S4 AUTOMATION & INTEGRATION
look to bolster presence at its support bases in Pretoria and Durban. With the industry growing across SA’s borders, S4 is also keen to investigate opportunities on the continent. “We’ve just appointed a dynamic manager in Pretoria from our Port Elizabeth office and we will focus heavily on the Gauteng region in the second half of this year. “East Africa is showing a lot of promise and growth; a lot of South Africa’s local motor manufacturers are opening up small operations in East Africa and that will open doors for us. “We also meet regularly with our German partners as they are constantly changing their products. DSA in particular has no mechanical wing to their business and we see synergy between our operations so we’re not ruling out further collaboration to offer them automation solutions,” says Fulton. Of course, expansion of this kind will not be a distraction for the company’s talented people but Fulton does state that effective HR
management will be a key strategy for the business as it grows into the future. When asked what has been the key ingredient to the success of S4, “I have to say surrounding ourselves with the right people. We have an extremely good culture within the business, largely thanks to our general manager and visionary Andrew White, who has been a wonderful asset to the company,” says Fulton. “I could be hit by a bus, but if Andrew is hit, we would be in trouble. The biggest challenge that we face going forward is retention of our skilled people and the attraction of skilled people, especially in the area of design and PLC programming. “10 years ago, there was a good pool of people to choose from but today that pool has waned completely and it’s a very challenging process to find good staff. We do have a good relationship with the University of Port Elizabeth and we do earmark talented students and help them with bursaries. “We make investments in training but we do have the problem of
poaching by companies who can offer higher salaries, including the offshore markets” he adds. Despite this challenge, S4 remains a company that has the ability to grow - creating employment, driving innovation and creativity and bolstering the reputation of SA expertise in international markets. Thanks to its high-quality systems and solutions, its ability to build and maintain lasting relationships and a history of excellence, the future is looking bright. “The company is in very strong position and we are excited about the future but we will continue to closely monitor the economic situation and the health of the automotive industry,” Fulton concludes.
S4 AUTOMATION & INTEGRATION + 27 41 451 1250 email@example.com www.s4.co.za
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