Seeing through the challenging economic times requires an even more intense focus on quality, as this is what drives efficiency and cost effectiveness, according to Afrisam general manager readymix Amit Dawneerangen.
“AfriSam has consistently differentiated itself in the readymix marketplace by our standards and reliability, and this strategy has paid dividends in recent years where margins are narrow across the industry,” says Dawneerangen. “Our customers are more than ever looking to improve their own offerings to stay ahead under these tough conditions, and our proven systems and processes support them in this quest.”
Nithia Pillay, AfriSam’s national product technical manager readymix, highlights the importance of global ISO 9001 quality standards as the bedrock of the company’s systems and operations.
“Controlling costs and quality internally is an ongoing process that feeds our continuous improvement process, which is vital in the highly competitive readymix market,” says Pillay. He notes that barriers to entry for new readymix operators are not high, but that the market expects excellence in every delivery.
“Through honing our operations and carefully monitoring every aspect of our performance, we drive our own efficiencies and thereby make our offerings cost-effective to customers,” he says.
Underlying the high performance levels is the expertise and experience in the business, argues Dawneerangen.
“Even through the hard times, we retain our staff and with low staff turnover comes growing capacity and insight,” he says. “This is a substantial value-add for customers, as they benefit directly not just from our smooth ordering and delivery process, but from the advice and input they can get on technical and scientific issues related to all aspects of readymix and its applications.”
The company’s levels of excellence were recently in the spotlight when it took both the Best Plant award for its Wynberg facility, and the Best Fleet award for its Gauteng readymix fleet, at the coveted Southern African Ready-mix Association (SARMA) awards.
AfriSam’s contribution to the economy goes beyond adding value to customers’ operations, extending to various inputs that help keep the South African construction industry on a world-class footing.
“We value the opportunity to share best practice, so we play our role – along with some industry peers – on various standards committees of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) in concrete-related fields,” says Pillay. “We also make our expertise available to organisations like the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), when they need input on issues like the Committee of Land Transport Officials (COLTO) specifications for road and bridge works.”