Back to the future
Meticulous preparation is paying off for Hitachi Construction Middle East
Meticulous preparation is paying off for Hitachi Construction Middle East. According to the company’s general manager, Piet Hein van Bakergem, years of planning to improve services is paying dividends as the equipment manufacturer continues to improve its dealership network throughout the Middle East.
He told PMV: “The reason we are enjoying success today is due to the fact we started years ago – an improvement campaign for ourselves, looking at the dealerships, the territory, and human capital. Based on that, we have more and more commercial grip on our territory. When that happens, of course, the final spin-off is that if you bring enough quotations to the market, they will turn into business.”
Van Bakergem also said the success was down to market improvement and tenders finally being awarded. Moreover, he believes the upward trend will continue right through to 2020.
He added: “I think that overall, during the coming years – looking at our territory and the bottom line – we should be able to achieve healthy figures and a rising market share.”
According to van Bakergem, the company is seeing higher-specification machines becoming more popular. He said: “There is more production needed, and because of that, the specifications go up. Then you talk about the 350LCs, the 470s, the 670s, and 870s – demand is rising for types of model”.
The main driver behind those specifications in the GCC is construction. Van Bakergem explained: “There are a lot of activities going on in Kuwait, Qatar, and obviously Saudi Arabia.
“We recognise some fresh activities in the UAE, and we can’t forget about Oman. [Demand in the] GCC countries, I should say, [is] related to general construction, and also road construction.”
Hitachi’s regional hub in the UAE takes care of the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, stretching from Turkey to Iran to Tanzania, and all the way back up to Libya.
“In the Middle East, we have spare parts availability. Of course, the first responsibility is for the dealerships in each country, including their branches, to have good coverage. Then, if they don’t have the exact part available, they should be able to source them from our Dubai hub. If not, we have back-up from Japan and Europe,” explained van Bakergem.
“We have skills around each country and, based on the populations of machines that we have operating in each country, we can of course estimate what parts are needed to achieve performance on location,” he concluded.