The founding members of the Manufacturing Accelerator Programme (MAP) – ISAH, Rifle-Shot Performance Partners and SANEC – have signed a memorandum of agreement with the board of the South African Capital Equipment Council (SACEEC) to promote good manufacturing practices within the country.
It is hoped that the South African manufacturing industry will once again take the leadership position in the world summit ranking of manufacturing with the signing of this memorandum.

ISAH is an international software company, whilst Rifle-Shot Performance Partners is a specialist solutions provider and distributor.

SANEC is the Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and is the key intermediary agency for companies, organisations and entrepreneurs doing business or seeking to do business in and between the Netherlands, South Africa, the Benelux and the southern African region (SADC).

The manufacturing industry as a whole has shrunk dramatically over the last 20 years and has dropped in world competitiveness rankings from 34 to the current position of 53. On the current trajectories, Rwanda, Nigeria and Zambia will all overtake South Africa in the next few years let alone the rapid development in South America and Eastern European sector.

MAP was therefore developed and launched in October last year with the purpose of revitalising the South African manufacturing industry and creating a substantial number of new job opportunities in the country.

In the MAP programme, suitable tools for the company are proposed and recommended from an extensive knowledge base of trusted partners with specific industry focus, track records of innovation and delivery over at least two decades, and who are recognised leaders in their specific manufacturing industries.

MAP works through sector or cluster organisations to implement the programme at groups of companies across their member base.

“Using our specialist systems technology, MAP enables small and medium make-to-order customers to access and benefit from the world’s best class specialist manufacturing software,” says Ian Huntly, CEO of Rifle-Shot Performance Partners.

Huntly says two large toolmakers in Gauteng were already benefitting from MAP implementations after the Tooling Association of SA signed an agreement with MAP late last year.

“The intended results of MAP include import replacement, increased beneficiation and increased exports, all resulting in the creation of much needed jobs and wealth for South Africa,” says Eric Bruggeman, chairman of SACEEC.
“All our members are extremely excited about this collaboration and we’re looking forward to seeing participating companies flourish.”

Bruggeman confirmed that participating companies will be offered a specialised management and financial plan endorsed by the SACEEC members.
MAP is based on four pillars:
* Strategy building and awareness;
* Usage of SmartIT;
* Mentoring and training; and
* Capital investment.

These four pillars provide entrepreneurs with a complete and easy to implement package of skills, tools and services to endure sustainability. It is proven that where continuous improvements are made, the company continues to operate and prosper.

Peter van Harten, EVP, Isah International, a Dutch based company, says as part of MAP, they would also like to strengthen the ties between Southern Africa and the Netherlands as they have a lot of expertise in export.

“As a small country we rely heavily on export but as a part of MAP we would like to connect Dutch technology to Southern African manufacturing companies to build joint ventures, exchange knowledge etc.”

MAP has devised the MAP Benefit Calculator allowing for an analysis that can be quickly carried out on four critical performance indicators (KPI’s) – stocks, purchase, labour and turnover.

“With this analysis, companies can make fact-based decisions with regard to their business strategy as the report offers an insight into cost savings and turnover potential,” says Van Harten.
MAP is similar to programmes that are running in the United States. Known as “reshoring”, these programmes are heavily endorsed by President Obama.

“South African export of capital equipment will flourish if we are able to make this collaboration successful and will be supported by our export facilitation desk’s strategy in 2014,” concludes Froke Gilsing, GM of SANEC.