Exporter of the year awards open for entries

02 May 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914463

Import / Export
Exporter of the year awards open for entries
Chris Ford,S4 Integration; Jane Stevenson,Vice-Chair of Exporters Eastern Cape; Quintin Levey, Chairman of Exporters Eastern Cape and Ettienne Gerwel,S4 Integration

THE Exporters Eastern Cape opened entries for its 2019 Exporter of the Year Awards recently at a factory tour of last year’s overall winner, S4 Integration.

The awards honour and acknowledge exporters and service providers to industry who have excelled in the period under review. Entries are now 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.

“Judging criteria include qualitative and quantitative and all judges are independent from the exporters,” he 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.

The organisation hosts monthly networking meetings with 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.

National Manager for Sasfin Commercial Solutions (Global Trade), Brenden Adriaanzen described Exporters Eastern Cape as “the ideal platform to network with like-minded people in an industry that we specialise in. We find it extremely beneficial to be part of such a dynamic industry body and have formed many lasting business relationships”.

Transnet National Ports Authority’s Business Development Manager and Exporters Eastern Cape committee member Sujit Bhagattjee said, “Membership creates a platform for you to understand your customer’s customer – that is the true benefit of being part of this organisation”.

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.

Marketing Manager Gideon Smith attributed their success to the company meeting their clients’ needs. 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.

“To be recognised 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 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.

Monique Prince, a senior recruiter at recruitment agency Hire Power, 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”.

“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.”

Companies can download the entry form from the website www.exportersec.co.za or complete the online form there. Entries close on 3 June 2019.

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