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Bush-fire Protection

Local manufacturing enables quick response

In the midst of the devastating bushfire situation that occurred around January and February 2020, many suppliers of equipment were caught short due to the huge spike in demand. When the crisis hit, many property owners turned to their rural supply stores for fire protective equipment including pumps and hose. Crusader Hose in turn was suddenly filled with urgent orders for their fire hose

“These situations are very difficult to forecast,” says Francois Steverlynck, Managing Director of Crusader Hose. Fortunately, there was a large stock of fire hose in the warehouse that would only need to be fitted prior to their prompt despatch. The company also responded by keeping their weaving looms running 18 hours per day, including Saturday. Many company employees cancelled their Christmas annual leave in order to attend to this unprecedented demand.

“This is not a situation we like to be in as it was a stressful and heartbreaking time for many. Our commitment was to provide as much help and support as possible, trying to get as many deliveries out as quickly as we could, sometimes having to delay processing industrial hose orders. We copped a fair bit of pressure from our regular mining customers; however, priorities were given to those in the affected bushfire areas,” said Francois.

Each fire hose ordered had the appropriate coupling fitted to it as per the customer’s specified pump outlet. The most popular was 25 & 38 mm BSP threaded couplings followed by Storz type. These were securely attached and tested so that customers could fully depend on the fire hose to handle the high pressure of the pump. “Many customers were relieved to receive their fire hose within 2-3 days and the positive feedback was most satisfying,” added Francois.

The management at Crusader Hose decided to take the bold step to invest in more weaving looms, so as to be even better prepared for future demand. The Mandal looms, which come from Norway, are from one of the best suppliers in the world. “This is a major capital expense,” said Francois, “yet we are showing our commitment to local manufacturing plus quick turnaround. The Covid crisis has taught us about the risk of being dependent on imports.” Customer service is best offered with local capability as there is no time to wait for overseas shipments to arrive.

Key Learnings:

  • Support rural property owners
  • Quick turnaround
  • Great customer service & support

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