Pine Design Truss and Timber is an Adelaide-based supplier of Timber, roof and floor trusses, CSR products, second fixings and various other products. The company has been around for more than 30 years, but has undergone several changes of ownership. Originally owned and operated by Cowells, the company was then bought out by Auspine in 1996 who subsequently sold to Gunns Ltd in 2008. The business underwent a name change in November 2009 to Pine Design Truss and Timber and in November 2010 was sold via a management buy-out to the company’s current owner/manager, John Oulton.

Sales manager Ryan Mansell has been working for the company for nearly 18 years, starting out as a casual labourer before moving on to making trusses and cutting timber, then estimating and detailing before moving into the sales side of things, where he has stayed for the past decade.

What makes Pine Design special is our commitment to quality and to looking after our customers,” Mansell says. “We only utilise Australian timber – we don’t buy imported timber. This is one of the decisions we’ve made from a quality point of view. Similarly with our other products – we know we can get other products from overseas cheaper but we continue with Multinail products because they’re Australian made. We’re very much about making sure the products we supply fall in line with Australian and New Zealand standards.”

Pine Design employs around 45 people at the company’s Adelaide site, with other staff offshore in Malaysia and a new business start-up in northern NSW that currently employs 15 people, but this number is expected to grow.

The company does quite a lot of multi-residential housing at present, and just recently completed a five-storey apartment block that used concrete for the first two floors and timber for the top three. Another similar building is also in the works for the business.

“The government is encouraging urban infill – there’s a lot more need to build upward, so we’re doing a lot more floor trusses these days,” Mansell says. Other changes in the industry he has noticed over the years include new legislation and government processes.

“There’s been a lot of change in the way council applications are done,” he says.  “Then there’s the rigidity in structure around our industry with the new laws that have come in to make people more accountable. And there are definitely a lot more wall and floor trusses being used these days.”

Pine Design uses Multinail software for both the regular running of the business as well as for product design.

“It’s pretty much a whole of house solution,” Mansell says. “You’re designing with one piece of software and it designs from the roof, through the wall frames and the wall frame components, down to the floor, and if its two storey, the lower wall as well. There isn’t much software out there that works quite that well – Multinail do it well.

“But it’s not just about design. It helps us to improve efficiency, with less need for third party software, and from a factory point of view their factory managements system is very good. It enables us to eke out efficiency in a lot of things – pricing production and making people accountable as well. We can see where any one job is at any one time and compare that to historic data on what we believe it should take in costs.”

With a new business starting up in a new state, it’s still business as usual for Pine Design Truss and Timber in Adelaide. The company plans to continue to work towards further maintaining and growing their customer base in Adelaide while cementing and expanding their place in northern NSW.


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