Based in Tamworth in northeast NSW, Weldclass has a long and fascinating history. In the early 1900s, a forbear of the founder of the company emigrated from Chicago and developed the first mechanical chain-drive abattoirs in Australia. Remnants of those buildings still exist in Sydney’s suburb of Homebush to this day. Another forbear pioneered metal coating technologies that were used to coat the inside of the main supply pipes carrying water from Warragamba Dam into Sydney.
When the company began to trade in 1980, the entire business model was based on selling welding supplies and accessories to panel beaters and the like. From those humble beginnings, Weldclass has grown into a wholesaling giant, providing premium products and equipment for Australian welders and fabricators right across Australia and the South Pacific. Weldclass now has over 1000 distributors.
Recently, Weldclass has completed a full-scale brand evolution project that involved a refreshed logo and brand image. The brand is gaining significant traction among users of welding products.
As a wholesaler, Weldclass takes its responsibility to fill orders very seriously. “Back in 2017, we identified that one of the major pain points for our distributors was lack of supply or low supply rates,” says Alistair McDonald, marketing director at Weldclass. “So, we went about bolstering our stock holdings and, right now, if a client orders 100 different lines, they will, on average, receive 95 of those lines. We are very transparent with our line-fill rates and on a periodic basis, we report our exact line-fill average.
This is one way we’re helping deliver our ‘Be Outstanding’ brand promise to the market.”
Weldclass operates a business model committed to supplying equipment and products suitable for industrial, manufacturing and maintenance businesses. Its equipment is used by tradies of all stripes, and a large and ever diversifying market is the DIY sector.
“While industries such as hospitality suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, ours has grown significantly, for which we’re very thankful,” says McDonald. “Most of that can be put down to people embracing DIY projects. We’ve been able to keep all our staff members employed and we even recruited more during the pandemic.”
The Weldclass journey is a long one, so it may come as a surprise that until two years ago, they didn’t sell or supply welding machines. The company had mainly focused purely on consumables, accessories and flow-on products. All that changed when they began receiving repeated requests from distributors asking to purchase welding units.
“We conducted years of research before deciding to supply welding machines,” says McDonald. “It wasn’t a case of picking a product off the shelf, painting it blue and bringing it to Australia. We wanted machines that work for Australians in an Australian environment.”
Weldclass understands its market. It knows its distributors aren’t carrying just welding supplies—they also have bearings, paint, hardware, timber and any number of other products. Weldclass doesn’t expect them to have comprehensive welding knowledge.
“It isn’t realistic for our distributors to have to focus exclusively on welding products,” says McDonald. “Each of our Weldforce machines comes with point-of-sale information that will answer most questions typical users will ask—Is it compatible with a generator? What size wire can it take? What size plug is fitted? All the information is at their fingertips.”
Recently, Weldclass launched a range of welding machines that are truly cutting-edge. These high-quality units were exclusively sourced in Europe and manufactured to the highest standards. “Australia hasn’t seen machines of this level in this particular product segment,” says McDonald. “New technologies used in the creation of these units are a massive step forward for Weldclass, our distributors and the end users. They are going to be a real game changer.”
Weldclass is a family-run business that believes in giving back to the community. While their machines, equipment and products are as tough as the Australian outback, the people of Weldclass are passionate about helping those most in need. The list of charities the company supports is long and varied, including Bushfire Relief, the Children’s Cancer Institute, Drought Relief, Wheelchair Sports NSW and Legacy Australia. McDonald says, “It’s very rewarding for us to be able to give back to the communities and groups most in need. We couldn’t do it without the support of our distributors and end-users alike, so we’re very grateful for that.”
The Weldclass team has a lot of which to be proud in the creation, operation and growth of this quintessential Australian company. The business has one mission—to provide every welder and metal fabricator with world-class tools and equipment. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.