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Prime Product Manufacturing for business improvement is, currently, ISO 9000: 2000- but it has its eyes firmly on the future. " We are looking at things like statistical process control, lean manufacturing and six sigma," explains Schutte. " We have employed a specialist industrial engineer to help us, and that process is making us more efficient. As a company, our heart is our core ideology. Over the past two years, we have asked the question of who we really are- not what we would like to be, but who we are. We went through a process that involved our employees and identified our core values and our destiny." Those core values include respect for people- employees, customers and suppliers; empowerment of passionate, self- disciplined employees; the belief that the company is better together than as individuals; and commitment to fair play, honesty and integrity. " We are proud of being a special company- we respect other companies in our field but we believe we are unique," says Schutte. " Everything else will change but our core values will not." - Editorial research by Don Campbell R& D [ research and development]," says Schutte. " R& D is one of our core skills- in fact, our head of R& D was one of the first people the founders hired, over a decade ago. We are building the company to survive and prosper, and to be durable- we have a long view." Close attention to detail is important, as is quality. Prime Product Manufacturing's breakthrough year was 2002, when it secured its first large-scale suncare contract. It has grown from there because its customers are satisfied with the standards the company applies, within its own factory walls and with its suppliers. " For example, we comply with international standards, such as those set by Johnson & Johnson- there is no allowance made for us because we are in a developing economy," Schutte says. It's a situation he is more than happy with- it helps the company to maintain and constantly improve its competitive standing. " We are audited on a continuous basis by our customers and they are very strict. We take action wherever and whenever it is needed." Prime Product Manufacturing's primary toolbox February 10 www. bus- ex. com 107

If you want a loyal customer base and a sound reputation, it rarely pays to cut corners. Dan Johansson, area sales director for Swedish forklift manufacturer Svetruck, tells Andrew Pelis about the company's unwavering dedication to quality M aterials handling can be an exacting science. In today's pressurised business environment, nothing can be left to chance, so it pays to invest in quality to achieve operational excellence. Perhaps that is why, since the late seventies, companies around the world have relied upon Swedish innovation when it comes to forklift trucks and log handling machinery. At Svetruck, the catchphrase has always been " true quality". Area sales director Dan Johansson has been with Svetruck since the company was launched and says that this focus has never strayed. " Our challenge is always to be the leading producer of big forklift trucks- as we are. Having seen the start of the company, I can tell you that it takes a long time to get a good name for your company and products but it is very easy to destroy that name. We shall always try to build as good a forklift as possible and our business is very much in high quality products." 108 www. bus- ex. com February 10 success Anuplifting