Leo Bricks of Soweto, Gauteng is an example of a successful woman-run small business that has benefited from the quality equipment manufactured by PMSA.
Selling direct to the public, owner Olga Maroga started her business single-handedly. “I had no background in the construction or manufactur ing industry . Everything I learnt was self-taught. I started the business in 2007 by investing in a UNI plant from PMSA,” she explains.
The UNI plant is capable of producing 17 000standard bricks in a nine-hour shift, using skilled workers. The plant can also be configured to produce chamfer pavers, interlock paver s, and twin-cavity blocks.
Such was the success of the UNI plant that Leo Bricks subsequently invested in an RE-600 block machine from PMSA. This comprises a 7.5 kW hydraulic mould, tamper, feeder-box and pallet-feeder operation with a 2.2 kW twin-shaft vibrator, overhead concrete silo, and adjustable cams for automatic filling of the feeder box.
It can accommodate pallet sizes of 630 x 530 x 21 mm or 608 x 530 x 21mm.
“In addition to the equipment itself, PMSA provided us with unmatched customer service by providing on-site training for all staff,” Olga notes. This was supplemented by aftermarket support as well.
She highlights that Leo Bricks focuses exclusively on the residential market, as opposed to government projects or large developments for private contrac tors. “We are not looking for projects with limited timeframes. Neither do we want to limit the stock we are able to sell direct to the public, as this is our main market. The bulk of our everyday customers are in close proximity to our business.
“Being able to guarantee product quality and consistency has allowed us to grow significantly, as the bulk of our customers are repeat orders.” And we establish close relationships with many of our customers, even carrying out follow-up checks to check on customer satisfaction.
Women are just as good
Commenting on challenges faced by women in construction, Olga points out that breaking into this male-dominated industry is not easy. “There is still a misperception that women cannot be good business people, especially in a manufacturing environment. Therefore you have to work twice as hard.”
However, she is adamant that women can make a substantial contribution to this industry. “Keep learn ing more about your industry, because the more you know, the easier it gets. Always be hands-on; know how your business works; and become involved in every single process. Most importantly, build relationships with your stakeholders and customers, because they are the drivers of your business,” she concludes.