Bringing the automotive aftermarket & truck and bus sectors to southern Africa

Bringing the automotive aftermarket & truck and bus sectors to southern Africa

  With just over a month to go, we are excited to bring you some of the latest updates in the build-up to Automechanika Johannesburg and its co-located events Futuroad and Scalex Expo. Taking place at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, from 18-21 September 2019, this year promises to be bigger than ever before with a host of new event features. Expect over 15 industry focused conferences, over 600 exhibitors from 28 different countries, the latest in aftermarket technologies, new product launches and an all new truck demo area.  As the ideal platform for industry innovations,  these events are a “must -attend” for all those involved in the local motor industry. A variety of companies will be launching new products into the African market at the Automechanika and Futuroad Expos. This includes Bosch, who will be launching their DCI 700 Test Bench and their KTS 250 tester for mobile and quick ECU diagnoses. Also expect launches form UD, Volvo, Tata and many more. Be the first to witness the latest products and technologies. Watch this space for the full launch schedule. Most importantly, registration is FREE. www.automechanikasa.co.za | www.futuroad.co.za | www.scalex.co.za If you haven’t already registered, you can do so online here >> https://bit.ly/2VbvHHo...
Innovation keeps Serco on a roll!

Innovation keeps Serco on a roll!

  Leading truck and trailer building company Serco has seen the first part of 2019 face tough economic challenges and now with the elections out of the way, business trends are improving and this improvement will continue to the end of the year. This is according to Serco’s managing director Clinton Holcroft, who says among key issues for the impressive performance are the heightened focus on in-house quality checks and training to improve processes and discipline in the workforce. Added to this, Serco had invested substantially in machinery and equipment to keep the company abreast with new trends and to meet – and sometimes beat – global standards.  “I also attribute a large part of our success to the company’s innovative Protec Steel refrigerated trailers,” said Holcroft. “People in the industry continue to be impressed with the finish of the coated steel panels and they also like the rice grain aluminium floor.  Other features include fully welded aluminium scuffs which create a durable, waterproof and high strength structure, and new door seals made of an extended rubber material, providing an excellent thermal bridge preventing the leakage of cold air.’ He cautioned that trading conditions remained challenging but felt optimism was growing as a result of improvements in the political arena which were helping economic growth. Among the biggest challenges currently was that due to the stagnant market there was a high level of competition making it more difficult to reach targets. Holcroft said the volatility of the rand and the slow economy had impacted on business. “Serco does source some components from overseas and the volatile rand makes it...
Kanu gets colourful on Mandela Day

Kanu gets colourful on Mandela Day

  On Mandela Day last week, employees at Kanu Commercial Body Builders rolled up their sleeves – not for their usual day job which is to design and build truck bodies, but to pack 500 gift parcels for the underprivileged aged in Port Elizabeth.  Kanu leadership leveraged this opportunity for team-building and divided the workforce, which included on-site contractors, into the five national flag colours. Each group was colour-coded and formed a production line with 25 people per line, competing to see who would finish packing their gift bags within the set time of 67 minutes. The packs included various toiletries, sweets and snacks. Mike Pienaar, Kanu Chief Executive Officer, said the teams took their task seriously and were very competitive throughout the initiative. “It was pleasing to observe the excitement and camaraderie among employees and the willingness to support the good cause,” said Pienaar.  The Mandela Day programme is part of a few community projects which Kanu has embarked on. “In line with Kanu’s philosophy, to deliver sustainable solutions to the logistics industry, we aim to make an impactful difference in the community,” Pienaar added. The Mandela Day packs filled a truck and three bakkies which employees delivered today and will continue during the course of next week. “We will distribute these items in support of the neediest of the senior citizens living in the Nelson Mandela,” said Pienaar. Kanu was established in 2015 to create extended value to commercial vehicle customers. From concept to final product, Kanu has a solution for any business. Each body is custom made and designed to meet the specific needs of the...
The N3 hell run is emblematic of a culture and policing failure

The N3 hell run is emblematic of a culture and policing failure

  A recent press article in a national news portal again highlighted the problems caused by poor driving by truckers on the N3. The author called it a hell run and pointed out that, while other road users are also at fault, truckers are a significant problem on that stretch of freeway. The author notes many incidences of bad driving from a variety of road users. Tailgating, dangerous overtaking, speeding, weaving, weaving on solid lines, slow trucks three abreast, and failure to indicate. They’re all symptomatic of problem almost epidemic to South Africa: poor policing and a culture of bad driving. Policing is one part of the problem and not just by the relevant road authorities. Referring to telematics and other technologies that help fleet operators monitor vehicles and drivers, the author asks, “Please will truck owners ensure their drivers behave?” It’s a fair point. We have the usual telematics that most people know about and we use sophisticated back-end IT platforms to help us analyse and report on it. It’s standard fare to tell whether a driver is braking harshly, tailgating, weaving heavily, drowsy or falling asleep, or any of many other potential problems. They also conduct all the training that’s required by law and even some that’s not. They have regular evaluation programmes, insist on processes governing every single trip by every single driver. We’re ISO-certified, enforce 10-minute rest periods every two hours and 30-minute sleep breaks every four hours, don’t allow driving between 23:00pm and 04:00am because that’s a high-risk period. That policy has a huge impact on revenues but is absolutely necessary. We conduct behavioural...
Dachser South Africa perfects the art of picking and packing

Dachser South Africa perfects the art of picking and packing

  As a fundamental part of the supply chain, picking and packing is fast growing into a sophisticated, intelligent process. This is due to client demands that necessitate logistics companies in having detailed understanding of complex product specificities and requirements when storing and moving these goods across geographical distances. Managing Director of Dachser South Africa, Detlev Duve, says of this trend. “Logistics companies have become an extension of the client’s operations in terms of having specialist knowledge of the product and ensuring that delivery capabilities meet the client’s supply chain requirements. Many times, clients need tailor-made solutions which means that the logistics company’s warehousing capabilities, internal processes and technological platforms should be able to support diverse requirements. Situating staff onsite who have in-depth knowledge of the products is often a necessity, most critically with products that are sensitive to climate and movement.” Picking and packing is a surprisingly complex task. As an example, Duve points to one of Dachser South Africa’s long-standing clients, a supplier of medical equipment. Rigorous logistics management must ensure that their products reach medical rooms, hospitals and clinics in the perfect condition, and at the right time, in both urban centres and rural areas. This includes products from basic syringes to specialist cardiopulmonary equipment and patient monitoring systems. Dachser South Africa provides expert onsite knowledge at its warehouse where certain medical products must be correctly calibrated while in storage. In fact, says, Duve, Dachser teams’ partner with several of the medical equipment supplier’s staff who have been seconded to the Dachser warehouse.  “Having client employees operating in the warehouse illustrates how closely Dachser South Africa works...
Customer-centricity hits the tyre industry

Customer-centricity hits the tyre industry

  Tyre manufacturers have to become more customer-centric in order to survive. Doing so will require massive investment—and new ways of doing business. By Dries Lottering, Manufacturing Renewal Executive, Bridgestone South Africa “Digital transformation” is one of the most used buzzwords in business today—quite rightly, in my view, though its exact significance changes from industry to industry, and even from company to company. Two forces are driving the dynamics of digital transformation. One is that the advent of the Digital Age has created new expectations amongst consumers while giving them more power via social media and access to information. The other is that digitalisation allows companies to work smarter and to service their customers more accurately. These two forces impact each other: as businesses get smarter, so consumer expectations rise—ad infinitum, presumably. Today’s business mantra is, as always, the customer is always right but the transparency enabled by a digital world makes it much more urgent than ever it was. Financial services companies and retailers are in the frontline of this business revolution, but the pressure to become more customer-centric is now being felt even in tyre manufacturing. It will prompt change on a large scale, and could ultimately lead to a complete realignment of the industry. What does customer-centricity actually mean when it comes to tyre manufacturing? In essence, tyre manufacturers have two sets of customers: the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who design and manufacture the vehicles on which the tyres are to be fitted, and the end-users, who purchase the vehicles. The vehicle OEMs are under the same pressure as everybody else to improve current offerings. Better...