SAGE Automation’s Andrew Downs at BNI Adelaide CBD & South Pareto Club event.

The driving force behind SAGE Automation, Andrew Downs, was the keynote speaker at the exclusive Pareto Club event, hosted by BNI Adelaide CBD & South. Known for his engaging and authentic persona, Andrew shared valuable business insights and tips as Founder, Owner & Executive Director with the BNI members in attendance.

BNI Team

A business born in a back shed.

Andrew Downs kick started his career with an electrical apprenticeship, a foundation he appreciates for the unique opportunity it provided…being paid to learn. Undeterred by challenges, he started and grew his business from his back shed.

Key ingredients and incremental success drive growth.

Addressing how SAGE Automation burgeoned into a 700+ employee-strong enterprise, Andrew emphasised that success was not an overnight feat. Over 30 years, his focus remained unwaveringly on customer service and acknowledging that sustainable growth hinges on hiring exceptional individuals. According to Andrew, the “secret sauce” of SAGE Automation lies in its culture—one that values transparency, honesty, and the wisdom of employing individuals smarter than oneself.

“Business is simple; it’s just not easy.”

Andrew distilled decades of experience into a profound nugget of wisdom: “Business is simple; its just not easy.” He advocated for a relentless focus on customers, people, processes, and finances. Sticking to principles, he asserted, allows a business to grow organically, with a reminder that not every customer is the right fit, and sometimes, firing clients is a strategic move.

He reflected on SAGE Automations journey, and emphasised the adage, “If you make the same mistake twice, youre an idiot,” highlighting the companys commitment to growth, learning from your mistakes, trusting your instincts, and cautioning against aligning with those who dont share your core values.

Building a purpose-driven team and sustaining a positive culture.

Sharing further insights on finding good people, Andrew emphasised the importance of attracting the right talent. SAGE Automations commitment to providing a “Smarter future, better world” resonates with its employees who seek purpose in their work. In fact, five of the seven original employees from his early days in his back shed have been part of the SAGE Automation journey.

As he pointed out, the true measure of culture is how staff behave when the boss isnt around. SAGE Automations success is not just a result of strategic business decisions but a testament to the positive culture and leadership exemplified by Andrew Downs.

While Andrew took centre stage, the unsung hero behind his attendance, BNI Evolve member Alfredo Cabada, must be acknowledged. Alfredo played a pivotal role in orchestrating Andrew to speak at the exclusive, invitation-only Pareto Club event.