FACING THE SUN: PART 3
MANAGING DIRECTOR CHAD ANDREWS WANTS TO CONTINUE LAPP’S GROWTH IN AFRICA
Storage area twice as large at new site
Africa needs a lot of special solutions. Andrews is certain: “Africa is a sleeping giant.” Great market opportunities are also opening up for LAPP. The construction of solar parks in particular has meant that LAPP was able to record sales growth of 55 percent in Africa in the fiscal year 2018/2019. The road to success continues. The site in Founders View South Business Park in Johannesburg has now become too small – particularly the warehouse. Supplies arrive from Europe twice a week. Many products are only stored for a short period before delivery. At the end of the year, LAPP will move to a new site around seven kilometres away. It is more than five times the size of the previous one with 2,700 square metres of warehouse space. The storage area alone is twice as large. This means that products can be dispatched faster and more efficiently. Logistics are still the sticking point in Africa though. On a continent which is three times as large as North America, with 55 countries (including West Sahara, which is not recognised by all nations) where around 3,000 different languages are spoken, the challenges for Andrews and the 30 employees in Johannesburg are enormous. LAPP supplies products to 17 countries in the south of Africa from here.
Countries that are not just culturally diverse, but could also hardly be more different economically and politically. “When it comes to business development, it is not just enough to sell a product, you also have to keep an eye on the relevant political situation,” states Andrews. LAPP takes a two-pronged approach when it comes to development in Africa. Countries including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and other North and West African states are managed from the Portuguese LAPP subsidiary Policabos by Pedro Morais and his team. Besides the expansion of electricity networks, traditional industrial sectors such as automotive manufacturers (particularly in South Africa), almost all large international brands and the food industry are among the important industrial sectors for LAPP products – and, of course, activities related to using renewable energies such as wind or solar energy. Improving the supply of electricity doesn’t just benefit private households, but also local, medium-sized companies – potential customers for HellermannTyton and LAPP. Andrew’ goals are clearly defined: “We want to gain new customers, expand our market presence, tap into new countries and increase our sales efficiency,” says the Managing Director. LAPP also uses the sun by the way. When the plant closes in the evening, a small, mobile solar unit that has been gathering energy in the car park during the day makes its star turn. It supplies “just” 65 watts. But that is enough to light the site at night.
5,000 KILOMETRES OF PURE ADVENTURE
Further information about the LAPP SA Mobile Exhibition Unit can be found here:cableworld-sa-mobile