September 18, 2020
Technical Systems: Market leader in feed conveying
Technical Systems is major poultry and pig equipment manufacturer and supplier of chain and auger conveying products for the international market. With its operational facilities based in Cape Town, South Africa, the company has grown from only three employees in 1993 to 300 strong, becoming one of the largest producers of livestock conveyers in the world with customers in every continent (except Antarctica).
eFeedLink speaks to Jean Joubert, Customer Relations Manager at Technical Systems about the company's global expansion, its key products and developments, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to its business.
We understand you have a presence in the US, Netherlands and China. Could you tell us more about your international market presence and expansion? (especially in Asia and Southeast Asia)
Our many international warehouses are key factors in our global success. Asia is where we see the most growth at the moment. Both the poultry and the swine markets here are growing rapidly. We have been focussing, and continue to focus, heavily on our expansion in Asia as a whole.
However, we see major potential in the US market. Even though the US market is a mature market, we feel that we can provide a competitive edge and gain market share. We are sure to grow our market share in the US in the near future.
What are some of Technical System's key products, such as your Auger and Feed Chain? Additionally, could you describe to us about Technical System's Infini-T® product and its benefits?
All of our main products come with a 10-year warranty and are equally important as they all play a key role in delivering feed to animals in a timely manner. Our Pan Feeder Auger and Chain Feeders are some of our oldest products, and have been successfully used by farmers globally for many years.
Our Fatiqless™ Cross (Flex) auger has been in production since 2008, after years of research and development. We have had major success with this product, and can safely say that we make the strongest flex auger on the market.
We have also recently launched new designs for our feed chain corner units, and are excited about the changes that have been introduced. We feel that this will be the top selling corner unit globally in the near future.
Infini-T auger is a complete game changer. Instead of ordering fixed auger lengths, the customer gets a very long roll of auger, giving them the freedom and flexibility to manage the lengths of auger that they need in house, with ease. This results in less waste, more flexibility and decreased lead times from the customers warehouse to the end user.
The Infini-T Auger, since its release in 2015, has more than quadrupled in sales, making it our fastest growing product by far. We do not see the growth declining any time soon.
How does Technical Systems develop new technology, services and create its innovative products? How do you offer technical advice and recommendations to your customers?
Technical Systems has about 4 R&D engineers, some with master's degrees, working full time on improving existing products, and developing new ones. We use both our in-house R&D labs and testing centres to test products and simulate various conditions. We also work with local farmers to test our products in the field. The combination of simulated and field tests gives us a wide spectrum of environments and conditions to simulate all possible stresses that our products may experience.
Has COVID-19 impacted Technical Systems' operations? If so, what has Technical System's done to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19?
Yes, as with most businesses globally, COVID-19 has impacted our business in many ways this year. The National Lockdown in South Africa forced us to close for 2 weeks, until we were able to obtain essential services certification as we play a major part in the agricultural and food supply chain both locally and internationally.
We were also forced to completely remodel our method of working, with more than 50% of our admin staff being forced to work remotely, and the remaining office staff being forced to follow strict screening and working protocols as set out by the national government.
Our factory workers were also subject to strict screening and working protocols and our production facilities had to be segregated in order to avoid cross contamination in the event of a positive infection.
Our major obstacle, by far, has been with suppliers of both raw materials and consumables, as well as the ports which were on a "go slow" resulting in major backlogs on most of our product lines.
Notwithstanding the above, we have done extremely well to manage and mitigate both the risks and delays that we have experienced and feel that when the pandemic comes to an end, our company will be stronger as a result.
What can we expect from Technical Systems in the future?
Technical Systems will continue to grow through new product launches and continuous global expansion. We are, as previously mentioned, focused on expanding in Asia and in the US, so you can expect some future developments here.
We are also about to launch a few new product lines, all still focused on the livestock industry that we are very excited about. Keep an eye out on our website, www.technicalsys.com, for the announcements in this regard.
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