BI Offer Marketing Manager Victor Strobel says the mining sector is a key focus for the company

Being part of the Hudaco Group gives Bearings International (BI) the ability to increase its mining presence, both in the region and on the continent.

This is according to Offer Marketing Manager Victor Strobel, who has been appointed to the Product Management team, with the main goal of consolidating the company’s marketing efforts into profitable growth.

“BI currently has a low double-digit market share in the mining segment. However, we see the industry as a key target for BI going forward, and as such we have invested in a business development specialist for the segment earlier this year,” he says.

With more than 60 years in the bearings and power transmission industry, the company puts its experience to good use by going great lengths to ensure its product range and services meet the changing needs of clients, industry and business. Being part of the broader Hudaco Group, the company is also able to leverage synergies across a broad range of companies, meaning it can offer a complete product basket at its extensive branch network countrywide.

From bearings to variable speed drives (VSDs), motors, gearboxes, sprockets and chains, BI offers total solutions for a diverse range of customers, applications, and industries. With its customer-focused approach, BI is committed to delivering value to all its stakeholders, while offering quality solutions that make a real difference to optimising plant availability and turnaround time.

Backed by an elite technical team, BI covers the full spectrum of customer requirements, and is able to ensure immediate availability of products through a nationwide network of branches as well as promote regional and continental growth.

“For Southern Africa, we plan to appoint a dedicated person to focus on growing our businesses into Southern Africa early in the new year,” explains Strobel.

Meanwhile, Hudaco already has a presence in Kenya to serve East Africa and plan to expand the product offer there to include BI product ranges early next year as well.

New structure optimises service offering

In addition, BI has successfully implemented a new Business Development Leader (BDL) management structure, with a dedicated and focused approach to core market segments. These segments are mining, agriculture, sugar, OEMs, steel, FMCG, automotive, services and infrastructure, wholesale and retail, and Cement, pulp and paper and chemicals.

 “BI’s unique approach is to target existing and potential customers at grassroots level. The sales force will therefore service the daily customer requirements. The BDL team, on the other hand, will look specifically to nurturing co-operative relationships with all relevant internal and external stakeholders,” Strobel explains.

 “For BI, it is all about the breadth of our product offering, which extends far beyond our customers’ core focus. This is because we look at customer requirements holistically. It is also a great way to introduce our customer base to the larger Hudaco Group.”

Customer is still king

Despite its massive product offering, Strobel states that the BI is still keenly focused on ensuring that high customer service levels are still maintained. “The key to maintaining high customer levels with a host of different product offering is twofold. The first is to maintain good stock levels of all product offers, to have the right stock, at the right place, at the right time.

“The second is to continuously educate and train our staff on the products, their features and benefits and added value to the end user. To this end, we have introduced a digital Training Academy platform at BI, for all of our sales staff, whereby they can login and do online training on all of the products available in the branch network.

“While the customer bases throughout our network are different, there are definite synergies that we can tap into. It is all about positioning ourselves as a total solutions provider that is a single point of contact for all of our customer needs, as well as making them aware of everything else we are able to offer them.

"This is where BI’s focus on customer service and support is critical, as it is able to back-up all of the products it supplies with the necessary technical expertise and experience,” he concludes.