When Redbourne Founder and Managing Director, Stephen Menhinnitt, launched the company in 2000 he was drawn to a time in his life that was simple, adventurous and fun. Those were elements he wanted to nurture in his company and play out in the solutions he delivered for clients.
Previously Stephen had held senior management positions in Telstra, Mayne Nickless and Chubb Security and been responsible for a diverse portfolio of profitable businesses that included, a specialist consultancy practice, records management, parking enforcement and fines collection, training and recruitment, and an emergency and medical business unit. He had managed multi million dollar projects requiring the support and commitment of disparate organisations and divisions. Plus, he had personally managed and been an active supplier in some of the largest and most complex outsourcing ventures in Australia.
Winning some early government tenders – the Queensland Health QIDDI project for one – got Redbourne off to a strong start and has become the most successful solution of its kind in Australia.
“I’m not a developer,” admits Stephen. “I’m a creator, a problem solver. Working out solutions to problems really draws me in.”
What captivates him is engaging with an industry that has not been well-served and doing what he can to provide the best possible solution at the best possible price.
“Technology giants ignore the little fellow. In 2009 there were over 2 million businesses in Australia. Ninety-six percent of those were small businesses contributing 35% of industry value. There are many vertical markets in Australia using manual or antiquated systems or making Microsoft office or MYOB fit as best it can. From the outset we wanted to provide SMEs with important business tools, with software systems equivalent in functionality to big business solutions at a price small businesses could afford.
“The first focus area for us was the childcare sector, looking at how processes could be improved.” (In five short years they have gone from nowhere to being the number two brand in the Australian childcare sector, obviously striking a chord with service providers.) “We now see other industries that have a similar market size that could benefit immensely from affordable custom solutions. It’s a matter of being very clear about what you do and being very good at that.”
Along the way Redbourne identified a host of business processes that organisations needed help with: payroll, administration, transaction processing, data management, customer service. Today the organisation has a flourishing Business Services division, a vibrant company culture that thrives on simplification and a reputation for pioneering products and services that help businesses save time, money and resources.
An Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Stephen also holds an MBA and Bachelor of Administration degrees. For further information visit his Linked In profile.