GENESIS SUPPLY CHAIN SERVICES

BUSINESS CASE STUDY

Case Description

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” – Albert Einstein

This was the path that Genesis Supply Chain Services was on before the programme. The business had historically operated on word of mouth and relied solely on repeat business from its clients. With no sales structure, no strategic direction and a lack of sound financial management and control, the business was headed toward a downward spiral. 

With seasonal work diminishing, a clear directive for increasing sales, marketing and active business development strategies was paramount. 

Although a number of quality audits with  customers had been concluded, they had never established and adopted an in-house Quality Management System and framework.  As a result, the company would simply rely on its best practice and operational know-how to deliver its services. This posed a huge risk as quality was measured as a result, rather than a step-by-step, monitored and audited process. 

With the support and expertise provided by Siyakha to develop and implement a QMS framework and compliance to ISO 9001 2015, the company was able to differentiate itself from its competitors through a proven and measured Quality Management System. Focusing on business development and with the implementation of a sales and marketing strategy, the business started attracting the interests of new clients, as it also started focusing on new markets thus resulting in a turnaround in the firms revenue.  

The Challenge 

With the impact of changes in the industry, legislation and rising costs, Genesis has been losing clients and needed to readdress how they deliver their service to clients. The reliance on repeat business and past relationships was no longer enough to ensure that the business maintains a consistent monthly revenue and healthy cash flow. 

Sound financial control and management was a challenge as a result of the function being outsourced, thus not allowing for a clear view on the business’ financial situation at any given time. Not having any clear direction and insight into the business left the business owner very frustrated, as spending hours working in the business felt like treading water, with no progress.    

The Business Background

Genesis Supply Chain Services is an established micro business based in Benoni Boksburg that has been operating in the Gauteng region for the past 19 years. The business was started by Ronald Moodley, who under the guidance of his father Ronny Moodley, has taken over the management of the business since 2015.

The business provides contract packing services to the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector, as well as labour outsourcing services to the manufacturing and logistics industry. The firm provides services that allows flexibility, is customised and provides value for money. The outsourced labour services provided are affordable, provides skilled labour and is tailored around client’s needs, thus ensuring that clients are able to optimise their packaging requirements. 

These services are provided to clients like Tiger Brands, IDL, ASCO, Palm Olive and Nando’s to name but a few. The firm employs over 100 staff and through their services are able to provide employment opportunities for people from local communities. 

The Business, Before The Program

Despite the fact that the business had small contracts in place and was turning over every month, the true financial state of the business was a blur as the financial management was outsourced to an outside resource. This provided little to no control for the business owner to make financial decisions, as monthly financial management accounts were not produced. 

Due to an amendment in the labour legislation, outsourced labour services came under threat as clients were pressured to now employ those contract packers and pickers, thus not making the service a feasible one. With no sales structure in place and marketing limited to word of mouth, the business also faced the risks associated with not having short terms contracts in place. Better financial management, planning and control was thus a key priority in order to understand the true state of the business.   

Goal Focused Interventions

It was essential for the business owner to get a grip on financial management and control. The need to generate management accounts which could depict the true financial state of the business, more so to enable the business owner to plan effectively for the finances of the business was critical. As a result, seeking the services of an alternative financial accounting firm was necessary. 

Recognising the business owner’s limited understanding of financial management, it was necessary to cultivate a fundamental understanding of how to interrogate financial reports produced by the external accounting firm, in order to plan and budget. Setting up a rudimentary sales structure and strategy was also important in order to grow the business’ footprint and to attract new clients. Measurable and effective marketing strategies and improvements to the company website, social media and professional online platforms like LinkedIn were made to increase the company’s exposure. A strong focus on developing an implementable Quality Management System was also key. 

Obstacles

Despite being a driven, motivated and committed individual, the business owner struggled with maintaining focus, and as a result of his tendency to speak quickly, with a loud voice, the staff perception of him was negative. Areas that required improvement included:

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Apparent lack of focus which affected follow through

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Appeared harsh and unapproachable to staff

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Owner was lacking in understanding the benefit of EQ

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Unhealthy office culture due to heirarchy perceptions

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Staff fear to appear looking incompetent

Solutions

Identify weekly goals and outcomes

Allow staff opportunity to contribute to decisions pertaining to improvements

Involve key staff members a voice in operational processes

Weekly meetings with staff inclusion

Cultivate new business habits to allow for staff growth

Response to Program

The business owner showed commitment and dedication through diligently applying himself to the coaching process. Despite the usual challenges faced by businesses from week-to-week, the principle of seeing the weekly coaching engagements as an opportunity for working on the business was one that was not compromised. 

My relationship built with the coach was one of deep trust, respect and his opinion and what he thinks was very important to me. I held in high regard to his opinion and advice and appreciated that he cares about my ideas and suggestions.

Learning & Retention

The engaging coaching structure helped improve the business owner’s general management and operational skills. The opportunity to both learn and implement the practical skills proved to be invaluable. Areas of learning included sales training and personal development, which significantly improved a newly found confident approach when engaging with existing and prospective customers.  Understanding the importance of marketing and becoming more focused on meaningful marketing initiatives was also a valuable learning area.   

Changed Behaviours

Before embarking on the Siyakha programme, the day-to-day management was very much left up to things unfolding as it happened. Working without a structured daily planner was the norm. Cultivating the discipline and good habits, as well as working according to a daily and weekly diary and plan made a huge difference in the business owners management style. Being able to measure productivity has enabled him to focus on director-led activities rather than getting caught up in the day to day operations of the business. Working according to a structured and mapped out operational plan also made delegating tasks to appreciate staff members possible.

Impact On The Business

“The Siyakha programme empowered me to become more disciplined and work on the business with more focus and direction. Having a strategic direction in which we want to take the business, rather than just going through the motions has probably been the most impactful. Learning the importance of producing monthly management accounts and the ability to interpret them for planning purposes has made a huge impact. A thorough understanding of the sales process and being able to apply it has made doing business development a meaningful exercise, instead of just waiting for things to happen.”

Although the business employs a full time HR manager, having an understanding of labour legislation and compliance has equipped us to better manage relationships with our clients, especially where labour is outsourced, and clients want to exploit our pricing structure which directly impacts what we can pay our staff. Adhering to the minimum wage bill and educating our clients to this end has added value to our partnership with our clients.”

The addition of two new multinational clients to the company’s portfolio and the following internal achievements are testament to the above :

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Growth In Profit

Growth In Jobs

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Growth in economic participation

The Road Ahead

Genesis has grown from strength to strength since joining the Siyakha programme. Remaining consistent, disciplined in applying the learnings and remaining focused on applying key business management principles learned is key to the future and ongoing success of the business. The maxim ‘practice makes perfect’ would apply to this company relating to its road forward.

Having developed a workable business plan by defining the current management of the business, has been a valuable exercise. Being able to adopt the plan and implement some of the strategies developed will be key to the business’ further growth. Realistic goals developed and adopting the SMART principles has been valuable. This provided strategic guidance for the road ahead.  

As a result, the Business Owner has realised there were shortcomings in not only the business management and has realised that he cannot only reply on the learnings imparted by his father. He therefore will be enrolling in a small business management programme to further and broaden his knowledge and skills. Looking at equipping by investing in training for his staff is also a goal moving forward.    

“I am excited to see the business grow over the next few months and be able to look back in one year from now and measure the growth and success”

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