Abacus Shade Structures is an Australian fabrication and construction company. Our business has been operating in Sydney for 38 years.  During COVID-19 global uncertainty and unrest, Australia is reassessing the importance of strong Australian manufacturing for self-reliance and supply of goods and services.

Over the last 40 years Australian manufacturing and specifically, industrial textile industry and textile expertise has shrunk. Many tarpaulin, sails and tent manufacturers have disappeared with these products replaced by imported product. We have lost employment opportunity and prosperity as a result.

During the last two years uncertain supply chains have reduced availability of motor vehicles, building products, pharmaceuticals and more of products that would never have been made offshore in the past.  Perhaps the importance of home-grown industry will hit home to anyone who has wanted to buy goods and services and had to wait and wait.  Government is reassessing the importance of an Australian manufacturing sector and injecting funding to reinvigorate supply chain resilience and collaboration in its Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

Abacus Shade Structures too was a risk. Had we tried to sustain traditional textile fabrication practises we would have succumbed to competition from mass production, cheap imported supplies and short cuts in production costs. Instead, we chose to find our point of difference where we did not have to compete in this area.  This is the place where many Australian manufacturers have had to go to compete. This is the area of niche production. We are still in business because we chose a pathway of constant innovative, adapting to change and delivering high quality shade products. We have had to be flexible, unique and prepared to work harder.  Our  market has also changed by demanding and expecting higher standards, concerns about fairness in labour, protection of the environment and sustainable practices. These expectations are a key driver for our business.

Another big feature of our Australian business model is that we employ local. Over 38 years trading, we have employed more than 250 local people from many backgrounds to design, fabricate and install shade structures following changes in Australian labour market rules. Our staff are our biggest asset allowing us to explore new processes and technologies and building great products together. We often learn and train on the job and accompanied by traditional training methods, have a staff that is uniquely qualified to work in this niche industry.

Abacus Shade Structures fabricates shade structures in Australia and makes a point of choosing Australian made raw materials whenever we can. Sometimes, as occurred with steel, Australian Made has virtually disappeared. Whenever we can obtain locally made product such as in our aluminium tracking system and forged Span Shade Joiner system, we will use Australian Made.

We recommend and fabricate shade sails using shadecloth made in Queensland by the only Australian shade cloth manufacturer.  With over 25 years production Monotec 370 shadecloth remains a high quality shadecloth which is arguably the best in the world. Its performance features are amongst the best in terms of strength, warranty and longevity.

Australian Made canvas from WCT compares favourable against any imported canvas and is used extensively in military, 4WD and camping industries and new niche markets. At Abacus Shade Structures we prefer Australian made and always will. We have maintained Australian networks and continue to service our clients with quality locally made and sourced shade structure products.

While Australian Made is making a resurgence during COVID at Abacus Shade Structures we have supported Australian Made from the beginning.