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Productivity SA Business Solutions – 28 July 2011

Evening Seminar, Cocktails & Networking

Solutions for Saving & Growing Your Business

  • Date: Thursday, 28 July 2011
  • Venue: Sandton Sun Hotel, corner 5th and Alice Streets, Sandton, Johannesburg


‘Since its inception in 2000, Turnaround Solutions has rescued over 250 companies and over 116 330 jobs in many facets of commerce and industry’.


This event was proudly sponsored by:

Productivity SA


In association with:


Making SA Businesses More Productive

Hosted by Entrepreneur Magazine, Sponsored by Productivity SA



  • Sello Mosai – Opening address
  • Justice Tshifularo – The Workplace Challenge Programme
  • Mudzunga Mashamba – Turnaround Solutions

Opening the Productivity SA evening seminar recently held in Sandton, Sello Mosai, executive manager: knowledge management, research and value chain efficiencies at Productivity SA, emphasised the role productivity plays in improving living standards.

Mosai explained that government’s growth path to create five million jobs over the next ten years was achievable. He said through two of the organisation’s flagship programmes, namely the Workplace Challenge and Turnaround Solutions, Productivity SA was improving the competitiveness of local enterprises and promoting a culture of productivity in the workplace, which in turn would see an increase in jobs.

Session 1

Workplace Challenge

How to build a productive, high-growth company

The three pillars

The Workplace Challenge was based on three pillars: collaboration, best practices and sharing lessons.

Tshifularo said the World Cup in 2010 was an example of successful collaboration. He explained that any company with the aim of being part of the future needed a structure that positioned leaders at all levels. He said thinkers should be at the top of the company’s organogram, while the rest provided the services.

The Workplace Challenge comprises tools and techniques to improve collaboration in an enterprise. The Plant Level Committee (PLC) supports the many business units within an enterprise, Leadership Capacity Building (LCB) focuses on change management and Best Operation Practices (BOP) works on continuous improvement of the company.

According to Tshifularo, to make productivity part of the company’s culture there are five key focus areas:

  • Leadership practices that promote teamwork, continuous learning and flexibility
  • Improved standard of quality at lower cost
  • Establishing close links with customers and suppliers
  • Linear and non-linear improvement initiatives
  • Eliminating forms of waste and making value flow

Best Practices
“Most business don’t fail at designing a great strategy, the challenge comes with execution of the strategy,” said Tshifulero. The model used addresses the execution gap. He explained that enterprises need a clear goal of where they want to be as a business. During the coaching process, the organisation is rate from one to five, one being a starting point and five being world class. Any gaps that exist are then identified and plans are developed for all areas of improvement. Tshifulero explained that this is a continuous process with no end. Implementing best practice involves adding value in three key areas: delivery, cost and quality.

Sharing Lessons
This process is supported by Productivity SA experts and the model is constantly improving with input from academia. Tshifulero explained that the programme aimed to close the gap between industry and academia.

The Workplace Challenge is a voluntary process and has seen some of the country’s big names go through the programme. Research on the companies who have taken part saw the following improvements:

  • Improvement in quality: 49%
  • Improvement in speed: 25%
  • Reduction of costs: 60%
  • Improvement of morale: 14%

According to Tshifulero, companies saw immediate results in the workplace and believed productivity was something that could be learnt on the job.

Session 2

Turnaround Solutions

A government subsidised recovery programme to improve your profitability and save jobs*

Running for just over 13 years, the programme provides assistance to companies in distress with the overall aim of saving jobs. The programme delivers turnaround and contingency plans which identify how to turn a business around so that it can be considered as a Workplace Challenge candidate, explained Mudzunga Mashamba, Productivity SA programme executive manager.

Mashamba said the solutions are for distressed companies, even those who had just started to see a decline and were not performing the way they used to. “We look at how we can turn the business around to be productive and competitive.”

To take part in the programme, companies need to employ around 50 people, however smaller companies can be accommodated as a cluster of companies in the same area or region. The companies need to be under threat of some sort of decline.

Turnaround process

The process starts with nurturing through Productivity SA’s strategic partners. Once a company applies to go through the programme, a preliminary assessment is done looking mainly at the companies financials. Mashamba explained that this assessment determines the stability of the business and whether it is viable to go through the process. Any crises the company is facing is looked at and resolved before the process can continue.

A ‘Future Forum’ is established with representatives of all the enterprise’s stakeholders to ensure that all are included in the turnaround process. Mashamba said the forum is like an internal steering committee and strengthens the employer/employee relationship.

Capacity building is the next step. This comprises training on basic productivity principles and requires buy-in from all levels to identify where the company is losing money.

Productivity Champion Training is undertaken. This involved the organisation identifying champions who are capacitated with the knowledge and skills to continuously improve the productivity of the business.

In-depth assessment comprises taking the organisation apart and looking at the different aspects. “We look at where the ills are and how we can remedy them,” explained Mashamba. She said the work or turnaround plan was finalised and signed off by the future forum.

The next step is strategy implementation. Mashamba explained that Productivity SA didn’t have expertise in all areas, but that where there were specific issues, it has accredited service providers who step in to handle them.

While monitoring happened throughout the process, the final step is like after care. This stage looks at the plan that was implemented and whether or not it is yielding the intended results.



Productivity SA
+27 (0)11 848 5300





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