Considered to be Australia's leading brand of forged hand tools and industrial ladders, Mumme Tools is a South Australian business that calls Lonsdale their home. The products made by Mumme Tools are produced by highly skilled craftsmen, who create tools that boast of tough and high-quality features. Expanding their business across different industries, such as mine sites, heavy industry, councils, and defence forces, it is no surprise that the products by Mumme Tools are some of the most sought-after in the tool manufacturing industry.
I was fortunate enough to score an e-interview with Greg Lowe, the Managing Director of Mumme Tools, where we discussed the story of how this business went from being a vision to a humble reality - have a read of our exchange below:
Tema: In a nutshell, what is Mumme Tools all about? Greg: Mumme Tools is a manufacturer of forged hand tools, using craftsmen to create items such as wrecking bars, chisels, punches, sledgehammers, ladders and so forth. In all, we make over 500 unique products at our South Australian factory and are one of the last companies in Australia still locally forging quality hand tools.
Tema: Who are the faces behind Mumme Tools? Greg: The company was founded in 1936 by Bill Mumme and grew successfully under three generations of Mumme family leadership. In 2010 Mumme Tools joined forces with Klein Tools of North America and in 2016 a new management team was handed the responsibility of taking the company forward into the future. The current leadership team has a mix of professional experience, coming from manufacturing, automotive – even the wine industry. The common thread is a passion for local manufacturing and the ability to think creatively about constantly improving the way we do things.
Tema: What have you found to be rewarding about being a South Australian business? Greg: Few places in the world can match the South Australian lifestyle: the food, the wine, the weather, the great outdoors. As well as being such a wonderful cosmopolitan place to live, the local business community in South Australia is supportive and well networked. We have opportunities here as a medium sized business to engage with other similar companies and with government at all levels without getting lost in the crowd.
Tema: What have you found to be challenging about being a South Australian business? Greg: Obviously, we are a long way from export markets, but the world is shrinking!
Tema: What kind of work do you primarily specialize in being involved with? Greg: We are really good at taking a piece of steel and fashioning it into a useful shape that helps people do their jobs safely and efficiently. There are a lot of tough people working in remote and challenging environments that rely on our tools every day. Mumme Tools reflects their ethic: rugged, resilient, hardworking and resourceful.
Tema: What do you think helps Mumme Tools stand out from the rest of the businesses in your scope? Greg: Many would say that the quality of their tools makes a statement about themselves. Sure, you can buy a cheap, imported product – but when you use a Mumme Tool, you know it has been made and sharpened by one of our local craftsmen. People who know their tools and rely on them seek out Mumme Tools as an expression of pride in a quality Australian-made product.
Tema: How many people are employed and across how many areas / locations? Greg: Employment fluctuates somewhat with demand, but overall we employ around 45 people. Roughly half are creating tools at our Lonsdale factory, the other half work in sales and administrative roles, including sales managers who roam the country looking for feedback from our customers and ensuring needs are being met.
Tema: What are some businesses that you have worked with, which you'd like to highlight? Greg: We are proud to be associated with other Australian made tools, such as Sidchrome (chisels), Buckaroo and Sutton Tools.
Tema: What is it about Adelaide and South Australia that you most enjoy and appreciate? Greg: Did we mention the food, the wine, the weather? And your typical Adelaidean is a down-to-earth, friendly person.
Tema: Is there anything else that you'd like your prospective customers to know about Mumme Tools? Greg: Mumme Tools relies on the support of our local customers. Our aim is to make exceptional tools for a reasonable price and we will replace a product if it fails to meet expectations. When you buy something locally made, you are supporting Australian families. But we like to think you will choose a Mumme brand tool not just because it is made here in Adelaide, but because it is a damn fine product.