First Cut has, quite literally, been at the cutting edge of South African industry for the past 63 years. As a proudly South African blade manufacturer, supplier of cutting equipment consumables and importer of cutting and steel processing machines, development is a continuous and ongoing process. During this time, a number of pivotal decisions have been made which have profoundly and positively influenced the successful course of the company.
"From our inception in 1956, First Cut has developed into a respected, trusted brand and a fully-fledged provider of 'total cutting solutions'. This growth is predicated on our dedication to provide our customers not only with the best, productivity-enhancing technology available – but also quality solutions which provide good return-on-investment," points out Ian McCrystal, CEO of First Cut.
Managing Director of First Cut Andrew Poole and Ian McCrystal, the company’s CEO.
“As such, we are constantly looking to bring our customers the latest, cutting-edge consumables and precision machinery from around the world, meeting the requirements of a wide variety of industries, including automotive components, mining, manufacturing and fabrication, food and beverage, forestry and timber, tube and renewable energy,” he explains.
This year, First Cut has taken a milestone decision jointly with their now former principal and provider of premium solutions for the global sheet-metal processing industry, Bystronic.
In terms of this decision, Bystronic entered the South African market directly. First Cut is therefore in the process of passing the sales and service of all Bystronic equipment over to the Swiss company's newly-formed South African branch during the next few months.
Managing Director of First Cut Andrew Poole comments: "We have been distributors for Bystronic for seven years now and have successfully grown their business in southern Africa. We have had some notable successes with sales of their capital equipment, one of which included the first laser cutting equipment of any description imported into Zimbabwe.
The magnitude of this success has been such that it is now a fully viable proposition for the Swiss company to manage the distribution of its products in South Africa directly."
A significant contributor to the fruitful partnership has been the fact that both companies' development largely tracked each other. This saw their respective visions evolving from being manufacturers and marketers of machines to the point where, today, both are market-leading providers of totally integrated technological solutions.
"In terms of our agreement, Bystronic honours the undertaking that its commitments to First Cut customers will hold good in the future; as will the warranty and service conditions agreed with us. These will, in future, be maintained by Bystronic without limitation," says Bystronic managing director Philipp Burgener, who is responsible for the South African operation.
"From First Cut’s side, as we progress ever more strongly through our seventh decade of successful operation, I would like to express our profound appreciation for the successful relationship we have enjoyed with Bystronic and providing their equipment to the local market. We will make every endeavour to make this transition as smooth as possible to ensure our customers with Bystronic solutions continue to receive great service," Poole promises.
"While we are very proud of the successful footprint First Cut helped to create for our former principal Bystronic in South Africa, we are now very focused on driving our dynamic new capital equipment agencies such as Messer, Comac and Garboli – not to mention all our other long-standing capital equipment and consumables agencies – to similar heights,” he continues.
“First Cut has long since championed the case of state-of-the-art sheet metal processing: espousing and demonstrating the revolutionary return-on-investment and productivity-promoting efficiencies which true integration, automation and streamlined logistics can bring to our customers’ businesses – through the adoption of intelligent, integrated industrial solutions and technology. Smart manufacturing at its finest, and an approach which has made First Cut the first choice of so many South African companies today," Poole concludes.