MANUFACTURING: PowerPlastics Scoops Award
Recent Western Cape Business News
WHEN a small Cape Town enterprise not only wins a notable contract but receives an accolade for excellence from an industry leader, it must be inspiration for other SMEs who so often feel that they are swimming against the current in a competitive business environment.
Ottery-based PowerPlastics recently took home an award from Pretoria Portland Cement for excelling on a first-time PVC cover contract with timelines that would challenge even larger players.
PowerPlastics is perhaps best known as a provider of covers for swimming pools. But another important pillar of its business is its specialising in the manufacture of industrial-use covers and liners, including fumigation sheets, container liners for goods in transit, dam liners, branded scaffold sheeting and thermal covers.
At its 1 500 sq m facility in Ottery, PowerPlastics joins, welds, shapes, sews and seals various plastic materials to fabricate high quality and cost effective end products. Production is geared for larger unit sizes such as 6m and 12m container liners, as used in shipping.
It undertakes both short and long production lines.
In a recent ceremony, PowerPlastics beat off some strong competition when it walked away with the Pretoria Portland Cement Company Coastal Division award for Best Supplier in the Small Enterprise category at an event recognising outstanding service within PPC’s supply chain.
“We are very happy to have received this accolade from such a large industrial player and feel it is a tremendous achievement for an SME such as PowerPlastics. It is also a good measure of our market position as well as our agility and capacity to win such a large first-time contract with tight timelines and still exceed expectations,” says Caryn Formby, director of PowerPlastics.
The contract on which the award was based was for an order of 2 700 branded PVC pallet covers for the protection of PPC’s cement in transit and to provide enhanced visibility of goods in-store. The turnaround time was demanding at 14 weeks.
When judging the awards, PPC uses stringent criteria that include general work ethic, BEE status, the administrative and sales functions associated with the contract, the ability to innovate and apply niche skills to the demands of the order, the quality of end products as well as pre-order samples and the supplier’s national footprint. The overall willingness to go the extra mile in ensuring complete satisfaction is a crucial factor too.
“These awards pay tribute to the fact that our suppliers are critical to our own success in delivering superior products. It is a rigorous and highly competitive environment out there and we need to be able to depend on our suppliers. Excellent relationships within a trusted network go a long way towards survival in this economic climate and PowerPlastics is an exemplary example of this,” says Ginger Singh, area manager for PPC.
“On winning the contract, we impressed upon our production team the magnitude and importance of the order for PowerPlastics, got their buy-in and immediately went into overdrive, laid on extra shifts and knuckled down to business,” says Formby.
“What particularly impressed us was how PowerPlastics, despite being a SME, didnft shy away from this massive order. They stared it in the eye and if they were intimidated, they certainly didn’t show it!” says Singh.
While PPC is a major industrial enterprise, the organisation will favour and support smaller players where they are aligned to PPC’s policies on local empowerment and skills development.
“We invited similar plastics suppliers to pitch for the contract but they felt they simply could not meet our demands on quality, quantity and turnaround times. Would PPC use PowerPlastics again? Absolutely!” says Singh.
“Completing this order took drive and motivation and was a good example of what can be achieved with strong team work. Kudos to our production team - I’m always extremely proud of them and the award merely validates the scope of our people and their skills sets,” says Formby.
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