Loadshedding is having a huge impact on the total uptake of equipment in general, says Victor Nemukula, MD of Shumani Industrial Equipment, the largest black-owned and managed industrial equipment supplier in South Africa. Companies are instead spending their capital budget on solar technology to minimise the impact of power cuts on their production output. Here electric forklifts are still popular as the technology improves.
Despite this, Nemukula sees green shoots in the materials handling sector. “We are witnessing a resurgence in growth as the economy starts to grow, albeit at a smaller pace.” Diesel equipment is still by far the most popular in the market in terms of overall volumes sold, with Doosan and Crown remaining Shumani’s top selling brands.
A major focus for Shumani remains its maintenance lease agreements, which offer customers equipment on a long-term rental basis, including full maintenance, for extra peace of mind in a volatile market. “We provide complete management of the units and supply performance reports customised to their requirements.”
It is mostly larger customers taking advantage of these agreements, combined with Shumani’s commitment to a 98% uptime for uninterrupted service so customers can focus on their core business. Another factor is that customers are increasingly hesitant to commitment a large portion of their budget to acquiring new equipment. This makes leases with full maintenance that much more attractive, as it allows customers to free up capital while focusing on optimising operations.
“Virtually all our equipment is mostly on full maintenance leases,” reveals Nemukula. “It has become the biggest portion of our business.” Here the initial contact point is with the service department. As Shumani has grown over the years, it has even set up a call centre to provide its customers with a seamless service.
Shumani is also the only 51% black owned and managed equipment provider in this space. It supplies world-class equipment across the breadth of the industrial and construction sectors. Brands on offer include world-leading names like Bendi, Crown, Kalmar, and Doosan in the forklift market. Construction equipment brands include Bobcat, Sany, HPower, Weima, Luthian, Ozen and Sullair. In the cleaning equipment market segment, Shumani offers Tennant, Genie, Sentinel and HighPoint..