Cirlock founder Erik Larsen worked his last official day at Cirlock last month.
Erik happily entered into the world of retirement after a fantastic 22 years starting, building and growing the Cirlock organisation that we know today. Erik and the team at Cirlock had a celebration to mark this occasion, although little does Erik know that even though he has retired, the crew will still be contacting him for his technical knowledge occasionally!
Erik first invented the Cirlock System of Lockouts more than 22 years ago and that is literally how the business started. Erik explains where it all began: "I started the business when working as an electrical contractor for a NW Queensland mining company. They wanted to have lockout devices installed on their electrical switchboards. There was nothing suitable available so I decided to design a system myself. It worked! And from there was approved by the mine."
This original Cirlock Lockout System is still being made and sold by Cirlock, now with lots of other products within the range.
Erik continues about those early days: "I started in a garden shed (and at the kitchen table) in my spare time while working as a contract sparky in Mount Isa. After a while I quit my job and got a much larger shed workshop, which was needed when I started selling to many of QLD’s mining and wholesale companies."
The Cirlock range grew from strength to strength. Erik was always looking at new design ideas and says the, inventing of new products was something he always enjoyed the most. From the days at the kitchen table, Cirlock embarked on an exciting journey, growing from nothing, to selling Cirlock designed and made products Australia-wide and overseas.
One special highlight for Erik was when they decided to move the company to the Sunshine Coast in 2004.
"We purchased a commercial building in Kunda Park and shifted everything to there. It turned out to be a great move," Erik explained.
"The move triggered a massive increase in sales and we had become a ‘real’ company."
Another special thing for Erik is that Cirlock has become very much a family business, this has always been reflected in the high levels of customer service and the very genuine way they do business.
"I am proud to have both of our children and their partners involved in the business to continue it on," Erik said.
Reflecting on the last 22 years, he commented: "I will miss the excitement of developing new products, and also the satisfaction from winning jobs in the early days, knowing I designed, made, marketed and sold our own products was very satisfying. And I did it my way. Now it is time to enjoy the good life with my dear wife, play lots of golf, travel and enjoy good food and wine."