SKF Kenya Ltd. recently relocated to new premises in a bid to increase efficiency, pass better value on to SKF Authorised Distributors and improve its service offering to customers. “It is our objective to add value to our customers so as to drive better performance from their installed assets with minimal operating costs,” states Managing Director of SKF Kenya, Harris Kariuki.
“We have implemented a growth strategy that aligns with our vision to reinforce our position as a robust partner to Kenyan customers with a strong distributor reach to all corners of the country. This involves the closing of our warehouse and the appointment of new specialised industry distributors. By exiting the retail business, we are now able to pin our focus on our core competencies and customer value delivery through our distribution channels,” explains Kariuki.
SKF Kenya’s expansive East African distributor network has grown over time and currently consists of 30 Authorised Distributors across six countries – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. “Our team of eleven skilled staff members, in close collaboration with this extensive network, enables us to serve virtually all industries including food and beverage, mining, cement, sugar, tea, ports & harbours as well as energy providers,” notes Kariuki. “We are seeing some exciting possibilities in new areas such as renewable energy, railway, as well as new mining projects. With our offering of a wide range of quality products, advanced technologies, and excellent support enables us to take our business to new markets and perfectly positions us as a turnkey solutions partner.”
SKF Kenya’s expansive product offering comprises bearings, power transmission, Lincoln centralised lubrication systems, automotive and agricultural parts, lubricants, maintenance tools, vibration analysis equipment and related services. The product portfolio is fully supported by after-sales services include commissioning of equipment, bearing installations, laser alignment, dynamic balancing and technical training.
According to Kariuki, some of the largest customers are situated in Nairobi, Mombasa and Western Kenya. He reveals that they are involved in a number of large projects that include the improvement of fans by converting them from white metal into rolling bearings and vibration condition monitoring contracts. “We are also training 600 customer staff located across Kenya,” adds Kariuki.
Kariuki and his team plan to build on SKF Kenya’s sound technical knowledge, long stable relationship with customers, knowledge of market requirements, provision of technical training and a strong distributor network. “We are now able to execute our plan to further expand on these factors which differentiate us from our competitors. In addition to providing quality products, we will add further value by transferring product, technical and engineering knowledge to our customers. On top of this we will extend our provision of valuable advice and insights into how customers can reduce maintenance and operational costs. My team also attends regular training programmes including Technical Courses, EHS and Quality Systems, Ethics, and Code of Conduct, Anticorruption, etc. to arm them with all the necessary skills to deliver top notch services to our customers.”
Counterfeit products are one of the biggest challenges for Kariuki and his team, a matter which they take very seriously. “We constantly educate our customers on the risks of using fake products as well as how to look out for them and advise them to check product authenticity on the user-friendly ‘SKF Authenticate’ App on Android Play Store and Apple Store.”
During the move to the new centrally located premises in Industrial Area, Enterprise Road No 74, directly opposite the Tetra Pak factory in Nairobi, SKF Kenya ensured that customer service remained a top priority. “By dedicating one team to the move and another to attend to customer enquiries, helped to keep things seamless for our customers,” concludes Kariuki.