With effect from June 1, sawmill and bandsaw blade manufacturer Wood-Mizer is providing a new level of support to the African sawmilling industry by establishing a fully owned subsidiary company.
Located in Johannesburg, the operation is headed by Jean-Jacques Oelofse ('JJ') who takes on the new position of Regional Manager - Africa, with responsibility for all sales and service activities. He will be working directly with customers as well as coordinating and expanding the network of agents and distributors throughout the Continent.
"Local operators and potential customers respond particularly to a supplier's dedicated presence, with the availability of technical support, engineering expertise, operator training and maintenance services", said Richard Vivers, chief operating officer for Wood-Mizer's Sawmill Division worldwide.
"Of course, it is essential to have a manager who is knowledgeable and sensitive to local needs, and I am delighted that JJ Oelofse has joined us. He brings wide experience of sawmilling and of Wood-Mizer over many years, most recently from running a large timber processing business in Zambia which uses our sawmills.
"As a manufacturer supplying global markets we have become increasingly convinced of the importance of establishing a strong local presence. In 2009 we appointed a regional manager for Asia based at a subsidiary office in Singapore, and last year we appointed a regional manager for South America. Both of these developments have proved successful, and we are confident that the same will be true for the new office in Africa".
Wood-Mizer manufactures a wide range of equipment - from mobile sawmills that can be towed to site, avoiding the cost of log haulage, to edgers and moulder/planers for adding value to the sawn boards, up to fully integrated lines for efficient small log processing and a new 'large' mill for logs up to 1.7m diameter. It is the only sawmill manufacturer in the world that also manufactures its own sawblades, designed for optimum performance on its own machines and on other makes of bandsaw.
"It's an exciting time to join Wood-Mizer and I am looking forward to meeting existing and potential customers", said Mr Oelofse. "I know from first-hand experience how well the company's sawmills and sawblades perform and how suited they are to the needs of African timber processors.
"My priorities are to provide top-class service, competitive pricing, and good availability of sawmills, sawblades and spare parts from local stocks, so that we can work closely with timber companies to help them improve their productivity, quality, yield and profits".
Wood Mizer Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd is the 15th
Wood-Mizer subsidiary around the world and is located at 9 Harnas Street, Stormill Ext 5, Roodepoort, Johannesburg, South Africa 1709. For more information, contact JJ Oelofse (tel: +27 83 29 48 712;
; skype: jean.jacques.pierre.oelofse).