Middle East Crane Equipment Trading bets $3 million on after-sales support
The official distributor of Hitachi Construction Machinery in the UAE and HSC Cranes in the Middle East has opened a 10000sqm facility in Dubai
Middle East Crane Equipment Trading (MECET), a member of Belgium-based Luyckx Group and the official distributor of Hitachi Construction Machinery in the UAE and HSC Cranes in the Middle East has opened a new branch in Dubai. The 10,000m2 facility in Dubai Industrial Park (also known as Dubai Industrial City) has been completed with an investment of $3 million and includes a yard, office, warehouse and workshop. It is MECET’s third yard and second office in Dubai, and it will replace the company’s warehouse and office in Dubai Investment Park.
The branch includes a yard, office, warehouse and workshop.
The new facility will stock the complete range of excavators, wheel loaders and cranes from Hitachi Construction Machinery and HSC Cranes. It will also offer customised products for special applications through its Luyckx construction and engineering business. Around 60% of the total area is used for stocking the machines and parts. A 1200m2 warehouse for spare parts will stock over 3500 SKUs worth $2 million. The remaining area includes a 2500m2 workshop and 500m2 office. The workshop will be used for equipment refurbishment, engine overhaul, and general repair and maintenance work. It will also include a section to repair hydraulic motors, pumps and cylinders. MECET has installed the workshop tools required for these operations.
The 1200m2 warehouse for spareparts will stock over 3500 SKUs
According to Wim Aernouts, director, Middle East Crane Equipment Trading, the new facility provides the space and opportunities for MECET to expand its after-sales services, including machine assembly, repair and maintenance.
“We have to anticipate the needs of the market for the next decade. In addition to product innovation and after-sales support, our customers seek value-added services. Brand visibility is equally important as we need to reflect the scale and customer perceptions of the brands that we represent,” says Aernouts.
Wim Aernouts, director, Middle East Crane Equipment Trading
MECET maintains a fleet of five service trucks and a team of trained professionals equipped with the repair tools and attachments to handle any emergency situation on jobsites anywhere in the UAE.
“It’s not feasible for customers to have large machines transported to our workshop for repairs unless the machines have serious damage or require an overhaul. Therefore, we aim to solve all machine-related problems on the jobsite. It also eliminates transportation costs for our customers,” says Aernouts.
Having survived a tough 2018 in terms of sales, MECET expects 2019 to bring in new business from the oil and gas industry which has several projects in the tendering stage.
“We work closely with dredging companies through Luyckx to design and build long boom fronts for excavators employed for offshore work. We expect the several oil and gas projects in the pipeline to create demand for custom parts as well as HSC crawler cranes,” says Aernouts.
Aernouts announces that 2019 will also see the launch of a wheeled excavator and mining equipment.
“The demand for wheeled excavators is increasing in the construction industry as they provide ease of transportation of material on jobsites. We also see growing demand for compact excavators for road construction and landscaping,” says Aernouts.
With the expansion of business assets, MECET is offering extended warranties, long-term maintenance contracts and additional product training in the new facility.
“We do not want to increase the prices of machines; instead we want to expand our service offerings. We provide a standard warranty of 1 year or 2000 hours with option to extend it up to 10,000 hours. With proper maintenance, the life of our machines can be extended in the range of 12–15,000 hours depending on the application and utilisation of the machines. As new machines are introduced, customers will require training on their operations and control systems. We organise our own training programmes as well as joint programmes with Hitachi and HSC,” says Aernouts.
MECET recently launched its ‘webshop’ an online store for customers to order parts and pickup from the new branch. The ‘click and collect’ system is aimed at eliminating delivery costs, which enables MECET to offer cheaper prices on the webshop.
“We are making it attractive for customers to order online, and we expect them to get comfortable with ordering parts online and collecting it from our branch. We would deliver to customers if they requested us to do so,” says Aernouts.
Aernouts projects that most of the company’s future customers will be rental companies because of the growing rental market. However, MECET has no plans to enter the rental market.
“Our company policy is that we will not enter the rental or financing business, although both have huge market potential. We prefer to operate within our areas of expertise, which are product development and after-sales support,” says Aernouts.