The continued quality of German products has allowed Boksburg-based capital equipment and consumables provider Elquip Solutions to thrive in a challenging local market.
According to Elquip Solutions MD Mike Cronin, the resounding quality of the German-made electrical, automation and mechanical products, systems and solutions, which Elquip supplies, has led local customers to opt for better-quality solutions instead of cheaper, more inferior options.
“The large South African customer appetite for German products remains prominent, as by default, Germany is synonymous with engineering and industrial quality and ensures that the products purchased, and the investments these represent, can last for many years.”
Cronin notes that Elquip Solutions, which supplies premium and affordable brands across several industries, including the tube and pipe industry, solar power projects, as well as the automotive and mining industries, remains a stalwart in the South African market. He advises that customers repeatedly find that the production savings and return-on-investment enabled by the durability and functioning of the product often overshadows the initial investment cost.
“We regularly have to convince customers to invest in the more expensive German products, but once the customers experience the longevity of the product, they continue to purchase the same brand, in line with the initial, quality investment.”
Cronin notes that a stalwart in the company’s parts distribution portfolio remains the Hoffmann catalogue, which offers about 65 000 tools and products, ranging from cutting, clamping and hand tools, measuring instruments and machining to storage solutions and workshop accessories.
“We were extremely proud and excited when Hoffmann chose Elquip to distribute its tools to the South African market. The agreement substantially enhances our offering to customers who seek a top-quality product, which combines efficiency and affordability,” he adds.
The catalogue offers a choice of premium, recognised and industry quality brands, along with subsequently adapted prices to fit customers’ specific budgets.
“Whether a customer is looking for a premium brand, such as Hoffmann’s in-house brand Garant, a recognised brand, such as Japanese measuring instruments and metrological technology Mitutoyo, American clamping and cutting technology Bessey, German-made hand tools for automotive, industrial and aerospace toolmaker Stahlwille or Hoffmann’s industry quality brand Holex, Hoffmann provides the solution for literally any requirement or budget,” Cronin explains.
He adds that, while European suppliers in the Hoffmann catalogue have not increased their prices, the exchange rate remains challenging for customers to whom Elquip supplies.
“The rate of exchange has influenced Elquip to adjust prices and, unfortunately, if an important spare part is needed, companies have to ‘bite the bullet’. The fact of the matter is that the exceptional quality remains.”
Engaging closely with customers enables the company to provide the best advice regarding custom solutions, as Elquip discusses the application with their suppliers to understand the entire scope of the operation.
“We are frequently approached by our customers with a variety of industry applications, scenarios and challenges. Drawing on our portfolio of suppliers’ products and technology – together with our local knowledge and unique understanding of the customer and their requirements - we are able to come up with a solution for our customers every time,” Cronin concludes.