Todd Blazely is Director of Invogue Door Systems located in the outer east Melbourne suburb of Lilydale. You might find the odd 2040 by 820 doors in production but that’s not their bread and butter. Invogue specialises in doing things other door manufacturers cannot; the special sizes, the complex and difficult-to-make doors often specified by architects. To achieve these demands, Invogue went to Biesse for their equipment. Todd said, “We needed to set ourselves apart from others and give ourselves the opportunity to get into other markets, so we went with the Biesse 5-axis Rover A.”
Todd has ‘been around’ and knows the industry very well. He’s come across the Biesse brand at a number of previous employers over a thirty-year career to date. He says, “I’ve always known the Biesse product. They are very well-known Globally and now they have set themselves up as a subsidiary in Australia, we have absolute confidence in their ability to provide the service and backup we need. We’ve looked at other brands, but we’ve had Biesse machines before, and we are really sold on the Biesse technology and service.”
Todd started out as a cabinet making apprentice at a large Melbourne cabinet shop back in 1989, about the time CNC machines were starting to make an impact here in Australia. Back then, Biesse was the prime mover and arguably the machine of choice for companies looking to take advantage of the new production method ‘just-in-time’ based on the Toyota or Kanban production approach. To this day Biesse has been one of the longest and most recognised wood working machine brands and Australia, like the United States in particular, recognised their worth and value from the very beginning.
Todd says of those early days, “I found I had a passion for the trade and finished my apprenticeship early.” He left the company to go to West Australia for family reasons and to play AFL brand football for East Fremantle. There he worked with solid timbers, especially Jarrah and added to his increasing knowledgebase. Returning to Melbourne and shortly after that, to Queensland, Todd added to his skills and experience. As he said, “My goal was to learn as much as possible, so I worked with many different companies doing a wide range of work.”
Eventually Todd returned to Melbourne where he took on positions leading to management roles. Some of this experience included displays for auto shows; shopfitting and two-pack polyurethane coating of doors. This led to his own two-pack coating business; Absolute Coatings that he ran for over eight years and grew to over 60 people. Todd recalls that one of these companies installed one of the first Selco (Biesse) automatic beam saws. He said, “That machine changed their business.”
Over the next five-years Todd managed the production for a large Melbourne-based door manufacturer and set up another door division for a moulding company before deciding to start out as a door manufacturer himself. He says, “We set out to be a top-end of the market manufacturer, setting a new standard in service and workmanship for the door industry.” And so, since 2015 Invogue Door Systems has established themselves as a can-do company prepared to ‘have a go’ at whatever their customers or architects can throw at them. They produce some of the most impressive entrances imaginable, in some cases in excess of seven metres high!
Todd said, “In five years we haven’t had a month where something amazing wasn’t happening. We’ve doubled our factory area and gone from producing with a press, panel saw and glue spreader to where we are today with our Biesse CNC machines.” It was only six months into the new venture that Invogue purchased their first CNC machine; a second-hand Biesse pod and rail machine they converted to a flat table. They soon outgrew that with their architect-focused door production and replaced that machine with a Rover 35FT that gave them a far greater bed size.
And then, mid-last year Todd took a few of his people to Ligna to have a look at what the possibilities were for his rapidly developing company. Looking at the widest range of CNC machinery available in the World, Todd came back to Australia and placed an order for a Biesse Rover A 5-axis pod and rail CNC machining centre. “When we were able to see the amazing products that machine was making at Ligna we said yes, that’s the machine for us,” Todd said. The Rover A was installed February this year and compliments the high production possible with their Selco automatic beam saw.
We can do it
Todd said, “We will have a crack at anything, no job is too difficult for us or our Biesse Rover A. If someone says it can’t be done, I’ll say it can and find a way to make it work. Our can-do attitude gets us a long way with the architects we often work with; builders have the confidence to throw anything at us now. This is due to our own attitude and skills, and our Biesse equipment that allows us to achieve even the most difficult profiles and joints.” They are so successful that word-of-mouth; Instagram and Facebook are all they need to ensure the success of Invogue.
“Do the right thing, make a good product and the business will look after itself,” said Todd recently. “It’s all about service. If you can service your customer the right way, they will stick with you. It’s not always about price.” The same could be said about Biesse and Todd says, “The Biesse may not be the cheapest and it certainly isn’t the most expensive machine on the market, but we see excellent value for money in the brand.” He adds, “And the people there are great to deal with; they sold me on their machine, they didn’t compare their machine to any other brand, and I like that confidence.”
Over recent months when industry has been impacted by World events, Todd has realised a long-term plan to manufacture high-end kitchens for his discerning clients. The Rover A combined with their Selco Beam Saw fits in with this goal perfectly and allows Todd and his team to not only keep their niche market for superior doors, but to provide their clients with alternate products based on Invogue’s established high quality and performance standards. Todd comments, “We do things a little different than others and our Biesse machines allow us to achieve the outcomes we are looking for.”
Invogue’s customers expect more and architectural work is often ground-breaking. The Rover A comes with the Sophia software platform Todd says, “Is amazing.” Invogue gets productivity data on the machine’s performance that Todd helps with pricing. He said, “We’ve only had the machine a few months, but we are certain that Sophia will provide us with tangible benefits as we learn how to push the machine hard. It’s brilliant!” Invogue’s relationship with Biesse is much more than you would expect from a machinery supplier. Todd describes it as, “More personal than that. Biesse know and understand the way we work and what we need. We always get a straight answer when we talk to them. Yes, with Biesse, it’s personal.”