After growing up in country New South Wales, I was looking for change. With some work experience under my belt I packed up and headed for the Gold Coast.
My interest in boating, fishing and generally being out on the water drew me to Riviera. I began my journey there as a Detailer with the idea of getting my foot in the door. Around 11 years on and a variety of roles later, with a lot of determination and passion, I have most recently been appointed as the Director of Supply, Planning and Production.
This role involves managing our production schedule of 120 or more boats annually, planning when we're going to build them and ensuring our supply chain is resourced to support each build crew as the boat moves down the line. All while ensuring each and every vessel is delivered on time with the high quality that the Riviera brand is known for.
The Riviera team really is a close knit group for such a large company. Working alongside amazing people makes my role so enjoyable, and I love being surrounded every day by the products that we make.
My past experience in Information Technology has come in handy throughout my time at Riviera. Staying up to date with what products are out there has allowed me to implement automated procedures to assist with the manual workload allowing our time to be spent more efficiently.
In fact, I'm currently involved with an upgrade of our entire IT platform with automation being at the top of our priority list. Some key areas include purchase order process and reporting.
Looking to the future, we're anticipating our owners will be wanting bigger and more advanced boats with state of the art features, more electronics and expanded entertainment. They'll want all this with simplicity and good support. We know there will need to be greater automation and use of telemetry. Reliability is already a priority and will continue to be.
Our main drive at Riviera is to make boating more accessible. We want more people to get out on the water by making it easier to drive and dock your boat and creating a safer, more comfortable experience for the whole family. To assist that aim we're focussing on sea sickness and how we can overcome this sometimes crippling issue with the use of gyro or fin stabilisation. As technology evolves, we need to keep up and use this to our advantage.
The sourcing of quality parts is one of our biggest challenges. Being in Australia, there are few locally manufactured items that meet marine specifications. That's why attending shows such as METSTRADE (this year was my sixth visit) and IBEX is so critical.
The biggest thing we look for when building new supplier relationships is product quality. New products need to match the quality of our boats and be able to stand the test of time. We have some owners still cruising around in the Riviera models from the 1980s so longevity as well as reliability are important quality factors. We're always on the lookout for the right partners who can provide innovative solutions bringing new ideas to our Riviera's latest models.
Making this all happen means that I don't get a lot of spare time but when I do I'll take a break with my family camping, fishing, boating or a mix of the three. If I'm driving up the beach on Fraser Island with the camper on the back I'm pretty happy!
____Kyle Davison is Supply, Planning and Production Director for Riviera, Australia’s leading builder of motor yachts spanning 13m-21m. The company produces around 120 boats annually at its 14-hectare state-of-the-art manufacturing facility on the Gold Coast and employs around 600 staff. Kyle is a member of the METSTRADE Young Professionals Club which brings together young industry professionals from a diverse array of backgrounds.