Retaining the competitive edge

 

Oman Cables Industry will continue to strive on a strategy framework that focuses on the creation of long term value to all stakeholders while ensuring sustainability in the operations. The company will remain vigilant and ensure that the winning recipe of supplying superior products with a competitive price is maintained, says Gert Hoefman, CEO Gert Hoefman

 

 

 

Oman Cables Industry is one of the top cable manufacturers in the region. What are the challenges facing the manufacturing sector in general?

Oman Cables Industry develops, manufactures and markets a totally integrated variety of electrical cables and conductors for diverse applications including medium voltage power cables, low voltage power and control cables, building wires and a range of cables for special applications.

The company offers cables with special features suitable for different types of application, environmental conditions or as per customer requirement. The manufacturing facilities are situated within the largest industrial complex in Muscat. Equivalent facilities are available in Sohar where the aluminium manufacturing facility is based. Achieving economies of scale combined with operational excellence is an important dynamic for success within the very competitive cable business environment.

Oman Cables is a well-known internationally accredited power cable manufacturer and operates mainly within the GCC region with an extensive distribution and office network throughout the region. Offices are based in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Oman Cables is serving customers in the utility, construction, oil, gas and petrochemical industries, mining, transportation and industrial manufacturing sector.

The manufacturing sector in Oman is characterised by the production of mainly commodity products. The challenge for the sector is to innovate and create more added value in the products that are produced. We see more and more initiatives in the industry to launch new products, to improve the quality and benefit from the opportunities that export is creating.

How can manufacturing companies stay competitive in the current economic environment?

The daily reality of the new economic scenario continues to force the manufacturing sector to focus on industrial efficiencies and cost optimisation. The economy is experiencing a wakeup call and all companies, whether active in the manufacturing sector or in any other segment of the economy, have to react to the consequences of the new reality. The drop in global oil prices has put pressure on Oman’s economy. With the hydrocarbons being the main driver of the economy representing almost 50 per cent of the GDP, the impact is certainly evident. However, Oman is still investing in infrastructure expansion as it is believed to be important for the long term future of the country.

For Oman Cables Industry, the majority of sales is realised outside of Oman. The GCC market is considered to be the home market for the company. In these export markets and Oman, the company is a unique and well recognised player that differentiates itself from its competitors by focusing on quality aspects. We believe that quality is the main factor in competitiveness to achieve customer satisfaction.

What drives OCI’s growth in the Sultanate market and beyond?

The company has positioned itself as a recognised power cable manufacturer following international standards and accreditations to ensure that the highest quality products are delivered to its customers on time. Through constantly researching the demands and trends within the different market sectors, the company provides a specialised service for each customers need.

The GCC region where Oman Cables is predominantly operating still continues to be a growth area for the cable products. In the medium term, the oil related economic growth and demographics of the region will spur projects in the residential, commercial, infrastructure, oil and gas, power, and industrial sectors. This will generate the demand for the company’s cable products.

Oman Cables Industry performs well across all geographical segments and product categories and has developed a sustainable customer base within the various market sectors through a combination of branch offices and associations spanning all markets. The company has managed to obtain and sustain a good market share at all main electrical utilities within the region and has invested in the latest technology for manufacturing and testing.

Can you give an example of OCI initiatives that benefits its customers?

Part of building the capabilities of the electrical utilities in Oman comes from imparting technical knowledge to ensure the strategic development of the technical engineering staff of the Nama Group subsidiaries. We are trying to get a balance of technical and practical knowledge across to the staff of our most important customers.

Oman Cables Industry has a long standing framework agreement with the EHC Nama Group subsidiary companies operating across the electrical utilities for the ongoing supply of cables used across the electrical network in the Sultanate. This was the first such agreement put into place for the electrical utilities and local companies and contractors have all benefited from the establishment of that agreement which was first signed in June 2013. Through the development of a tailored technical training course that was run in-house as a Value Added Service (VAS) to EHC Nama Group, it is possible to strengthen the partnership and further expand the depth of staff engagement across both the manufacturer and the end users. This initiative was not developed only to shorten the manufacturing lead time and lowering costs, although those two points alone justify the strong partnership that exists between EHC Nama Group and Oman Cables. It’s also about finding innovative ways to make the partnership constantly work better. Environmental issues like drum recycling and management of scrap materials, cutting services, finding better ways to interface the procurement process mechanisms – all of these things help to improve the overall service.

What are the expansion plans planned for OCI?

Oman Cables Industry continues to focus on the dynamic and competitive market for cables. The continued emphasis on operational excellence is an important factor to the continuous success of the company. We have a strong operational performance and will continue to strive on a strategy framework that focuses on the creation of long term value to all stakeholders while ensuring the sustainability in the operations. The company will remain vigilant and ensure that the winning recipe of supplying superior products with a competitive price is maintained.

 


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