4 June 2024

Four decades, $50 billion: ICN helps businesses help each other to excel

| Jacqueline Lyons
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Worker looking out from the top of a windfarm

ICN has been helping businesses help businesses for four decades. Photo: ICN.

Helping businesses help each other: that was the goal when the Industry Capability Network launched four decades ago.

The company, formerly known as the Industrial Supplies National Office, was designed to match local service providers with suppliers and buyers and to offer businesses the best opportunities possible to take part in public and private projects.

As the company prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary, ICN chief executive officer Warren Jansen says the work completed since it started has been exceptional.

“When we started in 1984, our main goal was to increase economic activity and employment opportunities for local industries, and that hasn’t changed,” Warren says.

“There was somewhat of a gap in the market at the time that we knew needed to be filled, and that was to help business help other businesses.”

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The ICN team is proud of its ability to help expand local businesses by linking them with contractors for projects of all sizes.

With offices in every state in Australia, the company has helped businesses across the nation and in New Zealand.

Warren says businesses have turned over more than $50 billion in revenue as a result of its efforts.

When launched, ICN only had a small team and not many clients but landed its first big project coordinating the construction of frigates in Williamstown in Melbourne.

warren jansen

ICN executive director Warren Jansen says he is thrilled with their progress over the past 40 years. Photo: ICN.

The group rapidly expanded its services, helping thousands of companies on both sides of the Tasman to make connections and complete projects together.

More than 100 industry specialists work with the company to help save time and money in the government procurement process.

“We have gone through some ups and downs, funding comes and goes but we have got through it,” Warren says.

“Since starting, we have had more than 100,000 companies register with us so we can help them expand their businesses.

“At the end of the day, we just want to be a source of information for businesses and set them up with the best project opportunities possible.”

By the time the early 90s rolled around, the company prided itself on linking local businesses to larger projects.

“In 1995, we set up our national office, and the rest is basically history.”

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Warren says the company’s biggest overall goal is to be more or less matchmakers for businesses – no matter the size.

“We just want to match all businesses with the right project. It doesn’t matter how big or small the business or the project is, we just want to see businesses help other businesses,” he says.

“The business model has since progressed into ultimately giving work to contractors in bite-sized packages to make it easy for them and the businesses they’re working alongside.”

In the past year, the company has relaunched its online platform ‘Gateway’, a user-friendly online service that links businesses via a database to help businesses thrive.

Suppliers can find their next project by tapping into big and small projects, while project owners enjoy a more streamlined procurement process.

“We’re really excited about the relaunch of Gateway. If you have a business, it’s a great way to help expand it, ensure you’re talking to the right people and taking part in the right projects,” Warren says.

ICN continues to grow with more than 400 suppliers from Australia and New Zealand joining the team every month. Again, it’s helping more businesses help each other every day.

Going forward, ICN is determined to maintain its hard work in uniting businesses with projects and resources needed for Australian businesses to continue to expand.

For more information, visit ICN.


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