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EM poised to take advantage of renewed growth opportunities in 2018
28 November 2017
EM poised to take advantage of renewed growth opportunities in 2018

ElectroMechanica’s (EM’s) significant investment in its internal processes in 2017 will stand it in good stead to reap the benefits of renewed growth in the New Year, EM Sales and Marketing Director Richard Nobbs comments.

Describing 2017 as a year of “real development and structural change,” Nobbs says this provided an ideal opportunity for the leading supplier and distributor to focus on the company itself. In addition, EM established its new head office and distribution centre in Wynberg, Sandton, while its Cape Town branch also relocated to a new office.
“Hence we undertook a lot of internal work in 2017, setting us up for hopefully a spectacular 2018.” This includes a newly-restructured sales force to tackle Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg as a unified market.

“This means we now have a single sales structure throughout the country, redefining the roles of our traditional sales representatives as key account managers. Our new e-commerce website has now gone live after its test phase. This reflects the general trend towards online sales and marketing,” Nobbs highlights.

Another major achievement in 2017 was the launch of EM’s brand-new catalogue. “We are still riding the wave of that, meaning we will probably not do any massive product launches until the end of 2018. We launched a lot of new products this year, so next year we will focus on bedding these down, ensuring we do them justice before we look at any other launches.”

A definite focus for 2018 though will be EM’s new lighting division, which has been established to target the trend towards LED lighting and associated products. “We will be putting a lot of effort into this. The lighting industry is saturated, so we are concentrating on a niche that is in keeping with our tradition for high-quality products and competitive pricing,” Nobbs stresses.

On the product front, EM launched the Mercedes-Benz energy-storage unit in 2017, based on lithium-ion battery technology, which will be relaunched in the New Year in a revised version, Nobbs reveals. He explains that the main challenge with lithium-ion technology has been its live changeover capability, which is especially critical with unstable power grids. “We are relaunching this product with a lot more features for the local market.”

Nobbs points out that EM’s launch of the Socomec energy-metering product range in 2016 finally paid off in 2017, due to a general trend for increased energy-efficiency and reliability. “We have done really well in the metering space, largely due to the fact that Socomec represents a revolutionary design. It has been embraced extensively by the industry, and this year we reaped the rewards of all the hard work we have put into this product range.”

A significant coup for EM has been to get Socomec specified for the new Discovery Health head office in Sandton, Johannesburg, with close to 1 500 metering points. “We have also seen growth in the data centre segment, which has been a strong point for us this year, and I foresee it picking up in the year ahead.”

The key to the company’s ongoing success has been the successful relationships it has nurtured with both its customers and suppliers. “What we have undertaken in 2017 are a lot of the changes we have been dreaming about implementing over the last couple of years.” Nobbs concludes that future plans include opening more local branches, as well as a big push into Africa.

“We have been busy with our African strategy for the last two to three years now, as we want to ensure we have everything in place. Having said that, we have been dealing with our partners in Africa for the last 30 years. Our plan is ultimately to open up regional offices in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

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