INDUSTRY SLOW-DOWN The mining and construction industries are under significant pressure
Filtration solutions provider Filter and Hose Solutions (FHS) states that its unique turnkey filter service kit system significantly reduces operational downtime in the mining and industrial sectors.
“FHS offers a fully customised service kit system for all forms of heavy earthmoving equipment,” emphasises FHS MD Reena Magan.
She explains that the company’s customised filter service kits are compiled using the manufacturers manual of each piece of equipment, as well as experience and best practice for certain machines where FHS has involvement with providing solutions for its customers on specific models of equipment.
The filter service kits house all necessary components – including filters, clamps, O-rings, seals, gaskets, V-belts and more – that a service mechanic would require to perform the air, fuel or oil filter maintenance on any piece of heavy earthmoving equipment. She states that companies need only supply the machine number and date of purchase of each piece of equipment, from which FHS is able to customise and stock a filter service solution, which ensures optimal uptime.
Magan further explains that FHS also deploys technical teams to site to ensure that kits are ideally suited to each piece of equipment. She mentions that this is critical as it allows FHS to further customise kits for equipment that have undergone unique modifications.
“When equipment has been modified in any way, the kits need to complement the modified components. As a result, the company’s technical team ensures that FHS develops a unique solution for individual clients to ideally suit the needs of their modified equipment.”
Magan stresses that the kits ensure greater operational uptime for clients, resulting in increased productivity and overall operational profitability.
Owing to the comprehensive kits, she says FHS clients need not concern themselves with stockpiling parts for the maintenance of their off-road vehicles. She also adds that clients need not spend unnecessary time sourcing a variety of different parts from suppliers, as all parts are supplied in a single kit as per the manual requirements of each piece of machinery.
“FHS is able to get its customised service kits to its clients quickly. This results in rapid filter maintenance turnaround times, money saved on unnecessary stockpiling of parts and optimal operational uptimes,” enthuses Magan.
She explains that companies interested in FHS’s filter kit solution, provide FHS with a comprehensive list of their equipment on site. From the supplied list, FHS will take between a week to two weeks to compile and stockpile service for all listed equipment for large customers who have an extensive plant list.
She further adds that FHS’s dedicated kit developer ensures that kits remain updated with the latest applicable components at all times.
“FHS’s comprehensive and unique filter service kit system is truly the company’s competitive advantage,” stresses Magan, earnestly highlighting that, “once FHS clients buy into this system, they just cannot go back.”
Industry in Limbo
Magan states that FHS noted a decline in demand for filter solutions within the mining and construction industries – which currently account for 75% of the company’s revenue – this year.
She attributes the decline in demand for filtration solutions within these sectors to a lack of investment into South Africa’s major local industries, which she states is being spurred by political and legislative uncertainty. She adds that, while FHS has been lucky enough not to lose any of its current business, it has struggled to grow its current client base.
“The mining and construction industries are under significant pressure. “New construction projects are not being undertaken and greenfield exploration in mining is all but dead,” laments Magan.
She states that FHS does not anticipate any change in the outlook for South Africa’s local industries before next years’ elections. She stresses that controversy and uncertainty within the local political and legislative environments are deterring investment, which is, in turn, stunting economic growth. She cites the controversial Mining Charter, the continually fluctuating rand/dollar exchange rate, as well as government’s dramatic reduction in construction spend as examples of concern for investors within the local economy.
“Until investors feel secure enough to renew investment in the country’s major industries – such as the mining and construction industries – we will not see South Africa’s economy grow.”
Diversification & Expansion Strategy
Owing to decreased local demand for filtration solutions, FHS is undertaking a diversification strategy that will see the company expand its footprint into Africa and diversify its product range to cater to the industrial filtration market.
Magan explains that, in order to bolster FHS’s operations from South Africa’s recent economic slowdown, the company has developed a comprehensive Africa expansion strategy. The strategy will focus on expanding FHS’s current filtration offerings into Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. She states that FHS has identified these areas as having shown significant growth within mining and construction and the company hopes to tap into increased demand in these regions.
“FHS specifically hopes to cater to the overwhelming demand for filtration related technical services, within these areas,” she explains, adding that FHS hopes to be a well-established technical services and filtration solutions provider in these areas within the next three to five years.
Further, she adds that the company has also enhanced its in-house industrial filtration capabilities in order to satisfy demand in the local industrial filtration space.
She concludes that the aim of the company’s industry diversification and expansion efforts are to move away from the struggling local mining and construction sectors.