Despite record-low commodity prices and ongoing labour unrest, screening and vibration equipment specialist Aury Africa was able to increase its customer base by 15% in 2015.

Aury Africa MD Mark Houchin
Aury Africa MD Mark Houchin

Aury Africa MD Mark Houchin attributes this success to the fact that the company’s products feature the same high quality as the most well-known brands – at a more competitive price.

“Our value-added customer service is another major factor, as customers have peace-of-mind in knowing that they can make a call to us at any time, and receive helpful feedback within a matter of hours,” he says.

Houchin notes that maintaining existing customers is just as important as winning new ones. “Even though we have been proactively seeking new clients, we have successfully maintained our existing customer base by providing them with the same high level of service that they have come to expect, regardless of their size or the amount of time that they have been a client,” he continues.

The new client base that Aury Africa has built in 2015 is diverse, ranging from large multinationals, to small start-ups.

As times become more challenging, Houchin highlights the fact that operations are becoming more flexible in seeking the best deal, rather than simply staying with the same familiar supplier for convenience. “This has worked well in the favour of Aury Africa, which offers well-priced, high-quality products that are backed up by world-class after-sales service.”

Aury Africa provides the best innovative screening and vibrating equipment solutions and services to the African mining market
Aury Africa provides the best innovative screening and vibrating equipment solutions and services to the African mining market

Despite the rise in customer numbers, Houchin does admit that that sales volumes per customer are down. “There is minimal investment in new projects, and existing projects are economising by focusing more on maintenance and repair programmes, in order to save capital on purchasing new equipment.

“This trend is not only local but worldwide, especially considering China’s significant drop in demand for coal, following an economic slowdown in the region.”

Although Houchin anticipates 2016 to be another challenging year, he still remains optimistic about the future outlook.

“Aury Africa stocks a comprehensive range of spares and consumables, not only for our own range, but for that of our competitors too. It is this type of proactive attitude that has helped us to grow our customer base in the past year, and I am confident that we can maintain steady growth in 2016, even if market conditions are not entirely favourable,” he concludes.

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