March 17, 2022
Traditionally a single-brand distributor, Kemach Equipment has over the past year transformed into a multi-brand equipment solutions provider, thus providing customers with the convenience and efficiency they need by offering multiple products and services under one roof.
Following the end of its long-term dealership agreement with JCB in 2021, Kemach has adopted a multi brand strategy that has seen the company entering into distributorship agreements with several premium equipment manufacturers.
“We felt that by being linked to a single brand we were limited to a certain extent. There are several sectors of the South African economy which we couldn’t participate in. Previously, we were pretty much limited to the construction sector, and missed out on opportunities in the materials handling, mining and quarrying sectors, among others,”explains Les Lothian, CEO of Kemach Equipment.
The business realignment strategy was put in motion in March 2020 when, in partnership with Anhui HELI, Kemach introduced its Kemach Forklift range, giving the company a footprint into the lucrative materials handling market.
“The forklift business has performed beyond our expectations, especially given that we launched right before the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa. We have already sold over 300 units, with some leading blue-chip companies among some of our first customers,” says Lothian.
This was followed by a distributorship agreement with McCloskey International in October 2020, which gave Kemach the footprint in the mining, aggregates, construction and demolition, as well as recycling and infrastructure markets.
Kemach has already recorded remarkable success with the McCloskey offering, averaging a machine a month since taking over. The machine population is evenly spread across quarrying, mining and recycling applications.
“Adding McCloskey to our range of leading brands enhances our ability to satisfy the growing needs of our customers, while also creating the opportunity to strengthen our position as a total solutions provider to the markets we participate in,” he says.
In July 2021, Kemach took over the distributorship of the full range of BULL Backhoe Loaders in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini. Leveraging an existing wide Backhoe Loader customer base, Lothian is adamant that Kemach will be a player of substance in the Backhoe Loader market in South Africa, which sells about 1 200 to 1 300 units a year.
“We believe that with the addition of the BULL product to Kemach Equipment’s expanding world-class offerings, we have the ultimate earthmoving solution across all industries,” he says. “This is a robust product built on the right fundamentals. We will complement it with good support and an industry-first three year/4 000-hour wet drivetrain warranty as standard.”
The BULL deal was followed by yet another strategic distributorship agreement with BOMAG GmbH in August 2021, allowing Kemach to market and support the full range of BOMAG’s heavy and light machines in South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini.
“BOMAG is a huge win for us. It fits perfectly well with where the economy is going. Government has announced a massive infrastructure development programme and we are positioned to play a critical role in that,” he says. “BOMAG is also a big name in Landfill construction, and has had huge success in that market in the last couple of years with the previous dealer. Given South Africa’s waste problem, we believe we will play a significant role in that segment.”
In August 2021, Kemach Equipment signed a distributorship agreement to sell and support the full range of Liebherr Earthmoving Equipment in South Africa. The range includes Excavators (20 – 100 t), Wheel Loaders (10,4 – 25 t), Bulldozers (20 – 73 t) and a line of telehandlers.
On the construction side of things, Lothian says Liebherr offers a strong offering in the 20 – 30 t Excavator segment, which constitutes about 60% of the Excavator market in South Africa. The larger excavator range, together with the extensive Wheel Loader offering, also allows the company to compete at the larger end of the scale, complementing the McCloskey offering in the crushing and screening space. Lothian is also excited about the prospect of having a dozer range in the Kemach stable for the first time.
To complement its range of BULL and Liebherr tool carriers, Kemach has added the Torpedo range of hammers to its stable, effective September 2021. The range was previously distributed locally by Maximum Equipment, which remains a sub-dealer for Kemach in South Africa.
Lothian reiterates that Kemach is building its business around five different pillars – Kemach Forklifts (materials handling), McCloskey (crushing & screening), BULL backhoe loaders (construction), BOMAG (infrastructure development) and Liebherr, which gives the company a footprint in not only construction, but also the logistical handling of mining materials. All of these segments leverage each other, giving the business the much-needed balance.
Apart from diversification into different sectors of the economy, the multi-brand strategy also allows Kemach Equipment to offer a total solution to its customers, especially at a time when customers continue to chase the convenience that comes with dealing with a single provider for their different needs.
“In a crushing and screening application, for example, we are now able to offer a Crusher and a matching excavator to load it. At the backend, the customer may need a Wheel Loader to clean up whatever they are handling and to load material onto Trucks. Previously, we were not able to offer that full value chain, but now we can. We have also been very careful in selecting our OEM partners. All the products in our stable complement each other, are of the highest quality and offer true value for money,” concludes Lothian.
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