The Exporters Eastern Cape opened entries for Exporter of the Year at a factory tour of S4 Integration, 2018’s overall winner of Exporter of the Year.
The Exporter of the Year Awards honours and acknowledges exporters and service providers to industry who have excelled in the period under review. Entries are open, and for the first time businesses can enter online.
Exporters Eastern Cape chairman Quintin Levey encouraged everyone to enter. “If you do not enter you cannot win. Tell your friends to enter, and their friends to enter,” Levey said. He went on to add that judging all entries is a thorough and robust task. “Judging criteria include qualitative and quantitative and all judges are independent from the exporters,” Levey said.
Exporters Eastern Cape is a non-profit organisation for companies involved in exporting or for companies interested in exporting. The organisation is a platform for members to exchange ideas, information and experience, and to liaise closely with other export orientated clubs and bodies.
Exporters Eastern Cape hosts monthly meetings conducive to networking with informative speakers on a variety of export related subjects, connecting with government and other officials dealing with industrial development, export promotion, customs administration, port facilities etc., and liaising with business chambers, local and regional structures, and related clubs in other regions.
Members of the Exporters Eastern Cape felt that their membership allowed them the advantageous opportunity to grow their business. National manager for Sasfin Commercial Solutions (Global Trade), Brenden Adriaanzen said, “The Exporters Eastern Cape is the ideal platform to network with like-minded people in an industry that we specialize in. We find it extremely beneficial to be part of such a dynamic industry body and have formed many lasting business relationships”.
“Membership creates a platform for you to understand your customers’ customer – that is the true benefits of being part of this organization,” Transnet National Ports Authority’s Business Development Manager and committee member of the Exporters Eastern Cape Sujit Bhagattjee said.
Marketing manager for S4 Integration, Gideon Smith said, “Exporters gives you the platform. You need to attend the events, interact with fellow members to grow and benefit from the membership. You will see the benefits. Take the opportunities, take the risk and you will not stagnate.”
Attendees of the event were invited to tour S4 Integration’s factory. S4 Integration is a turnkey automation and machine building solution which was awarded the Exporter of the Year in 2018. Smith said their success is due to the company meeting the needs of the client. Smith said, “Whatever the customer’s requirement is, we can meet their needs from concept to commissioning. We do not want to be only a product supplier. We want to be a complete solution to a problem.”
Smith said to achieve the prestigious award can be attested to the dedication of their 200+ staff members. “To be recognized as a local business with small and humble beginnings was great. The awards we received were thanks to the hard work of our staff,” he said.
S4 is currently the top employer of Bsc Honours Computer Science students from the Nelson Mandela University. Smith added that they continue to invest their efforts and resources at tertiary level to ensure that the top students will join the S4 team. “We have well educated, well trained, and completely dedicated staff. Our customers see it and they want to continue working with us. Selecting the right people can take your company forward,” Smith said.
Hire Power’s Monique Prince, a senior recruiter at the recruitment agency, said she found S4’s investment in their staff commendable. “It was an amazing tour. Seeing how S4 invests and give back to their staff proves that if you keep your staff happy your business will be sustainable,” she said.
After the tour Larissa Primmer, owner of La Mohair, said “It is amazing to see what people are doing right here in the heart of our city.” She went on to say that she values La Mohair’s membership of the Exporters Eastern Cape. “The Exporters Eastern Cape has been a great support. There are plenty of networking opportunities, opportunities to share knowledge and people in industry advising – without this support you cannot grow,” Primmer said.
Paul Brooks from Ford Motor Company South Africa said, “Our colleagues take note that we are respected by our suppliers and that we do work in our community. We brag about our achievements. Winning the (Best Exporter: OEM) award means that people take note of us and we get exposure from that.”
The various categories awarded at the annual Exporter of the Year event are:
- IDC Job Creation Award (Exporters who have created the most number of new sustainable jobs within their business in the last financial year)
- SJM Flex Environmental Practice Award (Exporters who have not yet achieved environmental accreditation and who pursue activities towards Environmental Sustainability)
- SJM Flex Environmental Award (Exporters who have environmental accreditation and who pursue excellence in environmental management)
- Best Provider of Services to Exporters (All service providers to the export industry)
- Best Exporter: Small Business (Exporters with direct and indirect export turnover below R25-million)
- Best Exporter: Medium Enterprises (Exporters with direct and indirect export turnover between R25-million and R200-million)
- Best Exporter: Corporate Category (Exporters with direct and indirect export turnover greater than R200-million)
- Best Exporter: OEM (Exporters who are manufacturers or original equipment for the automotive industry)
- Exporter of the year 2019 (The entity which, in the judges’ opinion, achieved the most success in the period under review.)
The annual Exporter of the Year banquet will take place at the Boardwalk ICC on 16 August 2019, where winners in the various categories will be announced.
For more information contact the Branch Coordinator, Suzanne Vermeulen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 041 373 1122.
Entries are now open for the prestigious awards and close 3 June 2019.