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At Heunis Steel, the strength of its structure is that it is still run as a family business. It is small enough to implement changes quickly and respond to market conditions swiftly. It does not have a lot of ‘red tape’ to deal with when it comes to making decisions; instead it can call a meeting and have things resolved and implemented within half an hour. However, it is also big enough to play a major role in the industry. This makes the company very competitive in the market.
Just like everyone else, the future is uncertain for the company. Market needs will dictate where it needs to adapt to, to ensure that all demands are met. One of its major future focus areas is to remain competitive, which includes importing a portion of its raw materials. This will be unavoidable unless the local mills and government find a way to make local products more competitive. Naturally, it wants to support local producers, but the company cannot do this at its own expense.
Heunis Steel believes it is on par with international manufacturers. Many of its machines and equipment are imported and are the latest models and technology available. It has everything under one roof in its factory, ensuring a good flow of materials. This includes the distribution of the finished goods to the warehouse, and from there to the trucks. Double handling has been brought down to the bare minimum with most things being containerised.
Once it started expanding on the plant, the company built everything from scratch. It has evolved with the times by installing a railway track inside the factory, which includes operator-less shuttles conveying goods from one end to the other. This saves on forklifts and operators and removes forklift fumes. During the design of the building, provision was also made for the installation of overhead cranes, making it very easy to move materials around and load it into the machines.
Considering that the factory cannot be expanded any more because of being limited by the roads and power lines surrounding the company, bringing in a second and third shift would be its only option to increase capacity.
All of the manufacturing and distribution happens from the Zandfontein plant facility. It doesn’t have warehouses in other parts of the country;therefore, it invests in logistics for direct distribution. Delivering to neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland is made easy through its own logistics team.