Tough as nails

Willie Steenberg, Managing Director of Abracon

Willie Steenberg, Managing Director of Abracon

Abracon, a hardware manufacturer and supplier, has embraced the current economic situation by producing exciting new product possibilities.

Abracon is a quality wire and steel nails, roofing screws and security gate manufacturer and supplier to the local hardware retail market. Abracon has been in business since 1958 and has weathered the ups and downs of volatile local and global economies with ease. Willie Steenberg, Managing Director of Abracon is confident the company will stand fast during the expected 2016 economic crisis, but he, at the same time is well prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

Abracon is in an ongoing process of expanding and improving on its service and product delivery. Steenberg says, “Abracon is not always the cheapest product, but the whole package becomes a lot more cost effective when you take customer service, timeous delivery and quality products into consideration.”

Abracon’s quality products and customer service have made it a leading brand in the industry. Abracon is also the preferred supplier for the Cashbuild group and specialised engineering companies such as MiTek South Africa, thanks to manufacturing a complete range of nails and roof screws, as well as unique engineered nails to client specification when required. Abracon also expanded its range of collated nails in coil form to the industry by investing in additional manufacturing equipment. All manufacturing processes are completed in-house to ensure a fast moving cycle, resulting in quality products at all times.

The factory and products adhere to strict SANS 820 and SABS ISO 9001 standards, which ensures consistent product quality and operational procedures.

Packaging has also been updated. The new packaging boasts a fresh look on retail stands which is hard to miss. “The products are now available in a thick, see-through packet that can close with a zip lock action after opening, It also displays the name, logo and SABS prominently on the front,” says Steenberg.

The products are also specifically packaged with a ‘bulk save’ in mind. The two kg wire nail

and 200 roofing screw packaging now double the amount than previously available, and has recently been introduced to the market with a clear bulk save sticker. “The in-store response has been immense and the industry is reacting positively to the new offering”, says Steenberg.

The start of the New Year has been shaky after the rand plummeted to an all-time low and China markets also took a big knock. These developments might have been good for local manufacturers but raw material costs, among a few other factors, have also been severely influenced. The cost of fuel, labour, electricity and an extremely slow growing economy also played their part.

Dumping from China is another problem that the local market has had to deal with. They export similar products at a price that is lower than local manufacturing costs. This affects the viability of local manufacturers and suppliers. Abracon representing the industry has therefore asked the International Trade Administration Commission of SA (ITAC) for a dumping duty to be placed on these products. This will help local producers immensely and also play a big role in job security and creating more jobs. “The outcome of this is still uncertain, but we believe we will get a positive response from this request”, says Steenberg.

The current business climate is tough, but Abracon is growing by diversifying. “We at Abracon are constantly on the lookout for new products to produce within our line of business and expertise. By expanding our product offering we are creating choice for our clients. If we can establish a foothold we just have to weather the difficult economic situation and when the markets stabilise we will be set to grow even more”, Steenberg concludes.

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