At ODI’s recent one-day conference where we celebrated 30 years of operational excellence, several companies from various industries presented their case studies of business excellence and shared their achievements.
- Len Hansen – Consultant at Astral Operations, presented: “My Journey with Organisational Development International (ODI) since 1991.”
- Esbe du Toit: Organisational Improvement Manager at Wispeco Aluminium, presented: “Celebrating Innovation … A snapshot of our journey towards world-class.”
- Theo van Strijp: Managing Director at GFC, presented: “Grain Field Chickens: Road to Excellence Award.”
- Forona Stephens: Human Resources Business Partner at GWK and her topic of discussion was: “Think Big, Start Small, Unlock Excellence.”
Wouter Olivier Managing Director of Sondor Performance Foams was next and his topics was: “People are the Foundation to Building a Culture of Continuous Improvement.”
Some facts about Sondor:
- Established in 1948
- Leading producer of crosslinked, closed cell polyethylene and eva foams in South Africa
- Manufacturer of bubble and aerothene film
- 100% owned by the Zimco Group Of Companies in South Africa. Zimco is owned by Eco-bat Technologies in the USA
- Focus is on fostering a ci culture & growth from within
Wouter Olivier from Sondor Industries focused on why Sondor prioritises the training of their people. For them it is all about building depth into the squad (to use a rugby term). All business at Sondor is closely conducted according to the company’s values, and developing people forms a key part of these values.
Wouter believes that their people hold the key to their future. Sondor strives to enable people to develop their capabilities, and to reach their potential through appropriate training, and fair remuneration that relates to their performance and contribution.
One of the business focus areas is to improve efficiencies and drive down costs across all operations and support functions. This can be done by skilling up the workforce, through training and development initiatives.
Wouter spoke about the long relationship that Sondor has with ODI, and how the Learnerships have made a significant contribution to the business. Sondor is very proud of their learner achievements. These achievements have led to many internal promotions, as well as national learner awards.
It is evident in the company that people are more confident and willing to lead their own areas.
For learner feedback, Wouter specially went into the workplace to ask people again how their development has contributed to their careers. Below are three quotes from the workplace.
- “It helped me grow as a person, and also within the organisation. I started off as an operator, and as a sales rep I can take the knowledge which I have learnt from ODI, and apply it in the different departments which I am working in. The learnerships laid a foundation for myself in understanding how the company functions, and as a whole, it gave me the knowledge to understand how a company should be established. I got an insight on how everything filters down from top management to the production line. As Wouter once said “The best gift you can give your child is education.”
- “Gives you a clear vision of your role to empower your company, and to work better with your team and leaders. Also teaches you to have goals and targets to always improve.”
- “When I started my first ODI learnership NQF level 3 class, I thought this is going to be just another training session, but to my surprise it was a learnership that dealt with my daily tasks and challenges, and I enjoyed my classes, the facilitators. I have also thus far completed my NQF level 4 as well, and I’m planning to go as far as possible to further my education. “
Wouter left us with this message: “Do the right thing, first time right!”
Author: Huibie Jones: MD at ODI.
To read more about ODI’s Continuous Operations Improvement Systems, click here.