Brief Company History
AUGUST 1990 – Father and son, Rod and Russell Davis, invented the 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.
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 produced 1200 to 1600 units per day and employed 119 people. The ECONO-HEAT Wall Panel Heater sells in 38 countries worldwide. To further expand its production capacity, ECONO-HEAT moved to a new factory in Wetton, Cape Town. This enabled 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 recognised ECONO-HEAT as a leading exporter, which reinforced 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.
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 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 success.
TODAY – ECONO-HEAT has well adopted the High Volume, Low Margin philosophy as part of 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.