Current Issue 52
Raising the Bar
MetGroup is staying true to a Group business model that has already improved industry standards via its 11 operating companies to become the mining industry’s contractor of choice
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Arron Rampling
MetGroup has risen from a medium engineering group to a respected mining and engineering contractor supplying services globally through a one-stop-shop value proposition, and is now striving to raise the industry bar even further through its 11 operating companies.
Diversification has enabled the company to look beyond the entire business spectrum, creating a platform for success and high performance delivery, which consolidated in South Africa in 2005; becoming an “energetic, driven and multi-faceted organisation housing a comprehensive range of expertise to the infrastructure, mining, shaft sinking, construction and manufacturing sectors”.
In every strategic decision made during this development, however, has been the underlying goal of meeting customer satisfaction, adhering to the latest industry trends, innovations, and ensuring a sustainable future for both MetGroup and its business partners.
“What MetGroup establishes in each company is to create diversity within the Group, but also to create a profit centre for each company in their own right, accommodating the needs of the Group itself, and the customers they serve,” explains the organisation’s Group Commercial Director, Dr. Hein Jantzen. “This value proposition therefore creates a platform for a one-stop shop solution.”
The subsequent result of this turnkey offering has been long-term client relationships; a more comprehensive adherence to safety, health and the environment due to the more focused nature of each individual subsidiary; and a more extensive employment drive across its operating sectors and regions.
Jantzen continues: “We are adamant that we will continue giving our clients the best value. We are open to new ideas and have managers and operators on ground level to make sure that we set ourselves up as best as possible for the opportunities that are out there.
“Through our visionary strategy, we will continue to raise the bar. How high that bar will go, I can’t predict, but we will intelligently continue to set higher but feasible targets.”
Lean and mean
It would seem already that MetGroup’s strategy is paying dividends, having already enjoyed 400 percent business growth in recent years as a result of its acquisition joint ventures and merger activities.
This highlights another key facet of the Group’s continuous improvement philosophy in regards to its entrepreneurship, flexibility and ability to make quick decisions within the various market places.
“It’s all about making sure that your operational readiness is very clear in the sense of what you are able to take on and also being able to walk away from projects that may not be the right business fit,” Jantzen says. “This area is critical in making sure that, through effective planning and in applying an intelligent mindset, it will enhance sustainable growth and profitability in the short and long term.”
This envisioning business model also takes into account potential and inevitable fluctuations within the market, accommodating periods between company expansion and company consolidation; both of which need to be prepared for when working in a commodity-based industry.
Jantzen adds: “You must understand and be very clear in commodity market, having focus and both eyes on upcoming trends and happenings. In other words, do not keep all of your eggs in one basket.
“We make sure that our front end loading and readiness plans address all these challenges and different commodity cycles and spikes through a fit for purpose business model.
“We have a very flat structure where every company has its own Managing Director and is seen as integrated profit business centre, under the MetGroup umbrella.”
Ultimately, it is the clients of MetGroup who benefit most from this meticulous value proposition and careful diligence.
“The MetGroup philosophy has always been based on the needs of clients, locally and abroad,” Jantzen confirms. “Through close collaboration and making sure you form a longstanding partnership with clients, you’re setting a base to accommodate all their requirements within the value chain.
“If you look at the local challenges that are out there, it’s all about completing projects on time, within budget, safe and with the best quality.”
Once again, the ability to remain lean and flexible, but also sustainable, allows MetGroup to challenge pre-existing levels of service within the market to produce an optimum turnkey offering and best-in-class value proposition.
Jantzen continues: “It’s not about reinventing the wheel but about applying your mind to all lessons learnt in positioning the group, achieving best in class results continuously.
“However, it is important to not be complacent and to make sure that all client expectations are very clear, including the scope of works in order to implement, execute and close out projects successfully.”
The benchmarks and targets MetGroup has set itself are built on robust foundations of enhancing its strength, capability, knowledge and presence, but with the realisation that success will ultimately be determined by client satisfaction; an ethos which has now been replicated on an international scale.
Adopting the mantra of being an international company with the ability to act local, there are now MetGroup offices in Brazil, Peru and Chile, among others, while projects have also been carried out successfully across India, Kazakhstan and Iran.
Employing and developing local skills within each operating region is a key initiative and reason for the company’s ongoing multi-cultural success, overcoming general industry labour challenges to produce a diverse, productive, entrepreneurial and happy workforce.
“Our multi-skilled people’s model continues to bring the best out of every MetGroup employee, while we stay true to our mission statement to enhance the transfer of skills and exchange of expertise within the Group to produce high performance teams.”
The Group Commercial Director concludes: “Age is no concern within MetGroup. As long as a person can add value, optimum output will prevail, remembering employees must enjoy their work and workplace.
“Our people are our intellectual property and the face of MetGroup.”