Business: Quality Processes Improve O.E.M Bottom Line
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Management has also made exploratory visits to Central African countries with a view to establishing stockholdings and minimising lead times.
According to SHEQ manager Suené Snyman, the appointment of agents has been made possible largely because of improved productivity and faster throughput times at the Johannesburg factory.
“We are now in a position to take our service to outlying customers, and not presume that they will come to us,” she said.
Snyman, who joined Kappa Engineering in September 2008, said that Kappa had gone beyond the procedures required by its ISO 9000:2001 listing.
“Management agreed that we needed to improve on quality that was already good, by identifying what the OEMs wanted, and then delivering it to them,” Suené explained.
“What they wanted was better turnaround times, so we have put in place specific procedures to achieve this.
“We have made improvements to each and every system and procedure, including the look and feel and utility of the packaging, and we are now tackling our compliance with ISO 14000 and 18000,” Snyman said.
She explained that the OEMs had indicated a need for quality and affordability. She emphasised that affordability was a natural by-product of improved quality.
“We have focused on manufacturing processes to reduce quality re-works by 4%. We have almost completely eliminated scrap, and we are maintaining our focus on work flows to improved productivity.
“So we manufacture faster, something that we believe is sustainable through our focus on continuous improvement, which in turn works by a process of the setting of monthly objectives and a review of all production processes.”
As an example, Snyman pointed to a local plant hire company which has improved its lead times on machinery supplied to mines throughout Africa.
“We are repairing their hydraulic cylinders more quickly, resulting in fewer of the customer’s machines being unavailable owing to repairs. This has a directly positive effect on his bottom line.
“OEMs benefit in much the same way where they have undertaken maintenance contracts with the end user,” she said.
East Rand-based Kappa Engineering has been manufacturing, assembling, testing and repairing high pressure hydraulic cylinders for 22 years.
The management team is young, with an average age of management 28 years. The CEO is 48, and Suené herself just 24.
The company is particularly strong in the underground trackless markets, in earthmoving, drilling and exploration, and in the waste removal market, all of which require different sizes and different shapes of hydraulic cylinder.
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