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Bringing international standards to Southern African markets


Bringing internat to Southern Afric

Written by: N


tional standards can markets

Nye Longman Produced by: Daniel Pritchard

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SA

Pioneering best practices across the board, the multinational tobacco products manufacturer has become one of South Africa’s top companies as well as a leading regional organisation.

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hrough its commitment to operational excellence, British American Tobacco (BAT) has proven healthy growth is possible, even in an increasingly competitive and regulated sector. By championing the work of its staff and supporting the communities it operates in, the company has positioned itself to continue its dominant position in Southern Africa and beyond. We spoke to Seyi Adeyemo, BAT’s Head of Supply Chain for the Southern African region, to learn more about how a company with a global remit was able to achieve this while retaining local relevance. BAT’s operations cover every aspect of the tobacco product cycle, everything from growing the tobacco, through to manufacture, marketing and distribution to the adult consumer who gets to enjoy his or her smoking moments. Three manufacturing facilities (including one which ranks as one of the largest in the world) cover the company’s regional production requirement including exports to over 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Local Distribution is serviced by eight mega depots and 10 cross docks with multiple distribution networks across the country. This supply chain directly oversees 10 markets comprising: South Africa; Angola; Zambia; Lesotho; Botswana; Namibia; Malawi; Swaziland; Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Although focused regionally, Adeyemo said, the tobacco products manufactured at these facilities were exported globally, not to


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Key Personnel

Seyi Adeyemo Head of Supply Chain SAA BAT - South Africa factory

mention to the rest of the African continent. He said: “We have a big local market in South Africa; we undertake most of the support for manufacturing, product research and regional quality management for the continent from here.” Being part of a company with a global reach has exposed operations in Southern Africa to international standard expectations across the board, in terms of operational excellence, quality and social responsibility. Commenting on BAT’s production standards in this regard, Adeyemo said: “There is a constant focus on improving the efficiencies of our processes and operations. We do an internal benchmark first and look at best practices across the region as well as across all of our operations globally. “We do regional and global reviews so

Seyi Adeyemo became Head of Supply Chain, Southern Africa Area (SAA) in January 2014 following a stint as the Head of Product and Quality for Southern African Area. Seyi Joined BAT in 2013 as the Head of Quality after which he moved into the Area Supply Chain Manager role. Seyi has Prior FMCG experience with Procter & Gamble where he worked for 14 years in various capacities including head of Logistics, head of Supply Chain, lean/Six Sigma program manager and Group Operations manager in West Africa.

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SOUTHERN AFRICA

2,500 Number of Employees at British American Tobacco SA 6

that there is clear visibility to management from efficiency, inventory management and all the financial control requirements. “We also do external benchmarking, since often non-tobacco related industries also have some very good standards that can be reapplied, particularly with Lean, 6sigma and Integrated Works Systems. If there’s a best practice in another industry, we are not shy to apply it to our own.”


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Arturo Rodriguez Head of Operations, Southern Africa Area

Mastering the African supply chain Being the dominant tobacco company in most of the markets it serves comes with its own challenges, not least those imposed by operating in countries where both infrastructure and legislative challenges are commonplace. Adeyemo said: “African logistics is complex. Getting our products around can be difficult, especially because road networks and infrastructure are not always well developed.

Arturo joined BAT in 1995 and has fulfilled various roles in Operations in Mexico and Kenya, including Manufacturing Manager at Heidelberg for three years. As the Head of Operations for ECA in 2011, Arturo led the overall expansion and optimisation of the factory. He has a depth of business experience and leadership and is well known for his commitment to developing people and getting things done quickly and to a high standard. These are qualities that are valued and critical for the success of Operations in SAA. Arturo is married with three sons.

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SOUTHERN AFRICA

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SA Sometimes our products have to go out by sea into Europe in order to then get back to Africa! “This is just part of doing business on the continent and is factored into the cost of production. Planning is critical, understanding the market and understanding the culture of the markets that we go into is therefore essential. “We need to plan how we manage our inventory, how we manage logistical lead times and how we work with different currencies to handle the volatility that exists in our business environment. We have global systems in place; we have dedicated people who understand the terrain, and we have systems that help us to predict and plan our logistics. Speed to market and availability of stock to our customers and consumers are our crucial logistical concerns in this regard. “We work with third Partly Logistics companies across Africa who know the terrain, especially in terms of Port operations, road transport, and they move the majority of our stock for us. We work with the right partners to get our product to where we want it to be.” Growing responsibly Across its global operations, BAT seeks to operate in a way that not only directly create value for its shareholders, but also those stakeholders involved with its operations indirectly, particularly the communities it works in, both socially and environmentally. By factoring this into its business model, the company has received

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Key Personnel

Brian Finch Managing Director Brian Finch was appointed as the Managing Director of BAT Southern African Area in April 2010 following a stint as Head of Marketing for BAT’s Africa Middle East Region. He began his career at BAT more than 20 years ago and has occupied several marketing roles at different levels in seven countries, including Congo, Zimbabwe, the UK and Switzerland. One of Brian’s secrets of success is to try to turn bad into good, and challenges into opportunities.

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SA

Video: A day in the life of a prompt sales representative

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international awards alongside local recognition. Adeyemo noted that this holistic approach began within the business itself; with our commitment to skills development and training, opportunities to progress both educationally and professionally are always available for employees looking to excel and lead those around them along the same path. The company operates a 70:20:10 Development model (70 percent on-thejob learning, 20 percent learning through others and 10 percent formal training) which supports agile learning by encouraging individuals to identify flexible ways of acquiring knowledge and skills in relevant contexts.


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BAT’s operations cover every aspect of the tobacco product cycle

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BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO - SA

“More than 77 percent of employees are from previously disadvantaged population groups and BATSA is Certified as a Top Employer in South Africa for 2015 and achieved the much coveted level 3 BBBEE compliance.” – Seyi Adeyemo Head of Supply Chain SAA

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The company’s CSR operations in its region are well-esta

On top of having to compete with other tobacco producers, BAT has to deal with all the challenges associated with the illicit tobacco trade, as well as government regulation that is sometimes inconsistent across different markets. Adeyemo was confident that the company’s competitive position enabled it to not only conquer these challenges but also to be in a position to work with governments to defeat the illicit trade. The company’s CSR operations in its region are well-established and have received international acclaim, with focus on empowerment, sustainable agriculture and civic life. More than 77 percent of employees are from previously disadvantaged population


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Company Information INDUSTRY

Tobacco supply and production HEADQUARTERS

Cape Town, SA FOUNDED

1902 EMPLOYEES

ablished and have received international acclaim

2,500

groups and BATSA is Certified as a Top Employer in South Africa for 2015 and achieved the much coveted level 3 BBBEE compliance. The company has been able to recycle over 95 percent of waste generated, as well as upwards of 50 percent of its water, which it also collects and feeds back into production. By combining its might as a global operator with a dedicated focus on the needs and nuances of the markets comprising southern Africa, BAT has been able to remain one of the top tobacco companies while also proving that retaining a position as strong as this can be done so in a socially and environmentally friendly fashion.

REVENUE

85% of Legal Market Share in South Africa PRODUCTS/ SERVICES

Tobacco supply and production

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British American Tobacco - Southern Africa 25 Du Toit Street, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, South Africa 7600 PO Box 631 Tel. +27218883500 Fax. +27218870103 www.batsa.co.za

Profile for Business Chief Africa

British American Tobacco - Brochure 2015  

British American Tobacco - Brochure 2015  

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