A Cape Town-based electronics manufacturing company TraX Interconnect cherishes the national spotlight that will shine on it when the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, visits the company premises located at the Elfin Industrial Park today, 2 March 2018.
The purpose of Minister Davies’ visit is to launch a national campaign to commemorate twenty years of successful productivity improvement by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Workplace Challenge (WPC) Programme. Minister Davies will be accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Productivity South Africa, Mr Mothunye Mothiba.
The WPC Programme is a two-year government intervention implemented amongst South African enterprises to improve their productivity and competitiveness, thereby ensuring sustainability of jobs. the dti has been offering the WPC Programme to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) since 1998, hence the campaign to celebrate the achievements of the programme and reflect on new opportunities to take the programme to the next level. More than a thousand companies have benefitted from the programme.
“We are excited and grateful that we have been chosen from amongst hundreds of beneficiaries to host a national event to celebrate the successes of the programme. As a small company situated in the Western Cape we are happy that the national spotlight will shine on us and put our company on the map of the country,” says the Managing Director of TraX Interconnect, Mr Daniel Dock.
He adds that although the company is half-way through the programme, there are quite a number of areas that have already shown discernible signs of improvement as a result of the company’s participation in the programme.
“For starters, this company would have gone under and closed shop if we had not enlisted for the programme. We have managed to save the company and 47 jobs by participating in the programme. We are operating in a highly-competitive marketplace even though we have managed to carve ourselves a niche in the manufacturing of printed circuit boards (PCBs). There are a handful of companies operating in the sector in South Africa because 80% of the PCBs in the world are manufactured in Taiwan, Japan and China. About 95% of the PCBs used in the South African market are imported from China,” says Dock.
The programme could not have come at a more opportune time for TraX Interconnect because after purchasing the company from the previous owners two years ago, Dock and his partner Mr Iegsaan Khan, who is the Production Director at the company, had to take it through a process of restructuring. This impacted negatively on the morale of the employees and affected production negatively.
“The programme changed the morale, attitude, language and perceptions of both the staff and management. As a result of the management and goal alignment tool kits that we have already gone through, everyone in the company started pulling in the same direction in order to achieve clearly-defined common objectives. The results have been phenomenal,” says Khan.
He adds that the management and communication styles changed from top-down to bottom-up and the active involvement and contribution of employees in decision-making processes of various teams lifted their morale significantly.
“One of the areas of improvement identified through the programme was to reskill our workforce. The implementation of all of the programme’s interventions impacted positively on production and success of the company,” adds Khan.
Khan and Dock harbour ambitions of growing their export market in order to grow their company and contribute in creating jobs and growing the country’s economy. Currently, they are exporting to the United Arab Emirates, India and some parts of Africa.