Pilot Crushtec International has been appointed sole Southern Africa distributor for Metso’s aggregates products and services. MQ had the privilege of talking to the management team about this exciting partnership.
The joint agreement which came into effect in early April this year, is recognised by both parties as the basis for an operational business model that will drive the marketing of Metso’s comprehensive range of rock processing equipment by a distributor with an industry reputation for service excellence and technical support.
From left: Eric Maricot, VP Southern Africa Metso; Adrian Wood, head of distribution AGG Business Line, Metso; Jarkko Leppänen, distribution business manager Southern Africa, Metso; Sandro Scherf, CEO Pilot Crushtec International; and Eric Bonin, GM AMET Distribution – Africa, Middle East & Turkey, Metso, at the signing of the joint agreement (courtesy Pilot Crushtec International).
“Our strategy has always been to find a partner for our mobile business, and with the termination of our agreement with Barloworld a couple of months ago, it was the right time to think about developing further and finding the right partner. At the same time, we wanted to expand the partnership,” Metso’s VP Southern Africa Eric Maricot explains. “Crushing and screening is a niche business and we needed an associate with the knowledge and experience that would provide us with an effective window into the market.”
“We’ll be marketing all aggregate-producing products within the Metso range, including static, tracked and wheeled crushers, scalpers and screens,” says Pilot Crushtec International’s CEO Sandro Scherf, adding that a benefit which will appeal to Pilot Modular customers is that Metso static crushers and screens will be specified as original equipment for this semi-mobile range of products.
“Our lives will get easier, we believe. Not that we will get complacent, but it makes life much easier with the customer not having to think about different brands. It’s all from one supplier, and we are able to offer a complete package.”
Inventory will be built up over time with Pilot Crushtec International having committed itself to a sizeable investment in terms of finished products and spare parts, and already addressing matters related to after-sales service. “One of the positive moves for us is that we have taken no fewer than 11 of Barloworld’s sales and support team, which means that from an after-sales care perspective, the operation has been up and running from day one. They are just carrying on, people are talking to them, orders are being placed and serviced; nothing has changed.”
Maricot agrees: “It is an easy integration process and we have been able to keep the flow and the process going. The timing has been perfect. When we looked for a partner, we wanted one that does crushing and screening with brilliant market support, and we believe we have found the perfect match.”
Photographed at the Pilot International Crushtec stand at the recent IQSA exhibition from left: Pilot Crushtec International CEO Sandro Scherf and Metso’s Jarkko Leppänen distribution manager (Southern Africa) (photo Dale Kelly).
Scherf believes that a combination of shared experience combined with a tried and tested methodology together with an enhanced service platform, will stand the partnership in good stead. “Yes, in legal terms it is a distributorship agreement but we see it as a partnership between two companies with the same core values.”
Jarkko Leppänen distribution manager (Southern Africa) for Metso says the installed base includes a very dynamic team. “There is experienced technical backup from the factory at Vereeniging with its repair workshop – a repair facility that knows what it is doing. It is part of the Metso group and not a sub-contractor, and technically no one knows more about crushing and screening than Metso.”
Leppänen, who has vast experience of the market in both Europe and Southern Africa, will be residing in SA for a significant part of the year, bringing specialist support from Metso in Finland. In addition, there is also the immediate benefit derived from Metso South Africa’s service hub which is also based in Jet Park.
“It is exciting that there is experienced technical backup from the factory at Vereeniging, and this will make our lives a lot less complicated. There are also legends like Metso’s Johnny Carvallo and Alan Fletcher, who although not working directly for us, are still part of that dynamic team. Metso is in our office!” he says. “Our association with Metso offers a wealth of opportunities to both partners as well as improving its product offering to customers operating modular plants. We have the best product, best concept and best support.”
“Like ourselves, Pilot Crushtec International has always kept its eye on the ball, remaining firmly committed to its core business. Now that we have the right partner, we have great business opportunities. A lot of boxes have been ticked off from day one and we believe our brand is in very good hands,” Maricot adds.