ModularWalls manufacture composite boundary walls for the residential and commercial sectors. The business has been helped by accessing a range of services offered under the Entrepreneurs’ Programme to grow their business.

Modular Wall Systems has an annual turnover of $15 million and employs 40 people but if tenacious founder, Nick Holden, was not prepared to challenge his local council’s building requirements a few years back, the business may have never emerged.

Nick was renovating and wanted a brick wall at the front of the house with a rendered finish. His local council didn’t like that idea and was not willing to compromise so the plan wasn’t approved.

Rather than go away and succumb to the rule book, Nick found a solution which became Modular Wall Systems’ first product. Nick used tools and machinery from his father’s manufacturing business to make a composite wall that looked like rendered brick but satisfied council requirements of not having continuous foundations.

I love to keep pushing the boundaries and to innovate, to find a better way of doing things on a daily basis. That is what I love and what continues to drive myself and Modular Wall Systems. Growth and success is what makes our journey exciting.
— Nick Holden, CEO & Founder, Modular Wall Systems

Today, Modular Wall Systems manufactures a range of custom-made building products including modular walls and fencing, high-tech sound absorbing barriers and designer metal laminates.

Nick’s business was born from his own industrial technology innovation and determination, however he says to succeed further, Modular Wall Systems required assistance and this is where the Growth Services element of the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme came in.

Modular Wall Systems’ accountant recommended the Programme to Nick because of his focus on innovation, research, development and marketing.

He believed it would give Modular Wall Systems another perspective to its operations just as it expanded to the United Kingdom and with plans to expand to the United States in 2017.

“It was good to have that external push. We really appreciated the time and effort that Terry O’Riordan and Mark Stewart, our Growth Services Advisers, gave to us. Talk is fine, but you need support to drive it through through,” Nick said.

“We know we have very good products and very good information but sometimes it’s a bit like a jigsaw in a box – all the pieces are there but you need some help from outside to put it together.”

Terry and Mark worked with the Modular Wall Systems leadership group to analyse the business including facilitating a number of workshops on value proposition and accessing new markets. The outcome of this work was growth plan with four key actions.

Implementing the actions has led to a website redevelopment and brand alignment, as well as consolidation of IT systems and plans for international strategic partnerships. It has also led to a research project for testing and accreditation of Modular Wall Systems’ barrier panel system through Innovation Connections.

Terry and Mark connected the business with the Australian Government’s Industry Skills Fund to engage employees in Modular Wall Systems’ new plant layout project – a manufacturing plant and commercial offices five times the size of its original site.

In addition, the business has been approved a Business Growth Grant to implement a number of marketing recommendations.

“It is refreshing to see a business that actually lives and breathes innovation in the true sense of the word,” Modular Wall Systems’ Business Adviser Terry O’Riordan said. “Their products reflect innovation in materials and design and the business model is also innovative in leveraging technology to manage sales and communicate with trade networks. Nick is a true entrepreneur.”

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