The Palloys Group combines the expertise of three of Australia’s best known suppliers to provide jewellers with all the basics they need to thrive.
The Palloys Group is a family company that has grown to incorporate three of Australia’s best known jewellery industry suppliers – Palloys, AGS Metals and Regentco Findings – without forgetting its roots.
The Cochineas Family purchased Palloys from the Kay Family in December 2007 and has since expanded the business into the “three-armed” Palloys Group with the acquisition of AGS Metals from AGR Matthey in July last year and Regentco Findings in May 2009.
Yet despite relatively rapid expansion in the last 18 months, the same familiar faces can still be found at Palloys, AGS Metals and Regentco because Palloys Group managing director Andrew Cochineas is adamant that this “family business” is not interested in “growth for the sake of growth” but instead is clearly focused on providing quality products and superior customer service.
“We aim to be a full service metals offering to the jewellery and allied trades so we have our casting arm (Palloys), our precious metal fabrication arm (AGS Metals) and our jewellery findings arm (Regentco)” he explains.
“We’ve grown organically in lots of ways but we still remember our roots and the principles of Palloys founder Felix Parry who believed in ‘service, quality and trust’.
“We aren’t interested in selling and running – we want to build long lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients. I suppose that at the end of the day, we don’t consider our customers as clients – we consider them our business partners and friends and we want to help them to produce the highest standard product for their consumers.”
In fact, Andrew says the key factor driving the purchase of each member of the Palloys Group is simply a love of the jewellery business.
Andrew began working in the industry as soon as he left school – albeit on a part-time basis selling jewellery to help fund his way through university.
He says the opportunity to pursue a full-time career in the jewellery industry didn’t arise until he met Norman Kay at a social event in 2007.
Today Andrew is the managing director of the Palloys Group and Norman Kay is chairman.
Andrew says that all three businesses in the Palloys Group are leaders in their respective fields that combine quality, value and good old fashioned service.
“There are not many businesses in the jewellery industry – or any industry for that matter – that have been serving since 1951. Through the good times and the bad, Palloys has been there and we plan on being there for the long term. The Felix Parry and Norman Kay legacy of trust and integrity is one that we aim to maintain and build on.”
Based in Sydney’s Surry Hills with drop off points Australia-wide, the Palloys arm of the business specialises in jewellery and base metal casting as well as precious metal refining, elecroplating, antique reproduction casting, mould-making and CAD/CAM.
Andrew says the company, which is recognised throughout Australia’s jewellery industry as a leader in technological development, is best known for its casting services.
“Palloys can cast almost anything in a large range of casting alloys,” he says. Apart from the thousands of rings, pendants and other jewellery items that Palloys produces weekly for jewellers in every Australian state, he cites pens, medals, boxing belts, watch casings, medical & dental prostheses, antique reproductions, cufflinks, charms, trophies, pendants and the mounts on Queen Elizabeth II’s Coach as just a few examples of the company’s other works.
According to Andrew, one of the key factors that make Palloys casting services stand out from competitors is its proprietary alloys.
“All the alloys at Palloys have been developed in-house by our metallurgists for the exclusive use of our clients. Unlike many casting companies we do not use master alloys from overseas. Apart from the comfort of knowing that they are buying their castings from a company that understands the metals they cast because they make them, the big advantage for jewellers is that we can positively guarantee our caratage” says Andrew.
In addition, Palloys boasts one of the fastest turnarounds for jewellery casting in Australasia.
“If we have a jeweller’s mould we can get a finished cast to them the next day and if they are really desperate for time we even have a ‘two-hour burnout service’ where we can cast for them in just two hours.
“This means that if a tourist walks into a jewellery shop at around 10am and says ‘I want that ring with sapphires in size P by 5pm today’ the jeweller can lose that sale or call Palloys and have the cast ready for them to work on in only a few hours.”
With its head office in the Sydney CBD and pick-up offices around Australia, AGS Metals is one of the largest suppliers of fabricated precious metal products to the Australian jewellery industry.
Along with granules, wire, strip, sheet and chenier, AGS Metals also supplies wedding rings (finished and semi-finished) and provides plating products and refining services.
AGS Metals was a joint venture between AGR Matthey and Palloys for almost 20 years. In July last year, Palloys bought out the AGR Matthey share of the jewellery business when the gold refiner decided to sell off its jewellery division.
“AGS Metals is a very well known supplier in the fabricated metals market and Steve Lowden as CEO of AGS Metals has one of the most respected names in the fabricated metals industry,” says Andrew.
“When AGR Matthey decided to sell the purchase was a natural extension to the AGS Metals business.
“Like Palloys, AGS Metals offers superior quality product at the right price – supported by the advice of metallurgists, not just sales people.
“AGS is also one of the only places in Australia where you can buy Johnson Matthey formula solders – widely regarded as the benchmark in jewellery solder technology.”
Since its takeover by Palloys Group, Regentco has moved into a “bigger and brighter” Australian head office next door to the AGS Metals Sydney CBD office.
Specialising in jewellery findings, Regentco is, according to Andrew, renowned for its “excellent quality and incredibly good prices”.
“The difference between Regentco and many other jewellery findings businesses is that we are not just a re-seller,” he says.
“We actually manufacture the findings we sell. It is in this way that we offer superior quality findings at the right price.”
He says that Regentco will continue to produce its current range but some exciting changes, including a big increase in jewellery findings stock levels available for pick-up or next day delivery, a new electronic and printed catalogue and a custom jewellery findings service, will be introduced in coming months.
Andrew says the latter service will enable jewellers to customise findings with their own logo or manufacturer’s mark.
“Custom findings give jewellers the opportunity to brand almost all of their jewellery items,” he explains. “For example a jeweller can brand a pair of earring butterflies with their logo or manufacturer’s mark.”
Andrew is confident that Palloys, AGS Metals and Regentco will continue to grow in partnership with local jewellers.
He says all three companies have stood the test of time and will continue to do so – irrespective of the current global economic crisis.
“I believe the current economic difficulties may even help local jewellers” he says.
“When a local jeweller factors in the massive increase in the gold price and import duties, the cost of importing jewellery into Australia is no longer so favourable.
“In addition, when importing products from overseas, jewellers normally have to pay upfront and order large quantities. In contrast, when a jeweller orders from Palloys, AGS Metals or Regentco the minimum order is just “one” and they have 30 days to pay.”
He concludes that Palloys, AGS Metals and Regentco’s quality products and superior customer service will ensure their continued success – and the success of their customers too.
“Speed is a critical factor in business success today.
“Having a supplier like us at their service is also a big advantage for jewellers’ cashflow compared to off shore options. With us, jewellers don’t need to wait four weeks for their stock and the certainty of knowing they can get their product quickly from Palloys, AGS Metals or Regentco means that they don’t need to keep a huge volume of stock in their safe waiting for a sale.
“Instead, they can keep a minimum of stock and replenish as necessary with us.”
“The strength and longevity of our businesses can guarantee that.”
Palloys, Phone 1300 886 108 Australia-wide or visit www.palloys.com.au
AGS Metals, Phone 1300 883 061 Australia-wide or visit www.agsmetals.com.au
Regentco, Phone 1300 879 899 Australia-wide or visit www.regentco.com.au