Saudi Arabia

The Bobcat S450 ... focus on operator comfort.

The Bobcat S450 ... focus on operator comfort.

Best of the brands

May 2015



Kanoo Machinery, a subsidiary of the diversified YBA Kanoo empire, continues to build on its reputation as one of the region’s leading providers of materials handling solutions, mobile and truck-mounted cranes, full-size compact construction equipment, diesel engines, access platforms, and power generators with recent launches of construction equipment from top global manufacturers.

According to Mohammed Hasan Al Tarrah, commercial manager, Kanoo Machinery, in the last few months the company has launched the Bobcat S450 skid-steer loader with air-conditioned cab; the Hitachi ZAXIS 200-5G, which is 40 per cent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor; and a Hiab truck-mounted crane with extended boom length and capacity.

“Our network of workshops, parts and mobile service facilities stretches across the region, providing the perfect support for the world-class customers and brands we represent,” he explains.

In order to optimise its customers’ investment in plant and equipment, Kanoo Machinery maintains a team of professional engineers who will study the application and provide guidance on product selection which suits the individual circumstances and requirements.

Kanoo Machinery’s principals list reads like a who’s who of materials handling specialists. As well as Grove and Hiab mobile cranes, the company represents forklift trucks from Hyster, Combi- lift, Aisle Master and Stor-Mat, a UAE-based company which offers turnkey design solutions for warehouses. Construction equipment manufacturers also include Bobcat, Hitachi, Ausa and Sullair, as well as repair and maintenance products from Cummins (Bahrain only), Tennant Cleaning Devices (UAE and Saudi Arabia only), as well as Snorkel, Massey Ferguson and JLG.

Brian O’Sullivan, Kanoo Machinery’s executive general manager covering Bahrain, Saudi and UAE markets and two small joint ventures in Qatar and Oman, says the company’s philosophy is based on long-term partnerships, comprehensive customer care and after-sales, and the best products.

“Our principals are global leaders who have high expectations of us, as we do of them. Some have been partners with us for decades,” he says.

Long-term relationships have been central to the Kanoo Group ethos for 125 years, and for Kanoo Machinery that is reflected in a customer-centric approach organised through a regional network of 17 branches in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, and five workshops in Saudi Arabia. In the last 12 months, the company has opened new branches in Abha and Makkah (Saudi Arabia) and Mussafah and Fujairah (UAE) to better serve its customers, who include equipment rental companies, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors, and warehousing, industrial, refinery, petrochemical and logistics firms.

“Regional expansion is about getting closer to our customers,” says O’Sullivan. “We will continue to look at opening new branches in strategic locations, including the Central and Northern Provinces of Saudi Arabia,” he adds.

The branch expansion plan is part of what O’Sullivan says is an “aggressive growth strategy” for the business.

“We have numerous joint ventures with global companies so we will look at opportunities to expand through joint ventures (JVs) and acquisitions,” he points out.

The executive is optimistic about the market context, despite oil price volatility.

“We see no impact on our business. Regional economies are robust. In Saudi Arabia, you have the large investment projects such as Sadara, Ma’aden, Jubail II, Jizan and King Abdullah Economic City. Similarly in the UAE, with Expo 2020, there is renewed confidence in the construction industry. And in Bahrain you have the trickledown effect of the $10-billion GCC Development Fund, with huge new infrastructure projects including housing and sewage networks, plus the $6-billion oil refinery modernisation programme.”

O’Sullivan acknowledges the fact that where there is opportunity there is competition, but is confident in Kanoo Machinery’s proposition.

“Our products are of high build quality and are reliable with a competitive market price, meaning lower lifecycle costs.”

Going forward, Al Tarrah says Kanoo Machinery will continue to seek new principals to contribute market developments.

“The credentials are clear. They have to be the right fit for us, a global player.”

He says with the construction equipment market becoming ever more price-sensitive, it is up to service providers like Kanoo Machinery and global principals to develop more cost-efficient supply chains.

“Some manufacturers do realise the need to develop a more global manufacturing footprint to be closer to the end-user and reduce lead times and costs,” he explains.

The ISO9000-certified company is also stepping up its human resource capabilities to cater to new market requirements, with localisation an important ongoing theme.

“We see the employment of nationals as a business opportunity rather than a legal requirement. In Bahrain, more than 45 per cent of the workforce are nationals, and in Saudi Arabia 40 per cent at all levels. It is a corporate value, not just a dream,” O’Sullivan concludes.

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