The Varley Story – Part 33

Pictured: one of the Defence communication modules produced as part of Project Parakeet.

Project Parakeet arrived on Varley’s radar in 1994, and was to become a major turning point for the company.

Parakeet involved the design, development, and manufacture of 12 evaluation and 58 transportable circuit switch, radio relay and command control assemblages. The project was valued at over $6million and injected much-needed funds into Varley’s coffers. It also opened up a relatively new world of Defence manufacture to the eyes of Varley.

Despite the contract value being high for the company at the time, the project was actually underquoted and soon enough was actually costing the business. There was only one way the new managing director, Jeff Phillips, could dig the company out of trouble – by visitng the client and putting his cards on the table.

Ultimately, the brutal truth was that if Parakeet wasn’t re-evaluated and re-costed, the supplying business (Varley) would go under and cause destruction all round.

Renegotiation hence took place, and Varley managed to turn the project around, both from an engineering and also financial perspective, resulting in a final overall success of the project.

The company learnt many valuable and lasting lessons from Project Parakeet – it was something of a baptism of fire, and Varley was to rise from the flames in spectacular fashion in the years to come…

Stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.