Involved in the supply of equipment for the sectors of agriculture, port, logistics and mining since 1925, Kepler Weber offers the most complete range of products for grain storage, with the most elaborated and diversified models of silos, driers, cleaning machines and conveyors.
Globally recognized for adjusting, producing and installing the most relevant solutions of the industry while meeting customers’ needs, Kepler Weber is currently the largest company of the sector in the southern hemisphere, and the third largest in the world. To keep pace with the quick and ongoing growth of the Brazilian industry, investments in innovation play a key role in their journey. This can be perceived from the success and excellence of the works performed at Kepler Weber’s Cetek – Technological Center for Research, Development and Innovation – regarded as one of the largest technological centers of the world.
The relevant support to all such efficiency comes from a great supporting staff, from salespersons and sales representatives trough technical support, engineers and specialized technician teams devoted to developing solutions and ready to inspect over 600 works worldwide, simultaneously. According to the Vice-President of Kepler Weber, Olivier Colas, the solutions developed by the company are the ones that best preserve the integrity of the products to be stored and carried. “That is, the company offers the market the most robust team of professionals with unique expertise to assure the customers the best operating costs and cutting-edge equipment.” states the VP.
In addition to offering the market one of the largest and most robust team of engineers to implement and create storage units adjusted to each customer’s reality (by means of two plants equipped with cutting-edge equipment), Kepler Weber is able to manufacture, assemble and deliver any type of project required by the Brazilian market in record time.
With a considerable projection abroad, the company exports to all five continents, with prominent positions in South America, Middle East and East Africa. The company has recently expanded its activities by successfully entering the Dry Bulk Handling sector, selling and manufacturing conveyors to all port and ore areas. Colas assumes the good phase and unequivocal success in a tone of pride, “The company is the only one in the after-harvest sector listed in Bovespa. Clear rules of governance and a positive track record of delivery of value to shareholders led KW to close 2013 at the highest rising (+236 percent) of all companies listed in BM&FBovespa”.
One of the main positive factors for all that could be attributed to the fast growth in grain production (soybeans, corn, wheat and rice) over the 2000 years, and according to Colas, “particularly from 2010 on, there was instability between supply and demand of grain storage, and today the storage deficit exceeds 60 million tons.”
He said those and other elements are accountable for the enormous growth of Kepler Weber market as well. “Record crops, historically high prices of commodities and the implementation of new modalities of financing to producers from the last quarter of 2012, through Finame-PSI and PCA programs, caused the company market size to double within two years,” he explains.
Working in several segments in dry bulk storage, the company is expecting a substantial growth of some of them specifically, and is prepared to meet the demand of sectors such as mining, sea and river ports, household solid waste and brewery, for example.
PROFICIENCY AND QUALITY
With a forecast to reach an annual production of grains (2014/2015) of about 200 million tons in the coming years, the Brazilian market seems to be among the leading powers of the global agro-business, while Kepler Weber is responsible for storing almost one half of such amount, positioning itself in markets of different cycles to ensure greater force of sales, profitability and continued growth.
Not only the recent investments, but also the after-sale operations, are definitely some of the differences that place the company on the top of the list. Colas assumes that the investments made in the factories of Panambi and Campo Grande place the company as one of the world’s most competitive companies in the sector, and assures: “the after-sales mainstay is the segment that transversally serves other segments of the company. This area includes the sale of spare-parts and technical support services. It will soon be expanded to preventive maintenance, training and after-harvest maintenance.”
Moreover, the company coordinates the development of its employees in a peculiar way. They learn by means of programs in the commercial area, internal and external training sessions, they get financial support for professional education, and there are also Programs of Incentive to Education, which offer scholarships for language programs and specialization or Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The vice-president discloses that, last year alone, the company invested BRL 800 thousand in training, amounting nearly to 17,000 training sessions. “92 percent of the employees in all functional categories benefitted from it. Operating technicians were the ones who got more hours of training, 69 percent of which covered by training programs,” he summarizes.
INVESTMENTS AND CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY
Between 2010 and 2013, nearly BRL 90 million was invested, mostly to increase the company production capacity and productivity gains. Still this year, investments will reach as much as BRL 65 million, corresponding to the modernization of factories and industrial processes, as well as to operating improvements including the launch of the world’s largest silo, with no central column and able to store up to 35 thousand tons of soybeans.
Keeping pace with all the technological evolution required by the market itself, the initiatives go from implementing SAP through introducing new software to all operating areas of the company. In production, for example, state-of-the-art laser machines and modern profilers were purchased, which place Kepler Weber among the most advanced and competitive companies in the world. For example, the company offers an exclusive and innovative solution for grain storage and maintenance for family farming in Africa, allowing a substantial increase in the income of small agricultural producers. “The benefits of the silo Kikapu go beyond the field. One of the main differences of the product is the ventilation system that works by means of a solar panel, which adds environmental responsibility to the product and enables its installation in any region. The ventilation allows for storage in optimal conditions for grain maintenance, thus reducing production losses by the action of moisture and fungi,” boasts Colas. Another important feature is that the equipment is practical and easy to operate, since all the procedures from assembly to operation can be performed by the very producer.
With brilliant - and evident - performance, the vice-president is concise and admits, “Kepler Weber excellent performance is a result of strategic decisions made over the past years, which have deeply changed the company, establishing its leadership in Brazil.” He adds: “More challenges lie ahead for us to maintain our position and prominence, but we know we can count on a very motivated and prepared team.”