Supply Chain

Latest Supply Chain sector features from across Africa.

Latest Supply Chain Corporate Stories

Elite Clearing & Forwarding : A Clear Winner

Elite Clearing & Forwarding (Pty) Ltd is an expert international shipping company offering comprehensive logistics & freight solutions.

Total Facilities Management Company

Winning partnerships Total Facilities Management Company (TFMC) is the largest facilities management company in South Africa, providing integrated facilities management that minimises costs "through forward looking performance-based risk and maintenance strategies". We talk to managing executive Cornelius Van Der Merwe. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Facilities management is a critical, strategic business discipline with organisations the world over increasingly occupying complex buildings and using sophisticated technology for communications and control. Professional FM is needed to plan, maintain and manage such facilities. It is part of the drive to meet the higher demands of organisations and Individuals - we all have high expectations and good facilities management can deliver flexibility, adaptability and sustainability. Nobody understands this better than Total Facilities Management Company (TFMC). In South Africa you don't get bigger than them. "Facilities Management is so integrated in our lives that we don't realise how many times a day we actually engage in and experience facilities management," says managing executive Cornelius van der Merwe. "We are surrounded with our work environments for most of our days and almost everything we touch during a day is part of the facilities that support our core businesses. Think of the amount of times you touch doors, chairs, tables, flooring, ablution facilities and so many other not so obvious things like lighting and air conditioning not to mention the power we utilise at the various outlets where we require it." Many companies have the perception that facilities management is merely the maintenance of their buildings which can be done

Tsebo Outsourcing Group

Food for thought Tsebo Outsourcing Group offers market-leading services in outsourced catering solutions, contract cleaning and hygiene solutions. We talk to Dr Chris Jardine, the man who heads up its Catering arm. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Dr Chris Jardine heads up Tsebo Catering Solutions, a South African market leader, which is part of Tsebo Outsourcing Group, the country's largest hospitality services and facilities management company. He is the former group CEO of the J and J Group, a diversified investment and management company and has worked in the logistics, IT and telecommunications, and industrial and financial services sectors. Besides his strong operational track record, Dr Jardine has also served on the boards of companies as diverse as MTN, Transnet, Macquarie First South and Union Carriage and Wagons. He holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and a PhD in Information Technology, all from George Mason University in Virginia. It is an impressive CV and he has been using all of his experience to do some pretty interesting things at Tsebo Catering as it looks to keep pace in a changing world, faced with competition for talent. "We needed to differentiate ourselves by doing things that haven't been done before," he says. "What became evident was focusing on the basics first. We started with a refreshed operational excellence programme and we've looked at our service culture – from the way we greet our customers on a day-to-day basis to the way we present our food. We also looked at our reporting systems and

Ethiopian Airlines

Living the dream Ethiopian Airlines makes record high profit of 2.7 billion birr Writer Ian Armitage Project manager James Mitchell Ethiopian Airlines recently announced it made a record profit. The company's chief executive officer, Tewolde Gebremariam, credited the profitability to the use of new, modern and fuel-efficient jetliners such as the Boeing B787 Dreamliner and B777, and his "exceptionally dedicated employees". The company's operating profit between July 2012 and June 2013 was 2.7 billion birr, 165 percent up from the profit made the previous year. Net profit increased by 178 percent from 734 million to 2.03 billion and the airline generated a revenue of 38.5 billion, up by 14 percent. It transported 5.5 million passengers and hauled 174,000 tons of cargo during the year. "The 2012-2013 fiscal year has been a challenging year for the global industry in which many airlines faced factors that have affected their performance," Ethiopian Airlines told Africa Outlook in a recent interview. "These factors include high and volatile fuel price and weak global economic situations which in turn reflect in low demand for travel. Although Ethiopian was no different and was faced with similar challenges, it managed to finish the year with record revenues and performance and continue its double digit growth registered over the last decade." During the year, Ethiopian took delivery of 14 new aircraft, deploying ultramodern fuel-efficient aircraft. The Boeing B787 uses 20 percent less fuel - its airframe is predominantly made from composites, which account for 50 percent of the aircraft by weight. This makes the aeroplane

Afroteq FM Solutions : Specialist in the Built Environment

We talk to Lydia Hendricks, Director of Afroteq FM Solutions, about specialising in full turnkey management solutions and the importance of Facilities Management services in South Africa.

Drake & Scull

Best in FM Facilities management is the cornerstone of operations of Drake & Scull, a Tsebo Outsourcing Group company with aspirations to conquer Africa. CEO John Wentzel tells us more about the challenges facing the FM industry. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Stuart Shirra Drake & Scull is one of the leading facilities management providers in Southern Africa and there are few that know more about the industry than its CEO Dr John Wentzel. He believes that the challenges facing the industry are huge and has identified areas such as energy management, environment sustainability, technology and complexity as amongst those that FM providers must tackle. "You have to ensure you are equipped for the future; make the most of the opportunities," he says. The first challenge? "I think in South Africa the challenges are not dissimilar to what we have seen internationally: globally clients are under financial pressure and companies in the FM industry are being asked to do more for less," Wentzel says. That is a constant. It will always be a challenge. "Cost pressures and the ability to do more for less. That is a big challenge," he stresses. The ramifications are huge. "It does have a knockon effect," Wentzel says. "If you think cost, one way of making big savings is energy management, which is one of the big challenges. There is heightened interest in energy savings and for any company it is a major value-add if you know what you are doing when it comes to energy management. You have to understand


We're cleaning up! With over 650 clients in KwaZulu-Natal, SuperClean is one of the most successful privately owned commercial cleaning companies in South Africa. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eddie Clinton There are those companies that simply ride the wave of growth of their particular market or industry. When the industry grows, they grow, and when the industry declines, they decline. Others don't want to be constantly tied into the success or failure of the market they sell into. They diversify. They want to avoid the catastrophic consequences of a decline in their industry. But it can be a risky strategy. Business owners must be able to focus on their new ventures without neglecting their core business, yet in trying to control everything, they risk spreading things too thinly. Some firms however have been remarkably successful in the diversification stakes, spotting and exploiting new market opportunities for their products, using their skills to offer services that complement their core business or simply taking their brands into uncharted territory. One such firm is KZN-based SuperClean. It is one of the most successful privately owned commercial cleaning companies in South Africa and since inception in 1988 has grown to employ 3,800 people who service a large amount of KZN's leading companies and organisations. "It has been a very successful last 12 months," explains Joel Berger, the firm's financial manager, when asked how the business is performing in this, its 25th year. "We have grown at a rate higher than 10 percent throughout the recession and have taken on


Secequip: Trustworthy & Reliable South Africa's notoriously high crime rate is recognised across the world and it presents huge opportunities for firms like Secequip. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Donovan Smith From April 2011 to March 2012 there were 15,609 murders in South Africa, as well as 101,203 cases of aggravated robbery. According to the country's latest victims of crime survey 57 percent of respondents felt that housebreaking/burglary was the crime most feared in their area of residence. This has fuelled a boom in the country's private security industry – the largest private security industry in the world with nearly 9,000 registered companies. "There's certainly opportunity for people like us," says John Rogers, Managing Director of Secequip, and expert in the South African security industry. "Secequip is an exclusive importer and distributor of leading security products, including award winning Pyronix and Texecom alarm panels. In addition to Secequip's extensive intrusion range, the Group also supply CCTV equipment, video surveillance, motion detectors, perimeter detection and heat and smoke detectors." The firm's headquarters are based in Johannesburg and it has a national network of 12 branches across South Africa. "In South Africa crime is a fact of life – and, in my view, homeowners need to make provision for the installation of security systems that will offer protection when they are most in need," says Rogers. "Modern, state-of-the-art security systems, such as the ones Secequip provide, focus on providing reliable security, while at the same time placing an emphasis on being user-friendly, and providing a range of additional


First past the post As Zimbabwe postal company Zimpost continues to evolve we speak to Managing Director Douglas Zimbango about a $5 million upgrading project aimed at modernising its business methods. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Eleanor Watson Things change. It is a fact of life. And with the decline of the letter – with people opting for faster means of communication like cell phones and the internet – Zimbabwe's postal company Zimpost has had to evolve. The letter has never been less popular and the number being posted continues to fall. Zimpost has responded. "We have experienced an 85 percent decline in mail volumes. The reduction in postal output and the advent of quicker online methods of communication have forced us to move into new revenue streams," Zimpost Managing Director Douglas Zimbango says. "The postal service has suffered from electronic substitution. Today mobile devices provide SMS and social media services so people have shifted away from letters. Fewer people are writing them, send bills or even pay bills via postal mail." According to Zimbango the decline started in 2003. Back then Zimpost handled 100 million pieces of mail. In 2004 it was half that. Today it has dropped down to around 15 million pieces of mail. Cutting costs and surviving have had to become a priority for Zimpost, along with changing the way it does business. "It is not just a case of saying the letter is dead and us shutting up shop - our postal service plays a pivotal role in the country in

Wasteman Holdings

Wasteman sets aggressive growth target Wasteman Group offers specialist waste removal and disposal services to all sectors of the South African market and is looking to grow this year. Writer Ian Armitage Project manager Donovan Smith South African waste management company Wasteman provides total waste management solutions to clients in the industrial, commercial and municipal sectors across South Africa. Its blend of technical expertise, environmentally friendly methods, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, means it can offer tailormade and unique packages of services to meet individual client's needs. Wasteman handles over one million tons of waste and services approximately 15,000 customers nationwide. "We're a diversified waste management company with specialised vehicles, auxiliary equipment and landfill sites as well as a whole spectrum of other services. Our goal is sustainable solutions for a greener future," says Wasteman's Dave Marock. Wasteman has come a long way since being founded some 30 years ago by one man with a van, and is now one of South Africa's leading waste management and environmental services companies. "Our achievements are due largely to the loyalty of our customer partners and the absolute dedication and contribution of all our employees," Marock says. And now the company is looking to grow. "As we all know, the last four to five years - due to the worldwide recession - has been tough," Marock says. "But Wasteman has restructured and adapted to the new environment. Wasteman is focusing on cashflow, costs, and margins, even if the turnover is lower, to have a sound stable business and we