As part of a.b.e.® Construction Chemicals’s annual Safety Day function in Boksburg recently, three members of the staff spoke on their various job responsibilities and priorities for 2015.
Pictured from left were: Warren Delaney (Technical Manager), Elrene Smuts (Communications Manager) and Laurence Mashiloane (Costing & Pricing Controller).
Despite strong competition, a.b.e.® Construction Chemicals’ sales growth in 2014 is expected to continue this year, driven by the launch of new products, inroads into Africa, and significant market share gains, says Norman Seymore, international vice-president of a.b.e.’s holding company, the Chryso Group.
Locally, Seymore is CEO of both a.b.e.® and Chryso Southern Africa.
Speaking at a Chryso Group Safety Day function at the a.b.e.® head offices in Boksburg on March 17, Seymore said a.b.e.®’s profit margins were still under pressure due to current unfavourable exchange rates and a high import content in the company’s product range. “However, a.b.e.®’s Export Division is performing strongly into Sub-Saharan Africa and the Chryso Group will have an office in Kenya this year to support both a.b.e. and Chryso’s East African development. As the Chryso Group is experiencing faster growth in exports than in the local market, we have started launching our products in Angola and are also looking to develop business in Nigeria this year. We will also be strengthening our business in Mozambique and Zambia by employing dedicated sales staff there to support traditional distributors,” he stated.
“Furthermore, a.b.e.® will launch several important new products in 2015 – an vital part of our growth strategy which is aimed at a.b.e. offering more solutions to customers.”
Reflecting on a.b.e.®’s current performance, Seymore said a.b.e.®’s Polyurea segment now supplied products that completed the company’s product offering for waterproofing, flooring and coatings, and that the various other segments of the company’s operations had generally also performed well, particularly in the Flooring sector where growth had surpassed budget expectations.
“a.b.e.® is also continuing to invest in expansion and improved manufacturing plants. Further Capital Expenditure projects for both the a.b.e.® Boksburg liquid and powder plant have already started and the a.b.e.® Isipingo plant is also investing in new packaging lines in 2015,” he announced.
Seymore said a.b.e.® had this year created Product Segment Forums to replace the company’s traditional Product Managers’ roles. The new Forums were made up of staff representing the retail, construction, technical and marketing departments to ensure that all areas of the company were represented.
“The company’s commitment to safety also remains of paramount concern, and our Group’s annual Safety Day in mid-March endorses our commitment to the safety of all our staff.”
Seymore said a.b.e.® Construction Chemicals now held ISO9001 accreditation for its Boksburg, Isipingo and Mount Edgecombe factories and offices, and its other operations would also be ISO9001-compliant during 2015.The company was planning to have all its branches OSHAS18001-accredited by the end of 2015. Extensive safety training for staff at all levels formed part of the proceedings at the Chryso Group’s Safety Day programme worldwide on March 17.