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Grindex pumps distributor widens SADC network

JORDAN MARSH Having local service centres is key for efficient and effective pump repairs

DISTRIBUTION DEVELOPMENTS Integrated Pump Technology intends to establish new distributorships in Gabon, Angola, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya to sell and support the Grindex range

3rd February 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor

     

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Pumping applications solutions provider Integrated Pump Technology has been given the green light to distribute the submersible pumps range from Swedish pumps manufacturer Grindex in a further seven countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“Our sole distribution agreement with Grindex was extended for another five years in October. Initially, we sold the Grindex range in South Africa and neighbouring Southern Africa countries but will now distribute them to the entire SADC region,” says Integrated Pump Technology GM Jordan Marsh.

Integrated Pump Technology intends to establish new distributorships in Gabon, Angola, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Kenya to sell and support the Grindex range, which includes dewatering, sludge and slurry pumps – all submersible pumps to handle every aspect of mine pumping applications.

“This is completely new territory for us. Therefore, much of our effort is going into understanding the dynamics of these markets to determine if they are similar to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and whether there are any Grindex pumps in operation,” Marsh tells Mining Weekly.

He highlights that mining activity is increasing in the seven new countries added to Integrated Pump Technology’s distribution network, with the potential for the company to service gold mines in Tanzania and Kenya, diamond mines in Angola and manganese mines in Gabon.

Integrated Pump Technology has hired an African business development manager to identify potential distribution partners in these new countries.

“We prefer to work through local distributors because this gives us on-the-ground support, as well as access to service centres. Having local service centres is key for efficient and effective pump repairs and we like to ensure that our offering can service the products we sell,” he explains.

Thereby, the establishment of distributorships in these new markets will benefit mining operations by establishing after-sales support and accelerating turnaround, with Integrated Pump Technology essentially expecting distributors to stock “a fair amount” of fast-moving items.

However, Marsh admits that it is a challenge to find quality partners that are equipped to service the Grindex pumps range to the high standard required.

“There is nothing worse than having an incorrectly repaired pump delivered to a customer, as this could have a negative impact on the brand, as well as our customer’s productivity. It is important that we find the right people that are geared to represent us at the level we require.”

In addition to having a well-equipped service centre and staff who have a good understanding of the Grindex brand and can travel to site when needed, it is also critical for new distributors to be located in proximity to mining operations to allow for fast response and delivery times, he notes.

Mining companies based in Africa are mostly located in remote areas and value quality above cost – they want robust pumps that have a long operating life and reliable support to limit downtime, Marsh emphasises, highlighting that Grindex pumps offer a 30-month warranty.

If it is not possible for the company to appoint a suitable distributor, Integrated Pump Technology can still visit and support mines directly, adds Marsh.

Riding the Copperbelt Wave

In 2022, the company appointed new distributors for Zambia, the DRC and Namibia.

“It was important to secure distributors in Zambia and the DRC, owing to the rate at which the relevant mining sectors are expanding, especially on the back of growing copper demand for electric vehicles.

“When mining does well, we do well, especially in the Copperbelt. There are mines expanding at a rapid rate and there is significant investment in this region. Mines that were on care and maintenance have reopened and new mines are flourishing, and as these operations mine deeper, the demand for submersible pumps increases,” he elaborates, emphasising that Zambia and the DRC have some of the wettest mines in the world.

In-country distribution agreements are also vital to address the localisation requirements being emphasised by many African countries to support local business owners.

Locally owned engineering products supplier Integrated Engineering Services is Integrated Pump Technology’s official distributor in Zambia and has employed more technicians and sales representatives on the back of its partnership with Integrated Pump Technology.

To ensure above-average technical support, Integrated Pump Technology’s South African office has boosted its service centre capacity by adding technicians to its workforce and has tripled its spares stockholding to allow for quicker turnaround, and continues to upskill its local staff and distributors.

“Any distributor we appoint is afforded training at our expense. This ensures that we cultivate expertise at not only our South African office but also across our distribution network,” states Marsh.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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