16 July, 2021
Masahe Timber Treaters grows tenfold with Lonza's support
operations director of Masahe Timber Treaters
(on the left)
with Skhumbuzo Ndlovu, shareholder
of Masahe Timber Treaters (on the right)
Seven months ago, Masahe Timber Treaters entered
the treatment market as a newcomer with very little experience. Today, the
business is a thriving supplier of Tanalith® C pressure treated poles, thanks
to the technical support from Lonza Wood Protection South Africa.
After starting out as a timber grower and supplier
in the largest FSC certified Eucalyptus grandis plantation in Swaziland and
Southern Africa, Masahe decided to diversify its product offering by expanding
into the treatment market. However, they quickly realised they lacked the
required technical expertise and were in over their heads.
"After working with various suppliers of CCA and
months of unsuccessful SABS audits, we
were no closer to being certified and felt discouraged by a lack of support. We
needed help from guys who knew the game," says Marwick Sinlongonyane, director
of Masahe Timber Treaters.
"When we met Lonza, I immediately felt relieved and
re-assured by their high-level skills and commitment to training, which
surprisingly came at absolutely no additional cost. Within weeks, we were SABS
certified and have never failed another audit," adds Sinlongonyane.
JJ du Plessis, business manager of Lonza Wood
Protection SA, says that upon arrival at Masahe they saw that with a helping
hand this company had the motivation, entrepreneurial spirit and resources to
succeed in the treatment market. "As a global leader, Lonza's support extends
beyond the supply of its products. Going the extra mile to help business
start-up's find their feet demonstrates our commitment to long-term customer
relationships and a sustainable treatment industry," says du Plessis.
Lonza's customer account manager, Gareth Wesselman,
immediately contacted SABS to request that they review the situation at Masahe and
allow an extension of the audit date so that Lonza could help prepare the plant.
"Gareth spent two solid weeks analysing and making
recommendations to improve the entire plant process. He trained the operators
and walked them through the steps in getting certified with SABS, designed a
material flow to help streamline their treating process, set up the yard from
timber stacking to all other requirements, and advised on the health and safety
requirements of the plant. For a month thereafter, Gareth travelled back and
forth to Swaziland to provide further support leading up to the day of the
audit," explains du Plessis.
According to Sinlongonyane, Masahe has since passed
every SABS audit and there has been an uptick in product demand since Lonza
came on board. "Lonza is the best when it comes to professional support and
guidance to produce high quality pressure treated poles. The training was
effectively done on our site and over enough days for us to grasp timber
treating in detail," says Sinlongonyane.
Themba Mavimbela, operations director of Masahe Timber
Treaters, adds that scratching their heads over finding service parts is now a thing
of the past. "Moisture meter pins and all other parts that have been difficult
to get from local suppliers are now readily available with Lonza as our
supplier," says Mavimbela.
To keep the plant running optimally, Lonza
introduced its Tan-TreatTM Quality Support System to help guide the plant
operators on consumption cost savings, performance excellence and efficiency
"This programme is a masterpiece that every treater
should have. We were maintaining six charges a day with unstable orders. But Tan-TreatTM
Quality Support System keeps us on our toes by telling us whether we have over or
under treated. The control over our stock reconciliation has improved and even our
audits are easier through this programme as all our records are kept in the
system," states Mavimbela.
Du Plessis, says, "We don't build customers for
today or tomorrow. We build relationships with the idea of continually adding
value to their business, which is why we thoroughly enjoy working with the team
at Masahe. Their eagerness to learn and passion to supply the highest quality
treated poles makes us proud to be associated with them as their Tanalith® C supplier".
The value of Lonza's customer service and support has
not only cultivated the company's long-term customer relationships but has also
attracted new customers despite the recent challenges of operating under the
restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 lockdown. Outpost Treated Timbers was also
won over by Lonza's ‘hands-on' approach of going above and beyond product
Murray Hibbs of Outpost Treated Timbers, affirms, "Lonza
has been superb in their support and genuine interest in the running of our
plant. Gareth has been helpful with us getting established as a new Lonza client
and is always quick and thorough in answering any questions. It is great to
know that the backup is there".
Sinlongonyane concludes, "Since day one, Lonza has
shown us a high standard of customer service and we are grateful to be working
with a global brand that sets an example for quality in the industry".
of Masahe Timber Treaters