Africa|Bearings International|Business|Components|Industrial|Mining|Power|Services|Products|Solutions|Bearings
Africa|Bearings International|Business|Components|Industrial|Mining|Power|Services|Products|Solutions|Bearings

Bearings International forms partnerships with manufacturers to drive targeted marketing

13th February 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online


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Bearings and power transmission supplier Bearings International (BI) has embarked on a new targeted marketing strategy that involves partnerships with major global manufacturers it distributes products for in South Africa.

The marketing strategy is being rolled out across BI’s 43 branches countrywide, with various sales personnel being trained to improve their technical product know-how.

The company has started with mining as an initial segment of focus, with more segments such as fast-moving consumer goods, sugar and agriculture to follow.

Among the first of these strategic partnerships with manufacturers is with German bearings group Schaeffler, which has long been one of the biggest brands in BI’s stable.

“As one of the leading go-to-market Schaeffler partners, we want to join hands with Schaeffler in selecting those customers that can benefit from our value-add. Ultimately, we want to help customers identify their needs in more detail, and predict and reduce downtime with technical solutions and services, not just products,” explains BI business unit leader bearings and seals Marchant Taylor, adding that BI’s ethos is for customers’ key assets to remain in motion.

In the mining segment, in particular, Taylor says, there is much opportunity for meeting more customer needs and to a more detailed level. “With this targeted approach, we can better help customers understand what they need and how we can cater accordingly,” he notes.

The mining industry has especially robust demands from components such as bearings, which can make or break a processing line.

Taylor mentions that, although the company has set itself an internal goal to increase sales by a certain margin, the ultimate goal is to enhance relationships with customers.

BI product management GM Robert Sillis highlights that BI continuously strives to facilitate the uptime of its industrial customers by supplying and servicing high-quality interconnected mechanical components with expert technical advisers and a local personal touch.

“Any company can supply a product, but it is about having the right know-how, expertise, so that customers trust you to help them solve their challenges.

In BI’s case, as global manufacturers often do not have a large physical presence in the country, BI has, therefore, evolved to become much more than a products distributor.

BI has always remained focused on its core portfolio, it has built up knowledge, skills and expertise that are invaluable to an industry such as mining, particularly in a country that faces many threats to machinery and uptime, including during loadshedding.

"We’re on the move, helping our customers to remain in constant motion because when their motion stops, their profitability stops. A key part of this is working closely with our strategic partners like Schaeffler to add real value to customers."

BI channel sales GM Charmaine Beukes says the targeted marketing approach has already benefited staff members in that it allows for more confidence in their sales approach and dealing with customer queries.

In turn, customers are receiving more detailed and nuanced information to solve problems at their plants.

BI segment sales, contracts & end users GM Christian Chipamaunga adds that more of the business verticals within BI are collaborating on sales and marketing matters, as well as on upskilling endeavours.

This is enhancing employee morale and sales planning within the organisation.

“Increased engagement between strategic partners such as manufacturers and distributors can only bode well for customers and build stronger relationships in the industry,” Chipamaunga states.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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