BI leverages synergies across Hudaco Group in ongoing diversification strategy

16 October 2019
Being part of the broader Hudaco Group allows Bearings International (BI) to leverage synergies across a broad range of companies, meaning it can offer a complete product basket at its extensive branch network countrywide.
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In order to maximise this leverage across diverse industries, 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 & Paper and Chemicals.

In addition to the BDL team, BI has appointed Victor Strobel as Offer Marketing Manager, reporting directly to BI Business Unit Head at the Parkhaven head office. Strobel has 33 years’ industry experience, consisting of three years on plant, 15 years in sales management, and 15 years in marketing and product management. Strobel oversees the Product Management team, with the main goal of consolidating the marketing efforts into profitable growth.

“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.

“BI is a house of world-class leading brands, and we are working closely with our suppliers and the larger Hudaco Group to penetrate new market segments and grow through innovative marketing initiatives.” Apart from its extensive branch network in South Africa, BI is also focusing on unlocking opportunities elsewhere on the continent.

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. Tier 1 automotive OEM applications, for example, are serviced from BI’s warehouse in Parkhaven, which also features a bonded store facility.

An example of BI’s diversification into ancillary products is adding electronic motor control solutions from Hudaco Group Company Varispeed to its extensive offering. Varispeed has just launched its VDrivePlus and AlphaDrive-Micro VSDs onto the market.

The AlphaDrive-Micro VSD from Varispeed is a compact frequency inverter ranging from 0.2 kW to 5.5 kW, and available in 240 V and 400 V. Together with the VDrivePlus, these VSDs offer the best performance-to-cost ratio on the market, without compromising on quality and reliability. “Due to the current economic environment, the market is very price-sensitive. Therefore, any energy-efficiencies or cost-savings we are able to offer is hugely beneficial,” Strobel notes.

Certified in accordance with the latest European standards and regulations, the Alpha Drive Micro and Micro Plus are ideally suited to most applications in the South African market, including mining, food and beverage, manufacturing, and agriculture.

The VDrivePlus from Varispeed is a much larger drive, ranging from 0.4 kW to 400 kW, available in 240 V and 400 V. This more advanced VSD features advanced motor control based on DSP technology, together with ‘smart’ auto-tuning. Additional features include flexible inverter control, dual high-resolution analogue inputs, and free mappable I/O channels.

The Varispeed VSD’s can be easily supplemented with the Bauer electric motor range from BI. With our range of cast iron and aluminium motors we are able to assist customers with a wide range of applications from 0.18 KW to 355KW 400V and 525/550V including pumps, conveyor belts, sanding machines, cooling towers, crushers and pedestal drilling machines, amongst others.  A huge advantage to End Users, and one of the best-selling features of the cast iron range, is that the feet are removable and interchangeable, making it a multi-mount Motor

“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,” Strobel comments.

“While the customer bases 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.

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About BI
BI is a member of the Hudaco Group. BI is a leading distributor of bearings and power transmission products in Southern Africa. 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. With over 60 years in the bearings and power transmission industry, BI puts its experience to good use by going great lengths to ensure their product range and services meet the changing needs of clients, industry and business. 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.

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