BI has a range of products applicable to the agricultural industry which remains an important growth area
Food production security is of utmost importance, especially given how harsh and dynamic an environment the South African agricultural industry operates in at present. Leading supplier Bearings International (BI) continues to record good growth in this sector, thanks to its wide range of applicable products.
Therefore the company has appointed an industry specialist to look after this market in particular. “We believe that, with additional focus, we can add further value. With this in mind, we will continue with development here in order for us to be able to meet the specific needs of this market sector,” BI Business Unit Head Ross Trevelyan comments.
The company has aligned itself with leading global suppliers. “All the products we offer underscore our promise of having the right product at the right price for every application in the agricultural industry. We do not compromise on quality, in recognition of the fact that downtime due to component failure is costly,” Trevelyan explains.
Some of the leading brands supplied by BI here are KML, FAG, and Koyo bearings, Opti and Continental V-belts, Bauer electric motors, Motodrive worm gearboxes, TR inline gearboxes, Dodge gearboxes, ABES seals in various sizes, Rocol specialised lubricants, and Kobo chains.
BI-branded products include PTO shafts and chain. A range of special sprockets and pulleys is also available, in addition to Citronol hand cleaners and degreasers, and Loctite adhesives and sealants. Tool ranges on offer include Jonnesway hand tools and Makita power tools.
Trevelyan highlights that BI has a good relationship with the farming community, largely through industry initiatives such as its longstanding association with Grain SA’s NAMPO Harvest Day in Bothaville in the Free State.
“BI is proud to be a part of NAMPO, and will continue to do so. NAMPO gives us a unique opportunity to interact with our customers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and end users from all over South Africa, to share technical insight, and to showcase our specific products for this market sector.”
An important aspect of BI’s product offering is having the necessary stock on hand at all times. “We are being proactive in our planning to get the correct stock, at the correct place, at the correct time, and at the right price in order to be able to service our customers.” Trevelyan stresses that BI’s underlying philosophy in this regard is based on ‘being there and making it work’. “We are a solutions partner with our customers.”
Trevelyan stresses: “Agricultural customers are always under huge time pressure due to the seasonal constraints of the industry. We believe our customers need a service provider that will not only have the right spares available whenever necessary, but which can also assist with any technical aspects of our products.”
Another critical element is ongoing research and development into its customers’ diverse needs and requirements. For example, BI has improved the sealing design of its hub bearings by means of zinc plating for corrosion protection, which extends the service life. A new hub unit has also been designed specifically for furrow openers on planters, which is expected on the market shortly, Trevelyan reveals.
BI is also working with its suppliers to develop new products to help combat common industry problems. “It is for these reasons that we have such good relations with farmers,” Trevelyan notes. Not only does it satisfy market needs and keep abreast of industry trends, it also provides ongoing training for personnel.
“We strive to have close relationships with our customers in order to better understand their needs and challenges. These relationships have been cemented by our annual involvement with representative events organisations such as Grain SA and the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association (SASTA),” Trevelyan highlights.
In addition, BI showcases its extensive product portfolio at farmers’ unions, which also provide an invaluable opportunity for networking with customers and providing technical advice and assistance where needed. It also has a strong regional presence, supplying its products and services as far afield as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, and Zambia, among others.
“Planning in this market is a challenge, but we monitor and update our planning continuously in order to remain proactive. We are putting huge resources and effort into this sector as we strive to be the preferred supplier to the farming community,” Trevelyan concludes.
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About Bearings International
Bearings International (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 58 years in the bearings 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.