The journey to growth has not always been easy for Statewide Electric Motor Centre (SEMC) – an Adelaide-based electric motor and pump service company. But as a self-made business owner, Monica Samra knows that being adaptable and offering good customer service are the keys to any small business’ success.

Monica entered the world of electric motor repairs after her late husband, who had co-founded SEMC nearly 40 years ago, passed away. Monica became a partner in the business nearly 20 years ago and is currently the sole owner and director of SEMC. She says she is particularly proud of how the SEMC team has enriched its knowledge of the industry over the years to gain the trust of clients in industries such as mining, pumping and air conditioning. 

“When we originally started, we were a small electric rewinding company that specialised in air conditioning motors. We have gained a lot of experience along the way. We now have a whole section that specialises in pump repairs. About four years ago, we also started a new branch in the business that services large motors supplied to the mining industry. None of these would have been possible without growing our scope of knowledge and being efficient in our customer service,” she says.

SEMC now repairs motors ranging from small fractional motors up to 600KW motors, in addition to being a re-seller for a wide range of motors and spare parts. The company recently had to build a new office building, expanding its workshop space to accommodate new equipment capable of handling the larger motors. 

In repairing any motor or pump, large or small, Monica says SEMC only uses the NTN brand of bearings, which the company sources through their suppliers at CBC. The CBC Regency Park branch has long been a regular supplier to SEMC, with CBC sales representatives regularly visiting the company to refill their stock of motor-related spare parts.

“We use NTN bearings because over our years of experience, we’ve never had any issues with them,” says Monica. “Customers have always been happy and the supply has always been readily available to us via CBC. Even when we need the larger NTN bearings for our mining clients, both CBC and NTN offer an exceptional backup service. This is particularly important because we have built a lot of our customer relationships based on our short turnaround time. Motors can never be out of action for a long time so we often need spare parts immediately if we don’t have them in stock.”

But Monica says the bond between SEMC and CBC goes beyond just a customer-supplier relationship. 

“CBC representatives have always been very helpful in giving advice to our specialists if there was a better choice of product available for us. Whenever a CBC representative visits us, they help bring us up to date with new products, which in turn, helps us service our customers better.”

Chris Bazeley, CBC Regency Park’s Sales Representative, says an example of this knowledge exchange was when he recommended using NTN LLU sealed bearings to SEMC.

“NTN offers four different designs of shielded or sealed bearings, which include the non-contact shield type ZZ bearings, the non-contact sealed type LLB bearings, the contact sealed type LLU bearings and the low-torque sealed type LLH bearings. SEMC were previously using a mix of different sealed bearings for their products. By unifying this and using only the double lip-sealed LLU bearings, we were able to simplify stock management for SEMC, while also providing optimum bearing protection for their specific application,” says Chris.

With her business having enjoyed the knowledge exchange with CBC over the years, Monica says SEMC is also ready to pass this on to its customers.

“Like CBC, we have many years of knowledge and experience. I believe as long as companies like us are around with the knowledge of the older motors, we can help our customers retain their existing equipment rather than scrapping and buying new motors unnecessarily.
Of course, when they do decide to purchase new motors, we can help them with that as well.”