Closely-knit customer-supplier relationship pays dividends on a challenging pipe project
[Johannesburg, 13 March 2018]: A more than customer-supplier relationship between specialist pipeline contractor, JDC, and thermoplastic piping supplier, Plasti-Tech, was the recipe for success on a challenging pipe installation project recently completed by JDC for Henric Ferro Chrome in the North West Province of South Africa. In business, maintaining strong working relationships means everything. Strong working relationships are entirely possible, but it takes trust and transparency on both sides. A case in point is the relationship which JDC’s HDPE Piping Division has over the past four years forged with thermoplastic piping specialist, Plasti-Tech. The significance of such a strong customer-supplier relationship was recently demonstrated on a challenging pipe installation project which had a very short and stringent timeline where material shortages were out of question. According to Nadine Roussouw, Contracts Administrator at JDC, the scope of the over R1-million project entailed the installation of 250 mm SDR9 Tailing Pipeline at a cyclone deposit at Henric Ferro Chrome’s Morula Plant just outside of Brits, North West Province. “The project called for the supply and installation of HDPE stub and flanges pipes lengths, fittings and valves,” explains Roussouw. The project commenced at the start of October 2017 and the pipeline was commissioned by mid-October. “The entire job, including the delivery of pipes, stubs and flanges, butt-welding of pipes, installation of HDPE pipes and commissioning, took 10 days to complete,” explains Roussouw. As short as the timeline signals, this project was no walk in the park. “Every project has its own uniqueness to it, as well as its obstacles,” says Roussouw. The biggest challenge on this project was getting the material (considering the large quantities and that SDR9 is not so standard) at a very short notice as this was an urgent project request. “Additionally, all the pipe lengths were to be stub- and flanged at our workshop and then get transported to site to save on time,” explains Roussouw. Roussouw says this challenge was overcome through great service delivery from pipe supplier Plasti-Tech which delivered the stubs on a daily basis in batches, straight to site to allow the extra team to butt-weld the pipes while the other team started laying the pipeline on route and the third team commenced fastening. “Once we got into the rhythm, everything went smoothly right until the very end,” explains Roussouw, adding that a total of 13 people worked on the project. At a total value of about R800 000, Plasti-Tech supplied 800 m of 250 mm SDR9 pipes in 140 lengths, as well as the stubs and flanges reducers, among other things. Roussouw hails the “excellent” service from the thermoplastic piping specialist. “We have done business with Brad Chamont (managing member at Plasti-Tech) and his team for the past four years, and we have built an incredible relationship with them over that time. Their service delivery is excellent and the customer service is even better. Brad will always personally go the extra mile to sort out our needs,” says Roussouw. Roussouw concludes that the success of this project opens up many more doors for JDC and Plasti-Tech as far as future projects and new plants are concerned. “The successes recorded here can always be replicated elsewhere, further building our profile in the execution of jobs of this nature,” concludes Roussouw.