In late 2013, as thoughts everywhere began to turn to the holiday season, Gebo Cermex got the celebrations started early with the opening of a brand new office in Bensheim, Germany, and a move to significantly larger premises in South Africa.
The location of the new sales and services outpost in Germany is particularly significant: of course Bensheim is within easy reach of European transport hub Frankfurt, but most importantly this new office represents Gebo Cermex’s determination to strengthen its presence in Germany. The 7 sales staff and field service engineers based in Bensheim will help to further bolster the brand’s reputation in this crucial market.
The Gebo brand has been a major player in the German market ever since the company bought out local conveyor systems firm Kaiser in the mid-1980s. Nowadays Germany accounts for 10% of Gebo Cermex’s European drinks packaging business, with strong performances in the can & glass and returnable PET markets. These are core sectors where Gebo Cermex boasts a comprehensive expertise: from conveying equipment to bespoke line engineering solutions.
Increased capacity and closer proximity
Five thousand miles away from wintry Bensheim, another major change is afoot in the Gebo Cermex family – this time in South Africa.
On February 1st the group’s South African operations will be transferred to their new home on the Saxenburg Industrial Park, in the Kuils River suburb of Capetown. This new site will include a 70% increase in both office space and the size of the workshop.
This move marks a major step forward for Gebo Cermex’s growth strategy on the continent, as J-P. Henriet, Middle East & Africa Commercial Director explains:
“The marriage of Gebo and Cermex last year has given us a huge boost in Africa, allowing us to reach the critical size required to make a real impact on this dynamic market. Increasing our capacities in Capetown will help us to get closer to our clients as we continue to grow.”
The increase in the number of employees attached to the Capetown facility will largely consist of new field service engineers, trained and equipped to handle maintenance and installation for the large number of Gebo Cermex installations in operation in this zone.
And Johan Smit, Gebo Cermex’s Regional Commercial Manager for South Africa, enthusiastically laid out his ambitions for the new facility:
“From our new Capetown base, our goal is to become the Gebo Cermex sales and services hub for all of Sub-Saharan Africa. With some of the recent advances in crate and bottle conveyor systems we are better placed than ever before to become a major presence on the African market, and it’s an opportunity we intend to seize with both hands.”
Though they may be thousands of miles apart, these two new facilities are linked by a shared philosophy, as Gebo Cermex works to maintain its strategic proximity to key markets and customers. The German office is a major new asset in a crucial European location, while the expansion of our operations in Capetown once again demonstrates the group’s commitment to the African market, boosting pre- and post-sales support operations to offer unrivalled quality of service: Gebo Cermex is clearly striving to further improve its analysis and understanding of customers’ local needs.