Prime Product Manufacturing operate- the right people, in the right places, with the right skills. Prime Product Manufacturing talks about having people ' on the bus' and ' in the right seats'. " We have over 150 people working on the production line and around 15 highly- skilled personnel working on 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 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 of brand- name items for companies such as IncoLabs, Tiger Brands, Annique, Avon Justine, Johnson & Johnson and Sh'zen to name but a few. Some of the brands include Everysun, Tropitone, Gallia, Like Silk and Lip Ice. The workforce has grown to over 200 people, with an annual turnover of around R75 million. " Prime Product Manufacturing is the third- biggest company in our sector in South Africa," says Schutte. " We are happy to be more specialised than our larger competitors. We don't want to be the biggest; we don't chase turnover for its own sake. We want to pursue our core values and core purpose, profitably." Not that the company turns away from expansion and growth. " We are looking to double in size over the next few years. Compared with the other majors, we are small but we like to think we are respected for what we do and how we do it." The company follows Good Manufacturing Practice ( GMP) standards and has US FDA ( Food & Drug Agency) approved manufacturing facilities. It has now embarked on the process towards ISO 9000: 2000 accreditation. " We are also seeking MCC compliance for our new pharmaceutical facility," Schutte adds. While challenging, these quality accreditations are, of course, essential for an organisation that is seeking to expand into international markets, as well as increasing its footprint in its domestic arena. It has an office in California but it is early days, as yet- it is a representative facility, aimed at marketing to brands that are intending to expand their operations into South Africa. Prime Product Manufacturing has the capacity and resources for a full range of services, from single contracts to full- service operations. It is able to manufacture liquids, gels, creams, lotions and powders in batch sizes from 50 kilograms to 7,000 kilograms. All products can then be further processed on one or more of its 16 filling lines, which can handle most packaging formats, including hot- fill. Four lines are devoted to tubes; three to bottles; two to jars; two more to lip balm and kits; and one each to talcum powder and perfume. It also has a dedicated aerosol container filling line. The production areas feature positive pressure with regulated temperature and humidity. Water is processed through a de- ionising plant with ozone purification, to ensure the water quality required for cosmetics manufacturing. But a business needs people in order to March 10 www. bus- ex. com 103 " We are proud of being a special company- we respect other companies in our field but we believe we are unique"
Piet Veenema, CEO of Kendrion, and Bernd Gundelsweiler, business unit manager of the company's Passenger Car Systems division, talk to Jayne Flannery about what it takes to make an impact in the world of electromagnetic components 104 www. bus- ex. com March 10 theworld Magnetising I n the rarefied world of electromagnetics, Kendrion is a name that stands out. The company is recognised as one of the world's leading manufacturers of electromagnetic components. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company has more than 1,000 employees. There are two distinct facets to demand for electromagnetic technology. Automotive and industrial markets have very different drivers and their needs have been met by a careful segmentation of the business and a structure that mirrors the marketplace. " We are an extremely focused niche player in this technically driven marketplace," states Piet Veenema, CEO of Kendrion. Veenema goes on to explain that focus, above all else, is responsible for the impact Kendrion is making on the global stage. " The common thread that links all our activities is a shared focus on electromagnetic technology. It runs through everything we do, but each of the markets we serve consists of different customers with very different requirements and different applications. That is why it made so much sense to structure the company into four business units," he explains. The two business units that deal with passenger car and commercial vehicle systems are self- explanatory and serve a relatively narrow customer base. Industrial applications are far more diverse. The Industrial Magnetic Systems unit develops, produces and distributes holding, locking, spreading, controlling and vibrating solenoids for a multitude of industrial applications. " These solenoids are primarily used in the machine building industry for many kinds of applications that require precise steering and control. We have customers drawn from mechanical engineering, safety technology, materials handling, medical engineering and high and low voltage engineering," Veenema says. Lastly, there is the Industrial Drive Systems unit. This relies on a rotary technique for electromechanical brakes and clutches, targeting industrial drive applications that deal with