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OPINION: Journey to manufacturing excellence


At an event hosted on Tuesday by the South African Excellence Movement, attendees from all industry sectors were introduced to some of the country's top leaders, who provided independent business leaders with insight on how to lead effectively in turbulent economic conditions. Members of the South African Excellence Movement include Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings (RSPH), the CSIR, JCCI, SAQI, CGF, IBM and Madala & Associates.

Held at the IBM Client Centre, in Sandton, guest speakers were welcomed by Ziaad Suleman, chief operating officer, IBM. Speakers including Angelo Kehayas, executive director, Institute of Management Consultants South Africa, set the scene by acknowledging: "We have found ourselves in trying times, with desperation often clouding business judgement and our government's poor decision-making processes leaving us wanting more," he said.

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Maurice Radebe, executive vice-chairman, Energy & Sustainability, Sasol spoke about the State of the Nation in terms of quality of leadership. "Your most important mandate as a leader is to nurture and develop the people you are responsible for to reach their full potential. It's about the legacy we leave, not serving our own interests."

"We cannot expect the best for our children if we do not discipline them. Ultimately, true strength of character is shown when we govern our own lives with integrity," said Terry Booysen, CEO, CGF Research Institute. "Running an empirically ethical business is no longer a compassion-based choice, it is law. King IV is the de facto standard and non-compliance can result in catastrophic consequences," he confirmed.

Ian Huntly, CEO, Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings, highlighted the enormous opportunities presenting themselves for economic growth: "We should be importing people who fill jobs, because if our businesses are led correctly, every single person in this country would be employed, and we would still not have enough capacity to fill the required jobs. The problem lies in proper policing of localisation," he said.

Thabi Leoka, world-renowned independent economist, and Neo Mothala, transformational entrepreneur, were interviewed by Dilley Naidoo, director of Madala & Associates. "Typically, we look to Europe for export trade, but when their economies suffer, so does ours. Instead, we should be focusing on intraregional trade," said Leoka.

Dilley agreed that out of every catastrophe arises an opportunity to refine and look elsewhere not previously explored. "That's what leaders do," he said.

Neo Mothala was prompted to leave the corporate world and start her own businesses, realising the difference she could make – especially concerning the education of young girls in entrepreneurial roles. "Relationships must add value or be discarded," she said. She suggested investors, who provide buy-back options with coaching and mentoring, were sorely missed in all industries.

"One of the most compelling reasons for any manufacturer to get on board this journey is that B-BBEE laws will eventually exclude you from the market. The picture we should have in our minds is one of a growing a B-BBEE company, supplying SOCs and OEMs and exporting – a vibrant, thriving business that is able to export because it meets and exceeds international standards," said Naidoo.

South African businesses are simply not prepared for international competitiveness, nor do they have the necessary leadership skills. Paul Harding of the SA Quality Institute said his organisation's role is to establish and sustain a national quality infrastructure, especially in education. "Leaders are necessarily risk-based thinkers, and must be accountable for mistakes, which is why building a coherent team is vital," he said.

Kearan McPherson, cloud architect, IBM showed how data, if used appropriately, can be used for cognitive innovation and to ensure governance is not breached. "We only realise how important cloud and data are when our phones are stolen – we are lost without them," he said.

"Leadership is ultimately about using our talents to teach others to fill our shoes. With all the resources available to us, South Africa should be leading the world," concluded Huntly.

Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings (RSPH) is a distributor, reseller and implementer of leading operational management software systems for large and medium businesses. More than that, it is a consultant and software vendor that is pioneering the integration of operational systems for enabling exceptional performance in the manufacturing industry. Some of RSPH'S most notable partners include Eskom, Sasol, Tronox and Evapco.

Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings

Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings was formed in 2001 and provides targeted consulting and implementation skills in the fields of operational intelligence, including: process enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), process safety, supply chain, enterprise quality management, customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI).

Rifle-Shot is a level 4 B-BBEE compliant organisation headquartered in Sandton, South Africa.

Rifle-Shot combines its superior management consulting operation using subject matter experts and industry-specific best practice knowledge with world-leading, high value-add, niche software products and services to effect and support the enablement of exceptional operational performance jointly with its customers, and world-leading multinational enterprises.


LINK - http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=166360

Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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