Gearing for greatness

The Skillcraft Team.

The INGCO Team Vehicles

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SKILLCRAFT WAS STARTED in 1991 by Peter Roodt and George Angelos. The business was built on a core of supplying to industrial resellers. Skillcraft developed a significant competitive lead in the market with its product knowledge in industrial markets. In 2013 Angelo Angelos, George’s son joined the business in operations as Operations Manager. He later became Sales Manager, before another big business change came in late 2016 when Peter retired and George and Angelo bought Peter’s shares in the business. With the Angelos family owning Skillcraft outright, Angelo took over from Peter and transitioned into the position of Managing Director. Angelo has brought with him a new way of thinking and a new dynamic to Skillcraft. Things have naturally started to change. The first visible change was to increase the focus on Skillcraft’s in-house brands. “I felt we were too wide and too thinly spread before, without specific focus and sometimes running out of stock on certain products. We needed to get narrower and deeper,” says Angelo. 


>>Today our focus is on our in  house brands which include Ingco, Jetech, LBS, Bernzomatic, Laco and our locks ranges. These brands are the key focus of our business with narrower ranges and deeper stock>> says Angelo.


Skillcraft is creating a clear identity for itself in the marketplace through its brands and its renewed commitment to customer centricity. Angelo has surrounded himself with a great team of people that are taking his vision to market. Ingco is Skillcraft’s most important brand. It is a versatile brand that includes power tools, hand tools, air tools, power tools accessories and measuring tools. Bernzomatic and Laco are the leading brand of portable torches, gases and solvents for the HVAC and plumbing industry. Jetech and LBS are Skillcaft’s industrial automotive tools solutions. Angelo says, “Our pedigree is industrial and all our ranges meet industrial standards. However, the pricing is pushing into the DIY space.” What makes Ingco so unique is that it is an industrial tool for the industrial market at a DIY price. The pricing structure allows Skillcraft’s resellers to make an excellent profit margin while still offering the end consumer an unbeatable price. In addition, Ingco range is very wide, spanning multiple power tool and hand tool categories. Ingco’s tag line is “Professional Tools Made Affordable”. Another key aspect for Angelo is brand identity, “When I first joined Skillcraft I would walk into a store where we do really well, but I couldn’t see us anywhere. We would be in bits and pieces throughout the store. There was no brand identity. We are now working to create a brand identity with our concept stands – to make us visible, identifiable and more relevant.” Paramount to Skillcraft is dealing with customers says Angelo. “I also wanted to change the way we dealt with customers. We need to focus on how we approach a customer and deal with them. The customer comes first in everything we do. A positive relationship is fundamental in what we do and we deal with every customer seriously and with integrity. They are our lifeblood,” says he. Looking after the business starts at the very beginning for Angelo. “It starts with knowing who we are. When someone comes in with a new product offer we immediately know if it is something we should do or not do. We are very clear about who we are and what we do. If Skillcraft takes on something it must be part of a strategy. If you know who you are as a business everything else stems from there – buying, procurement, warehousing, sales – everything happens naturally.” The change Angelo is implementing is starting to show positive signs and the feedback from competitors and resellers are that Skillcraft is moving in the right direction. Skillcraft supplies nationally in South Africa as well as Namibia and Botswana. “The economic climate is currently challenging,” says Angelo.


>>However, in a bad economy a brand like Ingco is ideal for retailers.

Industrial tools at DIY prices are a godsend in tough times>>


Retailers also make a healthy margin on the Ingco range which makes stocking the brand so much more profitable.“