Online-Electrical and ElectroMechanica (EM) continues to cement their bilateral relationship, as the latter strives to lead the market.
Joey Gaskell, Online-Electrical Managing Director said EM’s ‘win-win’ mentality for end-user clients, its product distributors, and the company itself, makes it the ‘go to’ partner for the supply of sophisticated electronics and heavy-duty equipment.
This is particularly important, as there are a number of other product suppliers that are actively seeking to undermine independent wholesalers in the market, limiting competition and creating monopolies, to the detriment of clients throughout the supply chain.
Online-Electrical has been in business for 12 years, trading locally and on the continent in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, and Mozambique.
The company mainly supplies the industrial sector with cable and switchgear. It recently added a retail division to its business, which will assist it in targeting the domestic sector, such as small businesses and ordinary individuals requiring electrical supplies.
“We use quite a vast range of EM’s products, including distribution boards, Hager circuit breakers, SCAME welding sockets, and Lovato electric contactors and switchgears. We also have a couple of clients that use its Delta PLCs for the automated side of their operations,” Gaskell said.
He highlights that Online-Electrical is very comfortable selling all EM’s products, as it only procures high-quality items, unlike competitors supplying cheaper, low-quality Chinese products into the market.
The most popular EM products sold by Online-Electrical are Hager circuit breakers, Lovato switchgear, and Cembre hand tools and cutting tools, all used across a range of industries. EM’s products are well-known throughout Africa, and are requested regularly, with there being a high demand for Hager circuit breakers in particularly.
“We have collaborated with EM for most of the time we have been in business. EM has a much more customer-friendly approach towards its distribution partners compared to other wholesalers in the industry. There is a genuine partnership that exists, whereby both partners work together to develop integrated marketing and sales strategies to best promote and ensure ease of distribution,” Gaskell remarks.
This symbiotic relationship benefits the distribution partners and EM, as all are able to grow and develop their footprints, while providing clients with the most efficient, value-for-money products to increase productivity and limit downtime in their operations.
EM often invites its distribution partners to meet with representatives from their international suppliers at their distribution centres in Ormonde, Johannesburg or Boksburg, East Rand. During these events, clients are given product demonstrations, and engage with the manufacturers’ technical experts, who provide important training. This provides EM product distributors with invaluable insights into the products, with this knowledge transferred to customers in turn.
EM can also arrange promotional events at distributors’ premises to enable them to showcase EM’s products to their clients, in order to increase brand awareness. “EM has always provided critical support to us in growing our business, which is a clear sign of the healthy relationship that exists,” Gaskell says.
He reveals that EM also provides incentives for its distribution partners. “If we achieve a certain turnover over the course of six months, and we reach certain targets, we receive the advantage of having an improved discount across the EM product range for the following six months, the benefit of which we are able to share with our customers.”
Furthermore, if distributors continue to reach their targets, they maintain the original discount, which is a major benefit in a tough economic climate, as even the smallest discount can make the biggest difference in determining whether a sale is clinched or not. EM is also able, in exceptional circumstances, to provide additional discounts on major supply contracts.
“This flexible, open-door policy makes it a pleasure to work with them. From EM’s executive team to ordinary staff members, they are an honest and reliable partner, which makes them easy to work with, and highly approachable,” Gaskell concludes.