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CEO FOREWORD | DECEMBER 2019 Ludwig Geyser - Putzmeister SA (Pty) Ltd
Although concrete itself is not exactly a new invention, its application across years and time has certainly improved the human world. Specifically, reinforced concrete, which permitted architects and architecture to not only explore new realms of design, it escalated into new practices and purposes for a substance now produced annually at approximately 10 billion tons.
During the world wars for example, concrete provided protective bunkers, protective barriers, and high rising viewpoints to gain vantage points over the approaching enemy. A form of concrete, Ferro Crete, was even used to build small fleets of ships due to the steel shortages in the US and Europe. After these wars, when the world was nearly completely destroyed it was the reliable everyday take-for-granted concrete that was used to again build up the streets, houses, towns and infrastructures. During this time the need arose to modernize the way we apply concrete globally and so, Mr. Karl Schlecht answered the call to “re-invent” the wheel, by creating a better way to apply it to surfaces. Putzmeister was born with the creation and inventive solution of the P1 Mortar Machine which revolutionized and transformed the application of concrete in cities as they grew larger and higher and wider and deeper. During this progression, the company evolved into a giant empire and made its mark across the globe throughout all structures which imminently span over many years and many generations - our contribution to the perpetual future.
And by “our”, we mean that this empire could not have been built, without the sweat off the brows of dedicated employees, who unwittingly contributes towards momentous structures and buildings each day in their own small way, as every job card and order is completed , with every drop of various mixes distributed on every site, every letter captured on every computer across the entire Putzmeister Family of companies, with every solution presented to every client, they cement themselves as part of the bigger picture, the past, present and future. For their contributions, we say thank you for every effort that you have made to ensure that the work is done, living the company values by working, efficiently, effectively with high performance, quality, innovation and flexibility.
Similarly, we must thank our loyal customers and clients across the whole Sub-Saharan African region, for, during a trying financial year globally, they have still backed Putzmeister SA and we can only hope to continue to give you the support and service you have come to appreciate of the Putzmeister brand in the coming year.
“THE ROAD TO SUCCESS IS ALWAYS UNDER CONSTRUCTION” – L THOMLIN – “AND WE WILL PAVE THAT ROAD” – L GEYSER
Making the last year in this decade count, we joined the BAUMA with the international Putzmeister team in April held in Germany, Munich. We were very fortunate that some of our top clients from companies the likes of R&G Concrete Pumping and WBHO also took the time off to join us, together with the Putzmeister Bauma competition winners, Megapile. We also took full advantage of having our dealer Hans Peter Schultz from Namibia Construction with us and celebrated his Birthday in style by patroning one of Germany’s famous restaurants and having a fun night out on the town. The BAUMA showcased the 2019 company objectives of Efficiency, Performance and Technology.
The middle of the year held the best surprises however, as not only were we celebrating our CEO, Ludwig Geyser’s 20 years’ service but, he was also appointed the Head of Sales for the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region. This saw the exponential expansion of the sales territories in which we could now officially market and sell Putzmeister technologies.
It was with this in mind that a brain storm session was needed to review the new directions and the strategy for the company, to include the way forward in the new territories. These discussions took place at the Management Teambuilding on the Jozini Dam in the beautiful KZN. Part of our Sales team, Rudy Myburgh, Antionette Van Rooyen, Lukas Naude and Llewellyn Edwards was also privileged to attend the annual Sales training at the Putzmeister Head Quarters in Germany in July and came back inspired and motivated.
The annual stock take in August ran as smooth as a BSF pouring concrete on the top floor of a new high rise somewhere, as everyone at Putzmeister SA, in the true spirit of teamwork joined in to assist Stores with the stock counting process. During this time we also said farewell to one of our favourite Lafarge (Mauritius) people, who left the company in August, Wesley Coosnapa, we wish him the best for all future endeavours.
What a privilege we had in September when we hosted Mr. Jens Bawidamann, from Putzmeister Germany for a few days and where we not only had the honour to introduce him to several of our local key clients, but also expanded his “African Adventure”, by visiting neighbouring Botswana to introduce him to some of our top patrons there who were eager to meet the Boss’s Boss. As part of our Strategy to immerse ourselves in the new territories, Rudy Myburgh visited Nigeria and attended the Big 5 Global Exhibition where we used this event to introduce ourselves as Sales contact and assess the market and solutions we could offer.
By October/November, although determined to reach the (at the time) bleak looking targets set in January and despite every exertion, the difficult economic climate had greatly impacted these goals. The team spirit however remained high as business welled down in December and in the end, it was the exceptional effort and service of the Putzmeister SA team which pulled us along the hard, winding road of 2019.
J GUARINI: “ENDING UP ON THE FIRST FLOOR OF A HIGHRISE…- WHILST AIMING FOR THE PENTHOUSE” -… “AND WE WILL RISE TO THE TOPFLOOR”- L GEYSER
And on that note - With the closing of 2019 – Warmest Wishes and Happy Holidays to our clients, friends, employees and our management team – may your 2020 be filled with the tallest buildings, longest bridges and roads and deepest tunnels…and may Putzmeister SA (Pty) Ltd always be part of that journey.