NO 1 in Africa
The New Kids on the Block
In less than 10 years, Pentafloor is now the largest Access flooring company in Africa after it acquired its main competition, two companies that had collectively been in the business for nearly 60 years. Solidfeel (previously Donn Products) and Lafarge access flooring (previously Tate South Africa) were flooring giants in South Africa until Pentafloor’s recent purchases.
Started in 2005 in South Africa, by the husband and wife team of Bianca and Larry Shakinovsky, Pentafloor offers a range of expert flooring that is designed to meet the demands and the flexibility that is required in a highly technological business environment. The company has produced and installed over 1,000 000 square metres of Access flooring in call centres, casinos, auditoriums and banks all over the world. Although the company’s merchandise has been used in Spain, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, Pentafloor is proud to use locally made South African products and is a member of the prestigious Green Building Council.
“You have to have a certain amount of points to belong to the Green Building Council in regards to how sustainable your product is,” explains Bianca Shakinovsky, CEO of Pentafloor. “Access flooring is between 80-100 per cent recyclable.”
Raise the Floor
An Access floor system is essential to any environment, such as banks or data centres, where cables need to be concealed.
“It has a steel panel. It has 4 pedestals that go underneath the panel which raises the floor up,” says Shakinovsky. “The steel floor we manufacture creates that void to be able to run any type of services beneath the floor.”
Shakinovsky says that Access flooring is the future of flooring because offices are being built in a way where everyone is situated on the same floor in an open plan with no division between the offices.
“We call it an office farm area and most banks and businesses are striving towards this type of environment,” she says. “Which means you don’t want to see the cabling running along the floor. You don’t want to see the cabling running along the ceiling and down to the middle of where the computer is. We need to conceal it underneath the flooring obviously Access flooring goes hand in hand with that.”
Accessed flooring is also beneficial for power, telephone and data access points which can all be mounted directly into raised access floor tiles with the use of floor-boxes. Raised Access flooring also has the advantage that it can be used on a sub-floor that has different levels which could remove the need for steps.
Best in the Business
After acquiring two of the biggest and longest running companies in the business in one year, Pentafloor is looking at a bright future and “making sure to get it done”.
Looking back, Shakinovsky says that the greatest lesson she learned when the business first started is something that still scares her to this day, and that is to always have enough stock.
“The greatest lesson I learned in the first year of business was around pricing and exchange rates,” Shakinovsky concludes. “Guarantees are very important in this business. You have to know your product well and you have to have good backup. You have to carry enough stock.”