To support the growing complement of its machines operating in the mining area of Rustenburg, SANY Southern Africa has officially commissioned a fully-fledged branch that will provide field service and parts support to customers operating in the area.
The new branch forms part of SANY’s newly adopted strategy to go to market directly, confirms Thabile Dube, key accounts executive at SANY South Africa. The opening of the Rustenburg facility follows hard on the heels of the commissioning of the Middleburg branch late last year.
Samuel Zhang, GM of SANY Southern Africa, tells Quarrying Africa that the decision to invest in a new branch in Rustenburg was necessitated by the growing population of SANY machines in the aera. “Rustenburg is such a strategic market for us with close to 100 SANY machines actively operating in the area. The new branch allows us to respond to service requirements timeously,” says Zhang.
As part of its strategy to further grow its aftermarket capacity, SANY will open branches in all major cities across South Africa. Dube confirms that the company has a target to open two more branches, in Richards Bay and Durban, in a year’s time. In total, SANY envisages a network of nine branches in South Africa within the next few years.
Apart from branches, SANY has committed a big investment in a new 12 000 m² parts warehouse. Strategically located along the R21 in Boksburg, the new world-class facility will triple SANY’s current parts stockholding.
“We currently hold R90-million worth of spare parts in our existing facility. With the new warehouse, our target is to expand the value of our spare parts stockholding to about R300-million within a year,” says Dube.
“We understand the importance of parts availability for our customers, which is why we are committing to this big investment,” says Zhang. “With this new facility, we will be able to achieve a 98% local parts availability.”
In addition, SANY has committed a further R300-million to the development of its new regional headquarters in Boksburg. Construction will start in the third quarter of this year, with completion expected by the end of 2024.
“These investments are informed by our drive for customer satisfaction and to advancing the reputation of the brand in southern Africa, which is important for us. The huge capital investments also exhibit our long-term commitment to the local market,” says Zhang.
Over the years, SANY has become a force to be reckoned with in the global construction and mining equipment market. To provide context, the company ranks among the top five largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world, according to KHL Group’s Yellow Table 2023. In addition, the company held a sizeable 16% of the global excavator market in 2020/21.
A distinct focus on quality improvement has over the years yielded massive growth for the brand in southern Africa. To support the growing number of machines in the market, the company continues to invest in its aftermarket support.
“Over the years, we have focused our efforts on the quality of the product, which has improved immensely. In order to compete with other established names, we see the need to provide comparable service and support, and that starts with investments in branch and parts infrastructure,” says Zhang.
Zhang says that service ahead of product is not a new concept, but as the industry continues to develop and customers become more sophisticated, aftermarket support is gaining more focus and importance.
Zhang adds that the support for mission-critical equipment has never been more important as customers seek to maximise availability and ultimately productivity. Efficiency, he says, is of paramount importance, and this requires the right support at the right time and with a realistic value.
“SANY’s continued investments in aftermarket support are informed by our understanding that customers place so much emphasis on speed of service and machine uptime. A short reaction time for service support is key to minimising downtime. It is important to have the correct parts or components available to ensure machine repairs are executed timeously,” says Zhang.
A machine sale, says Dube, is one thing, and being able to provide support after the sale, is quite another. Based on this understanding, Dube says SANY does not leave anything to chance as far as its aftermarket capabilities are concerned.
“To be able to execute a proper aftermarket strategy, a fundamental pre-requisite is to have the infrastructure that allows us to respond to any service needs timeously, hence our focus on new branches and the new parts warehouse,” concludes Dube.