Written by Eamonn Ryan
Changes are on the horizon for the industry.
TecsaReco, the one-stop-shop for all clients’ needs, recently hosted a series of SHAC Roadshows across the country at its branches in Durban, Johannesburg, Centurion, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Nelspruit.
These networking events brought together TescaReco’s customers and suppliers. The day introduced the former to the full breadth of its range of activities. Marc Duthoit, TecsaReco general manager, noted that many customers only knew TecsaReco for one specific offering and remained unaware of recent product launches and its end-to-end solution.
The SHAC Roadshow allowed suppliers – local and international – to discuss their products, providing an excellent opportunity to interact with customers, answer their questions and enlighten them about the different offerings. “TecsaReco represents some of the largest and most renowned brands in the air conditioning, appliance spares and refrigeration industries, which supply some of the top brands worldwide. Our purpose was to showcase our commitment to being a comprehensive solution provider, catering to all customer needs.
“For instance, it is often overlooked that TecsaReco represents leading international suppliers who provide refrigerants and other materials to well-known brands. This display of global partnerships not only instils pride in the staff, but also assures customers that TescaReco collaborates with reputable and influential companies.” For instance, in respect of compressors, TecsaReco counts several major brands as suppliers, with Duthoit pointing out its focus on the aftermarket side of the industry, selling non-competing conventional compressors. A key focus of international brands at the moment is the future of refrigerants. “Certain refrigerants will be phased out worldwide, which leads to the question of what will happen when there is a shortage of these refrigerants.” He noted that while these refrigerants were being phased out it was creating shortages and some anxiety in the local market – but assured that this matter was receiving attention and he was confident that announcements were imminent that would address those concerns.
He listed another future issue as the anticipation surrounding the change from disposable to re-usable cylinders for refrigerants. “We are in favour of this change, considering the environmental impact of disposable cans. The refrigerant market in South Africa is behind what is happening in Europe, and I hope we see legislative changes or industry-led initiatives to address this. “Looking at the manufacturing trends in Europe and America, it is clear that the HVAC&R industry in South Africa will eventually have to adapt. The recent widespread evidence of rising temperatures is assisting people to understand the impact of global warming. I hope that people will voluntarily make the switch, but legislation may be necessary to drive the change.
“In this country, people mainly associate air conditioners with cooling rather than heating. However, air conditioning is actually a highly efficient way to heat – around 70% more efficient than a heater. Making the change will not only reduce the electricity bill but will have a positive impact on improving the energy footprint of households. Not to mention the fact that they are more friendly to solar systems than conventional heating.
“The business-to-business sector has been better for us compared to the consumer sector. Retailers and businesses are still investing in refrigeration and air- conditioning systems. However, we note that there is significant financial pressure on the South African consumer due to the economic climate. These pressures are driven but not limited to currency fluctuations, rising costs of living and fuel and energy prices. As we enter into the summer season, we still expect to see an increase in air conditioner sales. The key is to offer the best value for money to attract customers,” he adds.
On that point, he noted that duty clawbacks on air conditioners were currently being introduced. These changes may have short-term impacts, potentially causing some smaller players in the market to exit. “It is an evolving situation that will bring about necessary changes for the industry as a whole.”