At the Hendrina power station in South Africa, a new dosing skid was needed for dosing ammonia (NH3) into the water for the cooling towers. ACI Technical Services, one of the leading distributors of analytical instrumentation in South Africa, was in charge of supplying the new dosing skid.
Jacobus "Koos" Bekker of Grundfos South Africa (GZA) had been working on winning over ACI for almost two years and naturally went for the opportunity to secure the deal, but doing so proved to be a real test of his persistence.
"I redid the quote for this sale twelve times," exclaims Koos. "If I had to say what made the customer choose Grundfos, I would say that it was the fact that I was persistent and willing to attend long site meetings with ACI as well as Eskom." Showing a representative of ACI around the GZA premises and demonstrating a dosing skid being built for another client definitely helped, as the client could see the quality in the work; even so, however, it took a price discount to finally land the deal. "Pricing is always a big problem", explains Koos. "The customer agreed to place the order if I would give him a 15% discount. I agreed to this but only if he placed the order in 2012 before we had a new price increase. Unfortunately, they didn't manage to do so but placed the order in January 2013. I finally gave him a 10% discount only on dosing equipment".
For the solution at Hendrina, GZA delivered 20 DDI 222-60D stainless steel digital dosing pumps: a duty pump and a standby backup pump (10 complete skids with two pump, two agitators, two loading valves, two relieve valves and two pulsation dampeners per skid). The pumps operate on a 4-20mA signal coming from the water analyser going to the PLC and then coming back to the dosing pump. The system can also be operated manually from the PLC. The order also includes signal cables, output cables, valves, pulsation dampeners, agitators, tanks, dosing skids and safety showers. With the dosing skid solution in place at Hendrina, Koos is now working on increasing sales with this hard-won client: "I have quoted them on spare parts as well as extra pumps and valves. The quote is ZAR 350,000 (EUR 25,400). I am still waiting for an order from them for 10 more DDI 22 pumps for filling the ammonia into the 1,000 litre tanks; this order is ZAR 300,000 (EUR 21,800)". Having really gone the extra mile to win over this client, you cannot help but feel that Koos, like all other persistent salesmen, deserves every extra order he can get.