Established in 1924 in the US, Milwaukee is arguably the best power-tool brand in the world, according to Upat Product Specialist Werner Koch. “The cutting-edge in power-tool development at the moment is battery technology, and Milwaukee is a global leader in this regard, not only in lithium-ion batteries, but in power-management systems as well.”
Class-leading features of the Milwaukee brand are its POWERSTATE™ brushless motors, which work harder, last longer, and convert energy into power far more efficiently. “These patented motors allow the power tools to outperform competitor products in terms of both run time and performance,” Koch notes. He adds that Milwaukee manufactures all of its motors itself, as opposed to the traditional method of sub-contracting it out, thereby allowing for full quality control.
The company also has an extensive research and development initiative, based on the approach of taking a specific customer problem or application, and building a power tool around that requirement. “End users are also approached for feedback during this development process, which will incorporate any further changes or suggestions. The end result is supreme flexibility and adaptability, and an unrivalled focus on innovation,” Koch notes.
The Milwaukee brand is predicated on the slogan ‘nothing but heavy duty’, which makes it particularly suited for the African market. “These are the toughest power tools on the market today,” Koch asserts. They are ideal for Africa, which is one of the harshest construction environments in the world, second only to India. These best-of-breed power tools are rated to work in extreme temperature fluctuations as well.
This is one of the major European brands distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa by Upat, as its premium product offering to the construction industry and related trades. “Every job site can use a Milwaukee power tool. There is a Milwaukee for every single application,” Koch reiterates.
Any servicing or repairs are carried out at Upat’s Johannesburg service centre. “The aftermarket is an important growth area for us, and we are looking at opening additional service centres in Cape Town and Durban as well,” Koch reveals. Customers can also determine specific part numbers on exploded views of the power tools on the Milwaukee website, which will then direct them to the closest dealer.
Upat does not only sell power tools, but offers extensive end user training as well. “We offer training with every single power tool we sell directly,” Koch notes. This is important in terms of health and safety, as it ensures operators are fully aware how to handle their power tools and to get the maximum benefit from them.
While the Milwaukee brand has been designed specifically to accommodate generic, interchangeable consumables such as reciprocating and normal saw blades, for example, the company offers its own range of premium accessories. “We are slowly building up the accessory range available in South Africa, and currently stock a variety of Milwaukee-branded accessories,” Koch highlights.
In terms of growth opportunities offered by Africa, Upat plans to introduce the Milwaukee brand into the Namibian market, while it is already represented in Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia. “It is one of our resolutions for 2018 to expand into these types of developing markets. We have signed on partners to take on these areas for us,” Koch concludes.