Cummins has appointed a couple of new dealers as in-country representatives in the key growth area of North and West Africa, according to sales and business development manager Franck N’Guettia. “The focus is on supporting our customers,” he says.

Cummins appoints new dealers in North and West AfricaFollowing the closing down of the Cummins entities in Ivory Coast and Senegal, N’Guettia and his cross-border team now oversee 15 countries in the region. Ghana, Nigeria and Morocco remain standalone Cummins distributors, with Ghana serving as the main distribution hub and rebuild centre supporting the cross-border team.

N’Guettia and his team have been busy appointing dealers in key countries that will provide the superior support expected by Cummins customers. “We had an interdisciplinary Cummins team meet with each of the candidates. Factors considered included strategy, financial stability, technical know-how and alignment with Cummins values. As a result of the evaluation process, we selected partners to represent either the power generation or service portfolio of Cummins.”

N’Guettia stresses: “We take it seriously that any dealer is a true representative of Cummins, meeting our service standards and conducting business in line with their country’s laws and regulations. Our dealers are very clear that ethics and compliance is integral to our values as a company. The selected dealers have a good knowledge of the market and clear strategies for growth that are aligned with Cummins.”

Empowering its dealers is part of the Cummins approach to move resources closer to its customers. “We recognise that we can’t be everywhere, so it is important to have partners who hire and develop local talent, understand the culture and business requirements of our customers and who can operate efficiently. We are excited about the partners we have chosen.”

One challenge has been providing technical and commercial training to the dealers in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The original intention was to have classroom training in conjunction with a dealer conference, but due to the pandemic a virtual onboarding event was held instead. This has been highly successful given the feedback received to date, adds N’Guettia.

The upside of the virtual event was that Cummins could bring many more resources and expertise to bear than would normally be the case. While hands-on technical training remains an issue, Cummins has developed virtual tools in this regard. “We have restructured our training programme so that the first portion is virtual, with the hope of being able to conduct hands-on training next year.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a minimal impact on operations to date. On the mining side, activities have been ongoing. In terms of power generation, product is sourced from as far afield as Europe and India, which resulted in some supply-chain disruptions. “Over time we have fine-tuned our forecasting to ensure that shipments dispatched on time,” notes N’Guettia.

From a customer perspective, Cummins’ message to the North and West African market is that it has appointed capable partners to ensure efficient and reliable product supply and support. “Our dedicated cross-border team is working hand in hand with each dealer. Furthermore, our dealers have access to the full global resources of the company. We wish to reassure our customers in the region that we are here to take care of them.”

Mining and power generation remain the biggest markets for Cummins in the region, followed by marine, automotive, construction and general industry. “This is a strategic region for Cummins Africa Middle East, especially as it is one of the fastest-growing areas on the continent,” concludes N’Guettia.

Cummins’ newly-appointed dealers for North and West Africa                                                          

1. Africa Energy Solutions Gambia   Banjul
2. Africa Energy Solutions Guinea-Bissau    Bissau
3. SEEE Energies SA Senegal     Dakar
4. ASSEIT SARL Senegal   Dakar
5. MAG Energy Sierra Leone        Freetown
6. LA Consulting Gabon     Port Gentil
7. International Business Solutions Guinea     Conakry
8. Africa Energy Solutions Mali  Bamako
9. WARWI SA: ATEC Mali  Bamako
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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.