The Lombardi Group is a consulting company for engineering services specialising in assisting on large projects from their initial design phases to their operation. Founded in 1955 in Switzerland, the group has since expanded to 15 offices in 11 countries, employing more than 700 technically qualified staff.
The company is specialised in transport infrastructures and hydraulic works, and has designed projects such as the St. Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, the extension on the Marseille metro in France, the Machu Picchu Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Lyon-Turin Railway base tunnel and the hypothetical Gibraltar Tunnel linking Africa and Europe through Morocco and Spain.
Lombardi Australia is the Australian branch of the Lombardi Group. It was established to support the delivery of the Snowy 2.0 project.
Company Size200+ employees
SpecialtiesHydropower & Water Engineering, Underground Works, Electromechanics, Project Management & Supervision, Geotechnics, Special Studies
About The Project
The Lombardi Group was appointed as the tunneling design project manager on the Snowy 2.0 Project under the Future Generation Joint Venture (“FGJV”) contract.
As part of this arrangement, Lombardi is providing preliminary & detailed design as well as technical assistance during the construction phase of the project.
The Snowy 2.0 project is set to be one of Australia’s largest Hydro projects.
"The Polyglot team put us at ease, constantly going above and beyond to provide a tailored solution for us. We're so thankful for their support, enabling us to concentrate on our core business." - Boris Martella, Finance & Administration Manager
In order to fulfill their contractual obligations to bring the Snowy 2.0 project to life, it was critical that Lombardi build a local technical team as well as create a legal entity in order to provide their services on the ground.
Whilst it was decided that their HQ would deliver the majority of the project, Lombardi still needed a team on the ground that was capable of providing technical assistance, as well as act as the client liaison (i.e. ensuring designs developed by Lombardi Switzerland meet FGJV specification on the ground).
As large Hydro projects are still few and far between in Australia, the talent pool of experts remains limited. In this case, the challenge was even greater as the project is based in rural NSW, making it even harder to identify staff who were willing to relocate.
As is to be expected, finding adequate talent & building a team from scratch, as well as ensuring compliance across HR & Payroll laws in a foreign country is not the easiest of tasks. That’s where Polyglot Group came in.
Setup Entity & Crucial Financial Processes
In order to help Lombardi build a team and provide their consulting services locally, we assisted them with the registration of their Australian branch with the Australian Securities and Investments commission (ASIC) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
To ensure Lombardi’s smooth expansion & ongoing operations, we have also been providing them with our full suite of corporate services from the get-go, including Accounting & Reporting, Tax Compliance, Public Officer, ASIC local Agent and Registered Office services.
Having also discussed Lombardi’s accounting reporting requirements with their HQ, we made a point of tailoring their local Australian accounts to smoothen reporting to the Group for consolidation purposes.
We also continue to assist the company with its GST obligations, and on an annual basis, take care of the preparation and lodgement of their annual corporate income tax return and the lodgement of their financial statements with ASIC.
Finally, when required, we also provide ad-hoc language solution services for the translation of relevant documentation from overseas.
Acquired & Mobilised Top Talent
As Lombardi was starting from scratch in a new market, they needed to mobilise some of their key personnel from their headquarters in Switzerland to ease training and knowledge sharing during the setup process.
We enabled them to do so by taking on their full immigration & visa processing management, helping them secure 400 & 482 visas for both long-term & short-term project staff.
It was also crucial for Lombardi to acquire niche talent to build their local expertise. Since the talent pool for Hydro specialists remains limited in Australia, our team had to source profiles through targeted headhunting.
This saw our Sydney team working closely with Lombardi’s team in Switzerland to successfully recruit their lead Civil and Geotechnical Engineers to work on site. The team was able to recruit the right talent within a short deadline thanks to proactive market mapping and ongoing relationship building with potential passive candidates.
Setup Strong HR Foundations & Ensured Compliance
On the Payroll side, we have helped Lombardi deal with its expatriate employees’ payroll-related matters, as well as manage its benefits and the tax implications of maintaining an on-going, compliant payroll. We also take care of any local lodgements and payments such as single touch payroll & PAYG withholding, superannuation, payroll tax and workers compensation, all on their behalf.
On the HR front, as with most other construction / engineering projects, Lombardi’s employees are classified under several different Fair Work Awards, which mandates different pay schedules for salary and superannuation, amongst other things.
Consequently, to ensure all of Lombardi’s staff were paid correctly and compliantly from the get-go, we completed Modern Award determinations for all employee categories. In that same vein, we also organised salary surveys to ensure Lombardi was offering competitive packages to attract top talent for all of their projects moving forward.
To set Lombardi up for success, our team of experts also put in place all necessary crucial documents and processes needed to run the business locally. This included drafting individual employment contracts, as well as creating contract templates for them to use moving forward. As their work is project based, we also drafted and organised fixed-term contracts to facilitate staff transitions upon project completion.
Finally, to protect Lombardi and provide employees with clear guidance, we also drafted all of their crucial policies covering a range of topics including but not limited to Anti-Discrimination, Performance & Misconduct, Complaints & Grievances, etc. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also drafted working from home policies in record time, enabling Lombardi to be responsive and best support their staff at a time of crisis.
Thanks to Polyglot Group, Lombardi was able to set-up their business operations in Australia with ease, and ensure a smooth market entry. With our initial guidance during the registration process of their Australian branch, we enabled the Lombardi team to better understand and navigate local challenges in a seamless manner.
By setting up Lombardi’s crucial HR infrastructure from the get-go, the team can rest assured that they remain compliant, ensuring trouble free operations. This has naturally given them the ability to focus on their core strengths and project deliverables.
Finally, when it came to building a local team, not only did we enable Lombardi to mobilise key international staff, we also helped them secure multiple local senior Australian talents to set them up for success.
Today, we continue to provide Lombardi with ongoing HR support, serving as a helpline for their local managers and employees. We also continue to partner with them for all of their Payroll and talent needs, providing them prompt results, and keeping communication lines open at all times.