At the end of last year Wacker Neuson South Africa signed an exclusive partnership agreement with long-standing Namibian dealer, Industrial Building Supplies & Plant Hire (IBS). The agreement positions IBS as the exclusive supplier of Wacker Neuson light construction and compact equipment in Namibia.
‘This is our first exclusive dealer agreement and marks a milestone in the history of Wacker Neuson South Africa,’ comments Dennis Vietze, managing director of Wacker Neuson South Africa. ‘It is fitting that this exclusive partnership deal is forged with our top dealer, IBS, who already has the premium Wacker Neuson brand in their fleet and is also the biggest supplier of our brand in Namibia.’
Established in 1967, IBS developed into a highly successful family business under the capable leadership of directors Wolfgang Büttner, brother-in-law Michael Baas and sibling Anke Baas. When Wolfgang’s late father bought 50 percent shares in IBS in 1996 he was the first to introduce compact equipment (Wacker Neuson) to Namibia. This kick-started the two-decade business relationship between the two companies. Gunter eventually took full ownership of the business and was joined by Wolfgang in 2000 who, together with Michael, Anke and his mom, also a shareholder, proudly continues this family legacy in Gunter’s honour.
With plant hire as its biggest market share, IBS is a leading supplier of consumables and equipment sales and hire to the construction, retail, contractor and mining sectors across the entire territory through a network of retailers. From its well-equipped, state-of-the-art workshop in Windhoek, IBS takes care of all after-sales service and repairs including original parts supply. Wacker Neuson is the biggest brand in Namibia and customers and end-users recognise that the exceptional quality of this premium brand optimises uptime and productivity to deliver subsequent savings, lowest total cost of ownership and rapid return on investment.
When Vietze took over the reins at Wacker Neuson South Africa on 1 June 2017, he brought with him a wealth of experience and knowledge of the company’s products and services. Vietze who is passionate about the brand, has spearheaded a number of changes at the sub-Saharan subsidiary.
Referring to the current business environment in South Africa, Vietze says despite the challenges presented by economic instability, political uncertainties and a price-sensitive environment that is being cannibalised by cheaper, inferior products, there is great potential in southern African markets which gives confidence for the future.
‘One simply cannot afford to be complacent in an economic downturn. This is the time to be proactive; we are positioning Wacker Neuson to ensure we are well-prepared and ready to serve customers and end-users with the right products and services. The recent expansion and improvement of our Johannesburg head office and the exclusive agreement signed with IBS form part of our continuous improvement strategy that sees us identify and correctly position key products, build solid customer relationships and strengthen dealer partnerships for sustainable growth and success.’
Vietze notes the decision to go into an exclusive partnership deal with IBS was not made lightly. ‘This type of deal takes time; while everyone wants to be an exclusive reseller of a premium brand like Wacker Neuson, not everyone meets all the requirements. IBS however, ticks all the boxes. Well-respected in Namibia, they have excellent market penetration and a clear understanding of their markets, customers and competitors. Their employees are skilled, their facilities are well-equipped and they have a reputation for excellent after-sales and field service. Moreover, we are like-minded in our visions and values. All this convinced us that IBS is 100 percent geared for exclusivity in Namibia and the right partner for Wacker Neuson in that territory.’ Vietze adds that in great family tradition, the three shareholders have a personal hands-on approach and are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Wacker Neuson export manager, Justin Bergh, says it is important to continue building on the mutual respect and trust that currently exists between the two companies to ensure the success of this partnership. ‘This extended agreement is affirmation of our trust in IBS to continue growing their business and our brand in Namibia.’ Bergh points out that good support from Wacker Neuson is fundamental to IBS’s success. ‘Their success is our success and we therefore take our responsibility in providing support through products, parts supply and training very seriously.’
Wacker Neuson is the biggest brand in Namibia and IBS stocks the complete line-up; light construction equipment includes rammers, breakers, single and reversible plates, pedestrian and walk-behind compaction rollers, power floats, internal and external vibrators, floor saws and hand-held cut-off saws, submersible and trash pumps, portable generators and diesel-driven light towers. ‘Our fleet also comprises of a full line up in the Compact Equipment portfolio of the Wacker Neuson brand which includes dumpers, excavators, tele-loaders, wheel loaders and skid steers,’ states Michael Baas, IBS.
Wacker Neuson rammers remain their top seller followed closely by the versatile Wacker Neuson 2506 tele-loader. ‘This machine is a masterpiece of design and engineering,’ says Baas. ‘With its unique all-round compact design it can fit into any tight space. This handy machine is also easy to operate requiring very little training and is popular amongst our construction customers for all round versatility in all aspects of the job site.’
In closing, Anke Baas comments on what the exclusive agreement means for IBS and their customers: ‘The exclusive agreement secures the territory for IBS as the only company selling Wacker Neuson. There are off course expectancies, which make us more focussed and motivated to push even harder. It is our responsibility to uphold the Wacker Neuson brand. The transparency shown by Wacker Neuson confirms their trust in our abilities. By giving us strength, stability and guarantees, this long-term relationship with Wacker Neuson paves the way for a successful future. We know where we stand and we can move forward with confidence. Furthermore, the deal stimulates the Namibian market and our customers can locally purchase or hire Wacker Neuson premium brand products at highly competitive prices, which are all locally supported by a professional service and aftermarket department dedicated to reduce the downtime on both Light and Compact equipment in the field; a win-win-win for all.’