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Frank Cristiano & Hugh O’Donnell

Topic: Tricomposite – Looking outside our industry for a breakthrough in our thinking and performance

Presented by: Mr Frank Cristiano, General Manager, Tricomposite and Mr Hugh O’Donnell, Director, High Performance Consortium (HPC)


A few years ago, Tricomposite was struggling to meet the expectations of its customers in the light of overseas competition and was a business under significant financial stress.  Three years later following a change of ownership and leadership the business has transformed into a business that is reliable, innovative and customer focussed.  How has this been achieved in such a short time?  Pivotal to this change has been changing the existing team’s mindset from a production focus to a customer value oriented mindset.  

In this highly interactive session Frank Cristiano, General Manager Tricomposite, and Hugh O’Donnell (HPC) will share how Tricomposite effected this change in culture by focussing on improving the work to be done using a tailored business improvement approach and collaborating with their peers in other industries to challenge paradigms and access new thinking, resources and ideas.  The significant improvements in productivity, quality, delivery and output have been achieved with the existing team, manufacturing footprint and with minimal capital investment. In light of this case study participants will also have an opportunity to explore and discuss the opportunity for improvement and collaboration in their own organisation.

Keywords: Innovation, Collaboration, Culture

About the speakers

Hugh O’Donnell is an accomplished business leader with an impressive track record as both an Executive, Facilitator and Management Consultant.  Prior to consulting he held senior leadership roles in Europe, USA and Australia with AMCOR, UpRight, Searle and Yves Rocher.  With full P&L responsibility he led business transformations across multiple sites delivering sustainable top and bottom line growth. 

 Hugh works with both corporate and medium size businesses in manufacturing, construction and services.  He supports teams to develop and implement their strategic plans using a practical customised approach, blending facilitation, coaching and action learning to maximise ownership, build internal capability to transform the business. He has worked with clients such as  AMCOR, BP, AME Systems, Volgren, PPG Industries, AMCOL Inc., Gekko Systems and Life Saving Victoria.  Hugh is a founding director and lead-facilitator of the High Performance Consortium (HPC), a community of non-competing businesses collaborating to accelerate the transformation of their people and businesses to be globally competitive. 

 He is a past board member of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence, Innovation Insights (i2e) and is an advisory board member.  He has facilitated Leadership Development Programs at Melbourne Mount Eliza Business School and is an international speaker on business improvement and strategy deployment presenting at conferences in Australia and North America.

Frank Cristiano joined Tricomposite as manager in 2013, taking on the general manager role a year later. Coming from a background in hydraulic engineering and OEM manufacturing in Australia and Asia for the automotive sector, he brought to Tricomposite expertise in advanced manufacturing processes for mass production. Since joining Tricomposite, Frank  has increased monthly component output by 73 per cent to its current rate of 1700 parts per month for primary customer, RV manufacturer Jayco and is expanding the customer base. Frank is a board member of Composites Australia.