BI’s extensive network of thirteen suppliers, which include the three premium brand partners, I-MAK (gearboxes), JTEKT–Koyo (automotive and industrial bearings), Schaeffler (automotive, industrial and linear bearings and solutions) and ABB (gearboxes), provide access to premium products and technologies tailored to each industry’s specific needs.

These strategic global suppliers serve as catalysts for innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the respective segments. Close collaboration with supplier partners is therefore a cornerstone of BI’s segment strategy. This enables BI to develop customised solutions built around its core product lines: drive systems, torque transfer, bearings and seals and allied products, which are all supported by professional field services. 

Four primary focus areas

Says Christian Chipamaunga, GM End-User Markets, “The shared common goal across the BI segments is to provide a comprehensive end-to-end value offering derived from key customer insights and knowledge. Understanding customers intimately and having in-depth knowledge of the segments, ie, Mining, Automotive, Industry, Agriculture, FMCG, Cement, Pharmaceuticals and Pulp & Paper.” 

BI has identified Mining, Automotive, Agriculture and FMCG as four primary segments as they are considered as key drivers to the economies in South Africa, Southern and sub-Saharan Africa. Christian believes that the adoption of a more streamlined structure with a collaborative framework between products, segments and channel sales, enhances the quality of their value proposition. 

Solid supplier partnerships

The segments scan the market for the opportunities and develop a solid value proposition together with the products team to ensure that the customer gets the correct product offering. Christian adds that this is driven through BI’s 42 channel sales outlets within South Africa and key distribution partners in Southern and sub-Saharan Africa.

Also key to BI’s segment approach is building solid supplier partnerships. “Our suppliers bring tremendous value to the segment table through the provision of technical support, training, and product innovation. By giving customers access to the latest supplier technologies, inputs, and expertise, they are able to make more informed and precise decisions pertaining to the enhancement of their equipment life cycles and availability for overall optimisation of their operations.”

Marketing analysis

“We undertake extensive market potential analysis to guide our approach, ensuring each segment receives a unique and effective offering while harnessing successes of implemented solutions to build a great knowledge database and continuously enhance the value proposition,” Christian concludes. “Our solutions address critical assets and pain points identified through first-hand consultations, surveys and plant visits, backed by cutting-edge technology and a team of qualified professionals.”

The value add is centred on data and knowledge so what is required here is a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that captures key customer interactions from contacts, assets, inventory, and services as well as collaboration with either Product Managers or other important role players in the wider organisation.

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