Adding Zest to Product Supply in the Eastern Cape

Complacency is a very risky attribute for any business. The likelihood of future sustainability increases by actively researching the market and constantly seeking out new opportunities. The Zest WEG Group branch in Port Elizabeth is energetically growing its customer base in a number of market sectors within the Eastern Cape.

Branch manager at Zest WEG Group in Port Elizabeth, Karen Meyer, explains that while the company continues to supply a large number of motors to its traditional clients, the pursuit of new markets coupled with the introduction of an increasing range of quality products, is a current vision. “Zest WEG Group started a branch in Port Elizabeth after demand from local fan manufacturer Donkin increased. Logistically, it was easier to establish a permanent base in the Eastern Cape, rather than shipping product to our customer.

“In 2002 the branch opened its doors to provide low voltage motors and pad mount aluminium motors to the fan industry, pulp and paper industry and to rewinders, specifically in the Port Elizabeth environs. Today, we employ a sales engineer, two administration people, two storemen and a driver and we service the whole of the Eastern Cape up to Umtata,” says Meyer.

Meyer points out that demand from a previously untapped market – agriculture – is rapidly increasing and the company has supplied a number of motors into the Cradock area. “In addition to our entry into new industries, we have also expanded our product base. We currently supply a wide range of motors, switchgear and variable speed drives (VSDs), as well as generators in conjunction with our genset division.”

According to Meyer, a number of products are proving to be very popular with the local market. “Our cast iron WEG Premium Efficiency motors allow customers to save electricity and are very environmentally friendly. By adding a VSD, one can run them at capacity when required and then slow the motors down during off-peak times, thus decreasing running costs. The motor vehicle manufacturing industry, which has a large footprint in the Eastern Cape, is the ideal market due to their focus on saving energy.”

One of its longstanding customers is Donkin. According to Meyer, this Port Elizabeth based OEM is a loyal customer that sees the benefits of sourcing motors from a service driven customer-centric company such as Zest WEG Group.

“We recently received an order from Donkin for 200 motors to be delivered in the next few months,” says Meyer. Delivery of the motors is carefully planned and scheduled to dovetail with the OEM’s production schedule, and motors are often despatched daily to ensure optimum production efficiency for Donkin.

An order for seven 450 kW 400 Volt foot mount WEG motors was delivered to new customer, WK Construction. “The contract award was based on a number of factors, including the quality of the product as well as our ability to expedite a fast delivery time, coupled with a superior backup service. The motors are being used to drive pumps in a large water pumping station plant that WK Construction is building for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality,” adds Meyer.

Round-the-clock technical backup is available through either the branch or the company’s head office in Johannesburg. “We are able to cope with many of the customer’s requests at a branch level and when special modifications are required, we freight the motors overnight from Johannesburg for a rapid turnaround,” she says.

“We understand the impact that downtime has on our customers’ operations. For this reason, we carry a very large stockholding. With over R6 million invested in stock, we are able to react quickly to the needs of the market. We are committed to excellence, both in the products we supply as well as the turnkey solutions we are able to offer our clients,” Meyer continues.

“Our hands-on approach to finding the best product solutions for each customer has led to our penetration into a number of diverse markets. These include the tyre manufacturing, pharmaceutical and forestry sectors. In addition, we have seen growing acceptance for our products in the panel building industry. We will continue to find new and innovative ways of increasing our foothold in the region by guaranteeing a first class service profile,” Meyer concludes.

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