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Company History

Company History

AUGUST 1990 – Father and son, Rod and Russell Davis, invented the world’s first original Wall Panel Heater and started ECONO-HEAT™ in Cape Town, South Africa.

1997 – The ECONO-HEAT™ Wall Panel Heater won the Most Innovative Product Award for the Design For Living Exhibition – Cape Town’s premier consumer lifestyle exhibition. The product started selling through some of South Africa’s best-known stores.

1990 – 2003 – Production began with an initial capacity of 50 units per day. Over fourteen years the Davis family built ECONO-HEAT™ in South Africa into an exciting business with a well-recognised and trusted brand. The business moved to three factories over this period.

Pieter Bräsler - CEO, Econo-Heat

Pieter Bräsler - CEO

2004 – The business changed hands with Pieter Bräsler as its new CEO. With a greater marketing drive and a focus on extending the company’s product into international markets, the company experienced substantial growth. The new ECONO-HEAT™ full-colour packaging box won the flexographic Box of the Year award in 2005.

2009 – 2010 – The factory produces 1200 to 1600 units per day and employs 119 people. The ECONO-HEAT™ Wall Panel Heater sells in 38 countries worldwide. To further expand its production capacity, ECONO-HEAT™is moving to a new factory in Wetton, Cape Town. This will enable ECONO-HEAT™ to ultimately produce up to 5000 units per day or 1.2 million units per year.

ECONO-HEAT™ was adjudged as a finalist by PricewaterhouseCoopers in the 2010 Exporter of the Year Award organised by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

2011 – ECONO-HEAT™ won the 2011 Exporter of the Year Trophy organised by ABSA and the Cape Chamber of Commerce, Western Cape and adjudicated by PricewaterhouseCoopers. In addition, the company also won the Trophy for Excellence in Innovation and Creativity.

This achievement recognises ECONO-HEAT™ as a leading exporter and reinforces ECONO-HEAT’s corporate credo: Out Front – And Moving Ahead.

The company established its own international offices to sell directly to retailers in 12 of its 38 export markets. In addition, ECONO-HEAT™ moved to its new head office and factory premises in July 2011.

2012 – In March ECONO-HEAT™ launched it’s brand new eCare™ Low Voltage Electric Under Blanket into the South African market. Low voltage in design, 100% shockproof and safe, machine washable and quilted from 100% cotton, the blanket was well received by retailers and customers alike. With the introduction of the eCare™ blanket, the company looks to add furniture and homeware stores to its already growing retail portfolio pool.

In September, ECONO-HEAT™ won 1st place at the IDC Business Awards 2012, in all three categories for Innovation, Job Creation and Sustainability. The win was the triple hat trick of the night, which had blown the team away, and was followed by cheers of encouragement from the audience. It proved to ECONO-HEAT™ that’s its core strategies are steering the company in the right direction for even further future success.

TODAY – ECONO-HEAT™ has well adopted the High Volume, Low Margin philosophy to its core business strategies. ECONO-HEAT’s state-of-the-art semi-automated factory has dramatically increased our production capacity from 300,000 units annually to 1.2 million units on a single shift (2 million units on double shift).

Since 2007, ECONO-HEAT™ has successfully introduced the Principles and Practices of Lean Manufacturing, systems aimed at optimising productivity and eliminating waste, ensuring that ECONO-HEAT™ products are consistently produced at high quality levels and meet the growing international demand for its products.

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