In response to the exceptional growth that Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa has experienced over the past few years, the company has constructed a new 1,500m2 warehouse at its head office in Johannesburg to accommodate the rise in machine orders. Shortly after occupying the new warehouse, the company also opened its new "Centre for Technical Excellence", which is serving as a training centre and housing the company’s specialised repair workshop. According to national logistics manager, Jaenne van der Westhuizen, the equipment that needed to be stored and moved as a result of orders, increased to such an extent over 2007 and 2008 that the warehouse at the time was bursting at the seams. Consequently, to provide additional storage space in the interim, 14 containers were rented and placed in the parking area next to the warehouse. "This was not an ideal situation as everything had to be handled twice; once when packing the goods into the containers and again when moving the boxes into the warehouse," he says. "Now, the new warehouse provides ample storage space. The receiving area occupies one third of the building while the remaining 1,000m2 is utilised for high rise storage, up to a height of 7,5m. Where previously only one dock leveller was available to offload containers at a time, two containers can now be moved simultaneously, speeding up the process substantially and contributing to improved customer service. In addition, we use a vacuum receiving system, which means that goods are only released into the warehouse once the total receiving process has been completed." A portion of the warehouse has also been allocated to house the stock of DEVELOP South Africa, a new player within the document production and management space focusing on enterprise development and skills transferal within the local marketplace. As a result of Konica Minolta South Africa’s recent success and the need to train more technicians, the Centre for Technical Excellence boasts three modern and well-quipped training rooms as well as a demonstration area, where machines can be demonstrated to customers. "These new facilities pay testimony to the company’s achievements and are undoubtedly something of which we can be very proud. We believe that the expansions will enhance our service delivery to customers and contribute to further the success for Konica Minolta South Africa," van der Westhuizen concludes.
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