“We pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach”

Jude Weller

“We pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach”

Today we shine the spotlight on our Managing Director, Judith Weller, and her journey at Australian Portable Toilets so far.

When you were a kid, could you ever have imagined that you would be running a successful portable toilet business?

No! Furthest thing from my mind. Never. Nope. Not at all.

I worked in the hospitality industry for about twenty years running a small motel, and I really thought I would be in hospitality for the rest of my life.

So then how did you end up in portable toilets?

After we sold our motel, Daryn wanted a sea change with somewhere warmer than Tasmania. One of our sons, Maverick was already living in Queensland, and Lachie, another son, wanted to be in Queensland as well. It made sense to relocate to the sunny coast, so we began searching for businesses to take over and Australian Portable Toilets came up.

You’ve now been operating Australian Portable Toilets for 7 years which is an incredible achievement. How has the company changed since you started all that time ago?

Well, we’ve obviously expanded and tripled in size. We’ve relocated (again!) to Victoria to support the next stage of our growth – we now have a second warehouse in Dandenong, and next year, our Sydney warehouse will open.

But, even though we’ve been in the industry for seven years, we’re still only young. We still have a lot of significant changes we want to make and of course, develop our range further to suit our customers’ needs.

Is being customer-centric important to you?

Absolutely. Because we’re a family owned and operated business, we pride ourselves on being hands-on. If someone has a problem, we’re available to talk them through it at any hour; we’ll travel interstate to go out to visit someone on site, and we’ll happily work on weekends if someone wants to come and view our showroom or collect an order.

What are some of the challenges with running a family owned and operated business?

I think the hardest thing is you talk toilets all the time. Whether you’re sitting around the dinner table or out at an event somewhere, we’re always thinking of new ideas about what we can do. When we get together with the family, our sons always ask “Mum, how many toilets did you sell today?” and when our friends are at events, I’m always guaranteed to get a picture of a portable toilet with the question “Is this yours?!”

Needless to say, I have a LOT of pictures of toilets on my phone.

I can imagine! Must be pretty cool though to be out somewhere and see one of your toilets in action?

It is. I still remember the first day I sold my first toilet, I was so bloody excited!

There’s nothing like that first sale! In your current role now, you wear a few different hats – including management, sales, accounts, and logistics. What does an average day look like for you?

Can I be honest? My day starts at 6am in my pyjamas at my desk!

I go through my emails and the bank reconciliations for about an hour before I drag myself away to have a shower. I’m usually back at my desk by 8am to start the day, and most nights I’m tapping away until 7:30pm. I don’t mind though – I love what I do, and I want people to know that we’re not just going to be here today and gone tomorrow.

So, what is on the horizon for Australian Portable Toilets?

The idea is just to keep growing and doing everything right. Once Sydney is established, we will look to open our fourth warehouse, and we will go from there. I can’t give away too much just yet!

Fine, leave us hanging! Before we let you get back to it – we’ve just got one last quick question. What’s your favourite product?

The Sewer Connect.

Why?

It’s just so versatile. It can be hooked directly up to a sewer point so there are savings to be made and it can be jazzed up with cool accessories, like RCD boxes. It makes a really excellent construction toilet.

5 Comments
  • Colin Winter
    Posted at 10:47h, 26 October Reply

    I’m not sure about a small motel Jude it was pretty big for the North West.
    Interesting read to understand your journey since leaving Tassie. Congratulations to both you and Daryn for what us a very successful venture and still with further growth still to come. Cheers to you both.

  • Julie Saward
    Posted at 06:34h, 30 October Reply

    Fantastic Jude. You and Darren have always been hard working people and you both deserve all the success coming your way. Well done!!!!

  • Trudie
    Posted at 08:04h, 30 October Reply

    Can’t say enough good things about Jude and Daryn, they have helped our small business enormously and we wouldn’t be where we are today with our portaloo business!!

  • Gorden Austin
    Posted at 08:44h, 03 November Reply

    Congratulations, some businesses end up in the shit, you are turning it into success & $$ well done! ??

  • Daryn Weller
    Posted at 13:02h, 08 November Reply

    Always thinking of the customer!

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