Industry associations offer innovative opportunities for precast manufacturers

23rd November 2018 By: Shannon de Ryhove - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Polity & Multimedia

Leading construction materials company AfriSam, who has been producing quality construction materials for over 80 years, strongly believes that industry bodies, such as the Concrete Manufacturers Association (CMA), have the opportunity to build the knowledge base and positively contribute towards the inclusivity of the industry. Aligned to AfriSam’s own vision of “creating a positive African future” the company highlights the responsibility of industry bodies to develop and upskill industry members.

To this effect, AfriSam strongly recommends that concrete manufacturers join industry associations to share in the industry’s knowledge base and ensure that quality products enter the market. The cement supplier is a proud producer member of the CMA.

“AfriSam keenly recognises the need for industry associations such as the CMA, which offers members several benefits including marketing and quality awareness campaigns, which can be quite an onerous task for individual companies to tackle alone,” says AfriSam Centre of Product Excellence head Mike McDonald.

Availability of high-quality products for new construction projects is critical and the CMA plays a vital role in ensuring that industry standards are upheld. The CMA’s new Certification Services mark of approval for specific precast concrete products offers a cost-effective quality accreditation system.

“AfriSam encourages and supports high standards in the industry,” McDonald emphasises.

End-users should insist on high-quality product manufacturers who have high in-house standards and understand the process to successfully manage waste reduction and losses.

McDonald believes that a significant benefit afforded to members of industry bodies is the knowledge-sharing of best practices. “It provides members, which often work in isolation, with the opportunity to come together and belong to a body that provides them with access to information, resources and to technical expertise from not only the association itself, but also from other companies in the same field through networking. I think that’s one of the key aspects.”

It is also a forum through which companies are alerted about the key issues that affect their business and can bring these forward to the industry association which, collectively, can lobby the relevant parties with a unified voice.

Precast Market Sector

McDonald points out the importance of the precast market sector for AfriSam as a cement producer, with the company offering a value-added service through its Centre of Product Excellence, which provides technical excellence, top quality-products and continuous innovation in cement and cementitious products.

“We develop specific products for, and partner with, companies in the precast market to ensure they benefit from improved, optimal manufacturing processes.

“Our product development team in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, work closely with clients to develop and test products to suit particular specifications and applications,” he says.

He adds that it is during the times of increased economic pressure that many small and medium-sized enterprises can fully optimise their processes. “Several cost-saving opportunities arise during an economic downturn ¾ you just need to find the opportunity through innovative thinking,” McDonald states.