die Baustellen 2019: “Brextor is the Original”

Design review
In the BRC workshop. Sales manager Thomas Feller in conversation with locksmith Ennio Lizio.

Alois Portmann, CEO of BRC, invented the pile breaking machine eight years ago and now produces it at his construction machinery company in Rain LU. Now that business in Switzerland has got off to a good start, orders for abroad are already in the pipeline. The editorial team spoke to Sales Manager Thomas Feller about the company’s upcoming expansion.

Interview: Renato Polentarutti And Werner Aebi // Photos: Werner Aebi and BRC

Why do you want to expand abroad – is it getting too crowded in Switzerland?

Thomas Feller: We realised that there is still no similar or comparable product to Brextor pile breaking machien anywhere in the world. The pile heads are therefore still traditionally processed with hydraulic hammers worldwide. Also with Hilti hammers, which is very physically demanding. Brextor prevents any physical damage. There is also a big gain in terms of time. If a worker has to reduce the pile by one metre with a Hilti, he has a full working day. The same job takes around ten minutes with Brextor.
Our CEO Alois Portmann already had personal contacts abroad. We got an order in the Philippines through a company owner in Germany.. We were also able to make many contacts at Bauma 2019, and in some cases we were even allowed to make subsequent offers. At Bauma, we found potential customers from Russia, India and America who were interested in the product and wanted to have it explained to them in more detail. In the meantime, we have had further exchanges with these people regarding enquiries, offers and information.

How did you prepare for the international business?

We first gave this device a name: Brextor. And we have protected the device and the methods worldwide with patents – and the trade mark is registered. The name Brextor should be memorised by people as the term for the pile breaking – because Brextor is the original. We are currently in the process of shooting various image films, for which I was just in Zurich yesterday at the Glasi Bülach construction site. The company Eberhard is carrying out the foundation and civil engineering work there. We did a short interview with the foreman on site. Eberhard was the very first company to buy Brextor.
The BRC company has split up, especially with regard to the upcoming international activities, and three companies are now organised under the BRC brand. This is BRC Engineering AG, which produces the pile breaking machine and is responsible for global marketing. Then BRC Baumaschinen AG takes over the business of the former Baurent company and is now responsible for the rental and sale of all products, including the marketing of Brextor in Switzerland. From January 2020, the company BRC Baudienstleister will be active, replacing Baupers and being responsible for the services. Baupers will be solely responsible for the properties. The operational part is then handled by the company BRC Baudienstleister, which employs these people who actively supervise the construction sites and do the pile breaking.

Orders from abroad would suddenly require large quantities to be available for delivery. Are you prepared for this?

We are currently in the process of producing for our warehouse. The reserves are built up. The first milling head is already in operation in the Philippines. In Thailand, we have a man on the spot who is building up the Brextor business. Acquisitions are also being made in Germany, where a milling head is in use. There is currently an enquiry from Paris for Brextor. We will certainly also work the European markets.
Brextor is always used where piling is required and this always happens where the subsoil is weak and the foundations require appropriate support. Dubai, for example, is an ideal field; in the desert sand, foundations are generally laid with piles.

Are these deals worthwhile – given the price gap and global logistics?

We have also calculated our prices for foreign countries. The costs there are also at the Swiss level. We are already at the higher level in Switzerland, but that is feasible. Brextor is a quality product and the focus abroad is usually on very large construction sites. The basic package includes various components and a suitable pile head crusher. The plug-in system allows the inner and outer cutters to be interchanged in order to adapt them to the size of the pile. This means that the purchase is not expensive, but can be varied on the construction site with the basic kit. Glasi Bülach has piles with a diameter of 1600 millimetres, which corresponds to the maximum size in our current standard. In Thailand, piles of 2000 millimetres are planned, which is why we are currently planning to build a larger milling head.

How does the delivery of wear and spare parts and service work worldwide?

We are in contact with transport and logistics companies, it is possible to dispatch spare parts within a short period of time. Depending on the case, the part can be delivered within 24 hours to a week. We recommend that all customers keep the wear parts in stock. The milling teeth (chisels) are easy to replace.
The special tool is included in the first delivery. In principle, the contractor or buyer carries out the service on the pile breaking machine himself. BRC only has to provide on-site service in serious cases.

Thailand and many other countries are so-called risk markets. How does the financing, the business transaction work?

In principle, we endeavour to find resellers in the regions and countries. The funding will then also be channelled through this office. In the Philippines, for example, we demanded a third down payment, the second third is due on completion and the third third after delivery. However, in this case the representation was handled by our contact in Germany. If we deliver directly to a customer, we require payment in advance. This means 50 per cent when the order is placed and 50 per cent when the goods are ready.

www.brc.swiss

Original press release in German.

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