Today the AFA spoke with AFA member Rob Vudrag from Quedos Billiard Tables in Perth
AFA – Tell us about your business how you got started?
Rob – Years ago l used to run Pool and Snooker Centres and l opened up a place and we took delivery of some tables and they weren’t the best quality. I couldn’t believe that people could produce such poor quality product for premium pricing.
This led me down the path of producing our own. So l sourced a manufacturing company and then there was a business in Perth called Ranger Billiards, so we bought that and changed the name to Champion Pool Tables. We exhibited in Spain in 2001 and there was a company from America with the same name. We didn’t want to have the same name as someone else and if their name was registered we could have got into trouble. So we changed the name to Quedos and registered it everywhere.
The name "Quedos" was came from combining the idea of cue games with "kudos", meaning acclaim or praise for exceptional achievement. And that is how we produce our product.
We had a vision to make quality product and not compete with the Chinese, we make the best product money can buy or the best for what people can afford. We have a Lifetime guarantee on our products and we don’t make promises we can’t keep. People appreciate that, we deal with the top Sports people, Doctors, Lawyers everyone and everyone appreciates the quality and that we keep our word on everything we produce.
AFA – How many tables do you produce a year?
Rob – We produce about 250 a year, they take about 6 to 10 weeks to produce depending on the type. The custom ones take a bit longer. They are my favourite as you can really create something special and it is very satisfying. We have about 27 designs, and back in the 90’s we only did about 7 or 8. It is about continuing to create and evolve.
AFA – Tell us about your staff and premises
Rob – We have about 5 staff in the back, l have a Business partner in the front and three part timers. The Front is a shop which is about 400sqm and has about 18 tables on display and the Factory out the back is 800 square metres and we have a shed for all the bits and pieces.
We have some new machines to manufacture with and we still have some of the old ones out the back too and they all work well. The newer machines do make things better but we have combined the old with the new.
My staff Oh l love them ,they are all great, some have been with me for over 20 years. They work hard, produce beautiful product and they are like family to me. They have all been here for so long we are not a 6am-3pm type of company they work the hours that fits in best with them. No one takes advantage and that’s the way we like it
AFA – Where do you source the product for your tables?
Rob – We try to use as much Australian product as humanly possible. We use a lot of local wood Jarrah, Black Butt, Marri, and we use a lot of Tasmanian woods as well.
AFA – Do you still sell to Pool Halls?
Rob – 99% is to private people all around Australia but we do maintenance for the pool halls that are still around.
AFA –How has the business changed over the years?
Rob – Consumers are the biggest change. Before they used to come in see a table and buy it, now they come they look, they go away, or they come in and ask for something specific and we have never seen them before. They do their research, they know a lot more, and they are savvier. They don’t need to leave the house if they don’t want to.
AFA- You mentioned Spain before do you export product?
Rob – “sighs” You know l could, there is potential to drive the business overseas, but it needs driving. I am happy with the business as it is as l have different priorities now.
AFA – What are they?
Rob – Family l love my Grandchildren, l missed my own kids growing up and l just adore the grandkids. I am not that old and l feel like l am 40, l keep fit by walking and exercising, l follow the Fremantle Doctors in the AFL and the grandkids wherever they are playing sport too.
I will tell you one other thing too, l love the AFA, l love what they are doing….Australia has the most talented people here. You go overseas, you see the products they produce and we do so much better. It is great to have a collective voice in the AFA because there are a lot of small operators. With everyone together we can be something. It is the way of getting all the furniture makers Australia wide together and Patrizia is doing a fantastic job
AFA – Wow thank you Rob it was great talking with you.
Visit www.quedos.com.au to find out more