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Supplier rejoins institution

13th August 2021

By: Anna Moross

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Fasteners, bearings and welding equipment suppliers Bolt and Engineering Distributors (B.E.D.) Group has a long-standing historical association with the Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) and has recently decided to rejoin the industry body.

“Fasteners, bolts and nuts, mostly manufactured from steel, are an integral part of the steel fabrication and manufacturing value chains. This is where we find value in being a member of SAISC,” says B.E.D CEO Mike Giltrow.

“We always say that ‘bolts and nuts are in our blood’. Made of steel, these bolts connect the larger pivotal construction elements and not only hold steel - but the economy and ultimately our nation - together through secure connections,” he outlines.

The company was a member of the Institute for about 20 years prior and according to Giltrow the decision to leave, in 2013, was owing to the unfortunate ‘knock-on’ effect of the Marikana incident. This resulted in B.E.D. being forced to severely reduce any discretionary spending, including membership of industry bodies such as the SAISC. 

However, with the benefit of hindsight – and bearing in mind the Institute’s tremendous value-add to the industry – it would have been preferable to continue, and to have further grown our involvement, says Giltrow.

That being said, B.E.D. is pleased with its decision to re-join the association and it is in line with the companies belief that ‘it takes each one of us to make a difference to all of us’.

B.E.D. was involved in a number of events that the association offered. This included being a category sponsor for more than five years of what is now called the biannual SAISC Steel Awards that celebrate excellent work produced by the Southern African steel industry.

Giltrow says these awards inspire the sector to aspire to greater performance and quality achievements.

B.E.D. has always had good interactions with the SAISC and have, on occasion, also assisted in training regarding bolts and nuts and/or fasteners, and arranged factory tours and visits to the B.E.D. premises in Gauteng for students and other members of the institute, he adds.

With the belief that there has always been strength in numbers and solidarity within industry associations, a sense of cohesive belonging is crucial – particularly since B.E.D. and many other companies in the steel value chain are navigating through the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, notes Giltrow.

The SAISC, in serving the Southern Africa steel industry for more than 50 years, provides invaluable advantages for members, with B.E.D. drawing on various educational benefits and networking leads provided by the institute.

These include keeping in touch with the industry and keeping fellow stakeholders up-to-date on information regarding new industry trends, technological advances, and new products and equipment, projects and developments, as well as staying abreast of any legislative or code specification changes.

“This information is all very relevant and beneficial to our business,” says Giltrow.

During regular SAISC engagements, B.E.D. can also engage with key decision-makers, from companies involved in new developments, about potential business and service-supply opportunities.

“Importantly, we can gain a competitive business advantage, since through our industry membership and participation we are well informed of upcoming projects and. . . developments . . . in the steel and associated industries,” Giltrow says.

For example, institute membership ensures that B.E.D is well informed about the best and most relevant direct contacts to engage with; and the optimal projects to become involved in within the steel construction industry.  

He adds that the company seizes and makes the most of project opportunities by strategically and proactively doing research and planning, so it can timeously supply customers with the required products and services.

In this regard, specified fasteners, bolts and nuts can be secured before the steel is produced for a steel construction project.

“Our aim  is to always supply the fasteners – already properly checked, packaged and labelled with care and attention – prior to steel delivery and final assembly on site,” says Giltrow.

He concludes that, despite pricing and material supply challenges encountered by the sector, B.E.D. remains positive about the industry and aims to add value where possible.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

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