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AFRICAN MODULAR BUILDING SOLUTIONS (AMBS) WRITTEN BY DONNIE RUST

Founded in 2009 by Allan Bellamy, a man with a long standing experience in the prefab industry, African Modular Building Solutions is today, heavily focussed, on supplying to the mining industry and ensuring quality and added value, to their product, throughout the Sub Saharan African market. AMBS is responsible for creating classrooms, clinics, accommodation and housing that workers and families rely on across the width of Africa.


AFRICAN MODULAR BUILDING SOLUTIONS

The core activities of the company,” Rhett Bellamy, financial director and member opens up, “Is the supplying of quality sandwich panels and other products to the mining sector.” With their onsite factory, located at the same address as their offices and warehouse African Modular Building Solutions are able to manufacture approximately 160 square metres of building, during each day time shift, “With additional shifts, we’re able to manufacture over three hundred square metres of building, a day.”

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riven by the demand for their product, everyone is hands on at the company, Rhett, who has been working there with father Allan, had to take time out, from loading up a truck,

to speak with me. “It’s hectic,” he explains, “You don’t have seasons in this business, it’s busy every single day.” Once produced, these sandwich boards and components, are palletized or loaded into crates, which are carefully packed onto a Superlink truck or into 40 foot and 20 foot containers which are then shipped directly to the customer for installation, “The emphasis is on timely production and delivery,” Rhett relates.

LEARNING ON THE JOB. There has been a positive shift, within the mining industry, towards taking the training outside of the universities to get people into the positions faster, to help push the working economy ahead. This has been known to place strain on some of the suppliers into the industry however this sort of employee attention has proven to be key to African Modular Building Solution’s success. “It’s important to have a tight knit team,” Rhett explains, “As an example last year we all went to Cape Town for a team building initiative.” Still a young business, the conduct and high levels of efficiency of their staff is essential, for the longevity of their company and Rhett recognizes that, in addition to a strong team spirit, the strength of their people relies on management ensuring that each employee has the tools and experience, to work at their best.


“We have fourteen staff in total,” Rhett adds, “And as they are stretched amongst our projects, their individual development, is a major priority for us. To help facilitate this, we have found that onthe job training is essential in our business, as it gives the staff the chance to be paid, while they learn and gain experience. It also allows us to accurately assess their development at each of our weekly management meetings and to make sure that what they are learning is relevant and cutting edge.” Quality is a watchword for AMBS, quality in staff and quality in product. Fully ISO 9001 certified for the manufacture and installation of prefabricated buildings, Rhett is very specific about how their company looks after their customers: “We always strive to provide them with a quality and superior product and will never sacrifice quality for cheaper or inferior products,” He adds that regular site checks are done during the construction phase of buidings, to ensure everything is as it should be. Aftersales service, is a very important area for Rhett, who believes that there is nothing better than having clients and customers return. “We believe in our product and will always restore, replace, repair or fix when and if required,”


AFRICAN MODULAR BUILDING SOLUTIONS

Prefabricated buildings is a densely populated industry in the mining 2014 has already started on a strong footing and should be their sector, with quality products always being in high demand. I asked busiest yet. Rhett what kind of strategies are in place to keep them ahead of their Developments in equipment and infrastructure, is on the agenda competition.

for this year and Rhett reveals that they have recently installed the Manni press in their factory, to produce their panels and that this is

“We continually look at our offering, to improve where possible,” only one part of their ongoing work, to ensure that the quality of their Rhett explains, “You have to improve the product first, to keep panels, are the best available. customers happy.” He goes on to explain that they currently offer a 60mm polyurethane panel, where the industry standard is 40mm and “We are also introducing a software product that will assist with stock that this gives added insulation and is a stronger structure all round, control, purchasing despatch and project control,” he adds. “Safety, reliability and sturdiness is what people want when they’re These additions will help the future of AMBS by enabling them to be relying and living in your prefabs.”

completely self-reliant and not restricted to supplier time lines and issues, “We will also be able to manage our cash flow more efficiently

It is an essential service that AMBS provides: The education of and this will provide a better service to our customers via a knock on children, the caring for the sick and injured, the provision of housing, effect,” offices and the management of mines all require premises. And, while Financially, AMBS is looking at an approximate internal investment of it may be a task that is often unappreciated by those people using R11 million on new buildings and equipment for 2014. them, it is still a task that Rhett and his team take very seriously. “We’ve been involved in a diverse range of projects,” Rhett relates, “Training of staff on this new equipment to produce the quality that we “But over the last two years we have been heavily involved with the require, has been a lengthy process but a very worthwhile exercise, as mines in Zambia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the current quality is getting to where we want it to be,” Rhett relates, South Africa,”

“It is a time consuming process to get staff up to speed on the software but once fully operational, will allow for more free time,”

Prefabrication is a uniquely diverse method, offering a catalogue of buildings for a variety of uses. While at the moment AMBS is mostly involved in providing mining management offices, accommodation and kitchens and diners, in 2011 one of their projects had them erecting a functional hospital in the DRC with five 40 bed wards , a visitors ward and an operating theatre. And, having serviced some of the largest mining companies in Africa,

“We continually look at our offering, to improve where possible,” Rhett explains, “You have to improve the product first, to keep customers happy.”


AFRICAN MODULAR BUILDING SOLUTIONS +27 114 742 701 WWW.AMBS.CO.ZA

www.littlegatepublishing.com


African modular building