having on their staff and in particular Cherie, who is one of their main employees on this contract.

    “Cherie’s developing wonderfully. She has happily increased her working hours, and this has increased her reading skills, confidence, assertion and we are very proud of her achievements. It’s great to see such satisfaction at work.”

    “This contract has also given other staff the opportunity to do new tasks and we are seeing huge amounts of growth in their confidence and communication.”

    “The contract really showcases Workpower’s ability to successfully manage contracts like these.”

    Currently, the warehouse in Belmont is full to the brim with standard stock piled items, as a certain number of items must be available in case of an emergency such as a fire or disaster damaging a school.

    Workpower plans to relocate to a larger site in October where it will hold three quarters of DoE’s furniture. This timely site move will coincide with the start of the furniture run for schools, where revamps take place for the 2014 school year.

    For more information on the ADE initiative contact the Department of Finance’s Lil Paskos


    Published date: 23 August 2013