Davis & Shirtliff is re-defining its distribution strategy to capture the bigger African market, improve customer experience and play an even bigger role in helping the continent address perennial water and energy challenges.
On Monday, the company that was founded 75 years ago in Westlands, Nairobi, held a ceremony attended by partners, friends and staff inaugurating its new state of the art Distribution Centre at Tatu City, the new mixed-use development 25 kilometres outside Nairobi near Ruiru.
“Distribution is the core competence that one needs in this digital age. This investment will greatly enhance distribution capacity to the Groups’ network of 70 branches in nine regional countries as well as facilitating the development of the growing e-business, a key Group priority that is going to drive the business into the future,” said Davis & Shirtliff Chairman, Alec Davis during the commissioning event.
This investment, the Company’s largest-ever, covers a 10,000 square meter area that includes offices and staff facilities as well as the warehouse and provides a central hub where stock can be stored and efficiently redistributed across different markets within the continent.
Warehouse features include a single-roof open floor area with extensive racking, self-levelling vehicle docking bays, high specification material handling equipment and a new warehouse management IT system has also been installed.
“We needed a completely different approach to distribution and a Greenfield project like this was the only option. Previously distribution was centralised at the Company’s Industrial Area Head Office though due to huge growth over the past few years driven by development of the branch network capacity had become overwhelmed. Facilities of a different scale had become vital and that was the genesis of this project,” said Mr. Davis.
About 50 years ago Davis & Shirtliff was selling about 700 pumps a year. Today the company is selling over 200,000 pumps as well as many other products annually. The new facility will allow for increased stock holding, and, importantly, faster delivery to customers.
“We believe we have a strong basis to grow within Africa and become an African brand. We certainly are leading our industry in terms of technology, distribution and product. Through this, we offer greatly improved service to our customers that enables us to achieve our Improving Lives purpose and it is a powerful driver for us as we develop this business,” Mr. Davis said.
Davis & Shirtliff participates in seven product segments all focused on providing energy and water solutions. A particular focus is its growing presence in the solar energy business where it is already a market leader. Other activities include surface and borehole water pumping, water treatment, swimming pools, power generation and irrigation where it sells many products under the Dayliff own brand as well as using international suppliers like Pedrollo and Grundfos.
The Group is already benefitting from the new Distribution Centre and it will no doubt enable it to achieve rapid growth in the future.