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KEEPING THE Water FLOWING Clean water is something that is often taken for granted and it is enlightening to find the amount of work it takes to keep the water flowing smoothly and reliably. When you do find out the level of activity and expertise needed to do this you may never turn the tap on in the same way again. I was lucky enough to speak with cofounder and director Dr. Leon Geustyn regarding the remarkable and essential GLS Consulting. WRITTEN BY DON CAMPBELL


GLS CONSULTING

Founded in 1989 with the key intention of providing a comprehensive and expert service, GLS Consulting has become one of the key names in water keeping all the bases covered. Having a 50% share in IMQS they have been able to further expand upon their services and offer their clients a comprehensive solution to their projects.

“O

ur business today focusses on water and sewer system modelling and master planning,” Leon explains, “This includes areas such as water quality modelling;

risk based pipeline replacement prioritization analysis and water and sewer system asset management planning.” While being a South African company their level of expertise has attracted clients from across the globe. “We operate from a single office in Stellenbosch, South Africa,” he continues, “Serving more than thirty municipalities, including five metro’s in South Africa. Through specialist assistance to associated companies we also provide our services to clients in South East Asia, the United States of America, Holland and Turkey.” The Source Of The Company’s Strength “GLS employ highly skilled people with over half the staff having obtained tertiary qualifications,” Leon tells us, describing the sourcepool for his company’s strength, “Three of them hold PhD’s and twelve are either holding or in the process of completing Masters Degrees in Engineering as well as one holding an MBA.” With forty three staff members working for the company financial and mentoring support is provided at all levels of advanced education. Over and above this continuous high level training is provided to staff on the sophisticated technology and methodology applied by GLS and the software training courses provided by GLS are accredited for trainees to obtain CPD points. “Staff development is incredibly important,” Leon indicates strongly, “And it’s important that everyone has the necessary


qualifications and most importantly the working experience to keep our offering at the cutting edge of our industry.”

Keeping The Customers On Course GLS has a programme of continuous research, development and improvement of skills and technology that allows for state of the art and a cost-efficient service to customers. Over the years they have managed to maintain a strong position in the market with large growth potential in its niche. This has been accomplished through their ability to apply internationally competitive software supported by a very high level of expertise and experience. When it comes to implementing this expertise into a customer focus Leon believes that individual development is not only expected but strongly supported. “All of our projects are performed against a strictly controlled and detailed scope of works and quality control processes,” Leon explains. GLS is in the process of becoming ISO 9001 Compliant and they approach each of the clients through focussed teamwork, “We perform our services via a structure where the client is the responsibility of a single team with only a small percentage of their time being taken by other projects.”


GLS CONSULTING

This results in an “always available and informed” support service

competitor,” Leon explains, “The association with Quasset has already

to clients with a priority given to the long term relationships shared

allowed GLS to participate in major projects in the Netherlands, with

with long standing customers, some of which have lasted over twenty

large growth potential in Europe.”

three years.

While, within the South African context GLS would like to consider its combination of skills, experience, reputation and footprint having

2014 And Onwards

made the company attractive for an acquisition by an industry leader,

In August 2013 GLS became a fully owned business unit of the

such as EOH. This status was achieved over 25 years of diligence and

South African listed company EOH. Also recently an exclusive license

hard work by a group of clever people that changed very little over

for the application of all GLS’ software technology and services

time. When commenting on this Leon simply says, “There is no easy

outside of Africa and Western Europe was obtained by the Canadian listed company Pure Technologies and in Western Europe

GLS’

services

and

software technology have been applied in association with the Dutch based company Quasset. The joining of EOH provides a large opportunity for both growth

and

broadening

of

services provided by GLS in Africa. This is due to several factors, largely related to the ability to provide clients with the service as a part of a total multi-disciplinary service not only pertaining to engineering, but also IT systems, financial planning and general strategic

road!”

This is not a road to travel on unless as a team you have strong confidence in your own abilities and technology and are able to bear with the usual venture related perils, but the payoff is hugely satisfying when successful.”

“As far as our international associations are concerned the initial connection was related to the proven high level of technology

that

GLS

could

provide,” he continues, “But since then strong reliance was made on the establishing of trust amongst individuals in all parties.” While the home fires had to be kept burning it was required from a core team tasked with the process to be prepared to travel internationally and adapt to working in different environments and time zones and this often impacting on private

time

and

personal

comfort.

support. support

“This is not a road to travel

provided also allows for GLS to

on unless as a team you have

embark on larger contracts and

strong confidence in your own

“The

strong

initiatives than is currently the case,” Leon adds, “Becoming part of a

abilities and technology and are able to bear with the usual venture

truly South African industry leader, harbouring all of the exciting and

related perils,” Leon specifies, “But the payoff is hugely satisfying

interesting diversity within highly skilled and experienced people, has

when successful.”

been an invigorating experience for GLS and we are looking forward to new opportunities growing from our existing strong platform.”

Although the formalities have been concluded, thus establishing the terms at which work is performed, these ventures still require a

The joining of forces with Pure Technologies through licensing

continuous commitment in providing support ranging from marketing

has already exposed GLS to participation in projects in markets where

all the way through to training. While the challenges posed by time

they may not have ventured alone.

zone differences and international travelling remain, “The impact

“The extremely comprehensive expertise and experience on

is offset by the numerous related opportunities provided to GLS

related technologies provided by Pure has enhanced our offering

staff and the financial benefits of working in a stable market earning

with GLS and we are now capable of being a truly international

foreign currency.”


“Leaders in providing solutions related to the optimal planning and management of water and sewer reticulation systems�

OUR CLIENTS Johannesburg Water City of Tshwane City of Cape Town Ekurhuleni

Metropolitan Municipality Buffalo City Emfuleni Municipality All the municipalities in the Western Cape Province Randfontein LM Midvaal LM Lesedi LM Renosterberg LM Ubuntu LM Emthanjeni LM Siya Themba LM

Phone +27 21 880 0388 Fax +27 21 880 0389 Email info@gls.co.za

www.gls.co.za


GLS CONSULTING +27 218 800 388 WWW.GLS.CO.ZA

www.littlegatepublishing.com


GLS Consulting