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Ramsay Engineering throws out examples of how business has accrued. Sewing technology might seem non- core in a second-tier automotive supplier, but it's as well Pietermaritzburg used to be the centre of South Africa's shoe industry, he explains. " When Toyota ran into problems sourcing gear locks, they came to us because we were making the handbrake cover that also goes over the gear lock- now we are making the whole assembly for the Corolla and the Hilux- and when they changed from wire to plastic for the frame that supports it, we were able to pick that up too, because we were able to find capacity in our injection moulding shop. At one point we just supplied a wheel spanner for the Hilux, but we ended up making the other tools that go into the bag, stitching the bag itself and supplying the entire toolkit." It's a simple matter of adding value, he says, a basic key to growth, even in difficult times. - Editorial research by Jon Bradley July 09 www. bus- ex. com 83 Toyota has helped Ramsay to embrace the TPS, JIT production and Dojo training that upskills staff through simulation, and it's only self- interest to pass that excellence along the supply chain. " One of the fundamental philosophies of the Toyota Way is to develop your partners," says Stuart, " and we are engaging with our suppliers in the effort to make more cost-effective components. We have a number of suppliers that a few years ago were very basic engineering companies but now have TQM and are ISO 9001 accredited, while some of them are going for ISO 14000, the environmental standard. It's making a real difference." Looking forward, Ramsay Engineering intends to leverage the export opportunities of its existing trading and joint venture operations with partners like PWO and the Swedish accessories group Thule. It will continue to play to its singular ability to say " yes" to new business that adds value for its customers. It's a challenge for the technical director to keep up across such a diverse business, Beaumont admits, as he

84 www. bus- ex. com July 09