In just three months as General Manager of Industrial Solutions at Coates, Kamaile Knight is already steering the company towards a bright future in servicing industrial customers and launching its rail maintenance offering, drawing on extensive experience in various industries.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to join Coates was because of the exciting growth prospects of its industrial solutions business,” she said.
“More specifically, from my rail experience servicing mining customers, I could see how Coates can leverage fleet and service expertise to benefit industrial customers and the rail industry, where I have come from.”
Starting her journey with a commerce degree from the University of Newcastle, Knight said while she didn’t really enjoy the accounting side of things, she loved understanding how businesses served customers, how they created their revenue, and what value they added.
This passion steered her from roles in finance at Stockford Ltd and Sparke Helmore Lawyers to more customer-centric roles in the rail sector.
Her 12 years in the industry saw her in various management roles at both ARTC and Pacific National Australia. This journey, encompassing everything from complex, long-term contracts to daily operational hurdles, paved the way for her subsequent chapter at Coates.
“Coates and rail share a longstanding connection, especially in construction, supporting diverse construction companies with a track record of proficiency and dependability,” Knight said.
Moving beyond construction, Knight said it was about safeguarding what has been built.
“After construction comes the maintenance phase,” she said, identifying a pivotal area where Coates can leverage its expertise, notably during significant maintenance shutdowns across various industries such as oil and gas, mining, power generation and rail.
“Shutdowns demand meticulous planning to ensure on-time commencement and completion. That keeps you operational,” Knight said.
“Some shutdowns span months, or in the case of substantial rebuilds, can last one to two years.
“Coates demonstrates its capability to adapt its services across various timelines and industry needs, ensuring assets are returned ready for operation, irrespective of project scale or duration.”
A belief in human connection shapes Knight’s leadership ethos.
“I deeply value people and their work experiences,” she said, exemplifying a leadership approach that prioritises team well-being and development while driving organisational objectives.
The upcoming AusRAIL PLUS event will shed light on Coates’ entry into rail maintenance. During the event, Coates will present its new maintenance equipment and display its capabilities in the industrial solutions space.