Good relationships make great business

When business is your life, forging solid relationships built on trust and commitment is what drives success. For Asha Russell, it’s the key to ensuring Sage Civil continues to deliver the results her customers deserve.

There’s an old photo of Asha Russell, as a little girl of five, standing in front of a giant digger, with a smile on her face. Who knew that this little girl would grow up to be a leader in the field of civil?

Asha Russell standing in front of a dozer

Probably virtually everyone around her at the time.

“I was pretty much born into this role,” Asha says. “My dad was a diesel mechanic, and when I was a kid, I’d follow him around on weekends while he was fixing equipment.”

However, although Asha knew that her destiny was in civil, she wasn’t positive about the direction she should take. “When I left school, I knew I wanted to go into my family business – but I wasn’t exactly sure about what I wanted to do within it.”

Asha started working full-time in the family business, Antqip, at the age of 17. It was there that the seeds for a career in civil sprouted. “We won a huge job in Newcastle collecting dredged contaminated material from the harbour, working with Thiess Services. This demanding project saw us working around-the-clock, 7 days a week, and hiring 250 employees. It took three years of my life and in return gave me the satisfaction and life experience needed to continue working in this industry!”

After having her third child Asha set up her own company - Sage Civil. Having three young kids and running your own business is a challenge – one that Asha has risen to. Asha is a firm advocate of working smarter and not biting off more than she can chew, “I don’t want to become a statistic, so I’m slowly growing the business up.”

Taking care of business

Sage Civil specialises in wet hire of plant and equipment, and labour hire.

“If I see an opportunity, I’ll take it”, Asha says. With machines at the core of Sage Civil, it’s no surprise reliability and peace-of-mind are critical to her business.

“The photo below was taken on a site in Ballina around 12 months ago. Buddhi, a sales manager at WesTrac, had just delivered our new Cat 330FL Excavator and we were excited to see it in action,” Asha continues. “Everything is easy with WesTrac. From Cat Finance to delivery, the service I receive is top notch and that’s why I keep coming back. Since being with them I’ve bought a 336, 300, 314 and a D7E dozer.”

Asha Russell and Buddhi, sales rep at WesTrac

"I'm a Caterpillar woman through and through!"

The foundation of any civil business is its machines. If they’re up and running, the business prospers. If they go down, profit drops. Asha has succeeded because she has invested in relationships to ensure her machines remain productive. She has been dealing with WesTrac for over 13 years now, 10 with Antqip, and the last three with Sage Civil.

“It’s been an amazing relationship thanks to Steve MacDonald, my CSA manager, who is an absolute champion,” Asha enthuses. “He’s honest, loyal and just has so much integrity.”

“When I bought the D7E, no-one in Australia knew quite what to do with them. They’re electric and the old-school thinking was to stay away from any electric machine, but I really wanted to give it a go and I’ve never had a problem going against the grain. Out of the gate, I had some issues getting it onto a mine-site due to the paperwork involved. When Steve from WesTrac heard about this he dropped everything and worked on it for two weeks straight. We got it across the line because of him!

Asha Russell holding her baby

It’s the relationship she’s formed with WesTrac that’s led Asha to sign up to Customer Support Agreements (CSAs) for her machines, including the Cat 330FL pictured above. “I’d never had a CSA before, but by trusting Steve’s advice I’ve since moved seven machines under a product support contract. It just makes sense for me and business.”

“For me, the relationship is what matters,” says Asha about her experience with WesTrac, (and Steve).

The peace-of-mind offered by a WesTrac CSA helps Asha keep growing Sage Civil at a pace that suits her. “When you find a good team you trust, you stick with them. It’s the service that drives me to stay with WesTrac.”

When business is your life, forging solid relationships built on trust and commitment is what drives success. For Asha, it’s a key aspect of ensuring that Sage Civil continues to deliver the results her customers deserve.


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