It’s a difficult time to enter most markets, but that is not how Charles Anderson and his son Phillip of Patula Sawmills see things.
When the Andersons asked Dolphin Bay to design and install a new treatment plant for them recently, they were acting not out of fear but out of confidence in having identified an opening in the local market for treated timber.
We have now designed, built, installed and commissioned a brand new, state-of-the-art plant for Patula and have reached a sole-supplier agreement with this “motivated and ambitious company”, as Dolphin Bay’s Mark Duckham described it.
Patula is based in the Donnybrook area of the Midlands in KwaZulu Natal, where Charles and his sons own a dairy farm, timber plantations and a sawmill. Charles’ grandfather, also a dairy farmer, began planting trees in the area in about 1870 as a side-line, and the family set up the sawmill about two decades ago.
The company has long provided timber to the Gauteng market, which does not require timber to be treated, but recently identified an opportunity in the local KwaZulu-Natal market for treated timber. Their discussions with Dolphin Bay about the prospect of a new plant began in September last year. We studied their needs and were ready to install the plant when Covid-19 hit in March. This caused a delay.
After the lockdown eased, the plant was installed. Dolphin Bay commissioned the plant in mid-July, then trained the operators. The entire plant set-up process took about two weeks.
“It’s a difficult time to enter most markets, given Covid-19 restrictions and difficult economic conditions, but the Andersons don’t see it like that,” said Mark. “They have seen an opportunity and believe that where they are, they can do well.
“It’s great to be building a working relationship with Patula. It is a company we have grown to admire, and we look forward to a long, fruitful relationship.”
Charles and Phillip explained that another Dolphin Bay client had vouched for us to Patula as a reliable and cost-effective supplier, and things unfolded quickly from there.
Both companies both highly motivated, far-sighted and “willing to push forward during difficult times,” said Phillip.
“Dolphin Bay did an extremely professional and lovely job in installing the plant,” said Charles. “We’re very impressed.”
Phillip added that credit also needed to be given to Richard Pauls, a manager at Patula who, working with Dolphin Bay, had put great care and effort into the plant installation project.
“The market seems to be strong, despite Covid-19,” said Charles. “Mark knows the business, and we’re very happy with Dolphin Bay. We can’t complain about a thing and intend to be loyal to the company.”
Source: Dolphin Bay Chemicals