Through the SASDC certification and membership, Libra has taken each and every opportunity to develop their service offering to potential clients. Ms. Ramakuela states that within the landscaping industry, it is crucial to be current with industry requirements and standards, such as occupational health and safety. Libra, therefore, actively participated in SASDC capacity building and other services to develop its knowledge base and improve service delivery.
The key benefits that Libra has derived from its SASDC membership are (in order of importance):
THE SASOL – LIBRA LINKAGE
Prior to becoming a certified supplier in 2012, Libra had several successful contracts with SASDC Corporate Members, including Rand Water (2009) and Afrox (2011). But after joining SASDC, they secured their biggest and most significant business linkage with a SASDC corporate member in 2014
– a 3-year contract with Sasol. “This is the biggest growth our company has had up to now”, Lebo shared. “Our SASDC certification is inspiring trust in us by other corporate members to give us much bigger jobs and responsibilities”.
Ms. Ramakuela attributes the weight attached to the SASDC certification, as well as the ongoing SASDC training and development, to Libra’s ability to effectively secure the Sasol linkage.
From Sasol’s perspective, SASDC provided a mechanism for identifying qualified suppliers. Sasol noted “SASDC is a source of competent black-owned businesses. We have a very stringent prerequisites for suppliers to procure with us, and many need capacity building. We offer some capacity building but SASDC also does this.”
THE IMPACT OF THE SASOL CONTRACT ON LIBRA LANDSCAPE
As a result of the Sasol contract, Libra’s turnover increased by more than 50%, and the company was able to open an additional branch in November 2014, hire 50% more staff, and acquire new assets including computers, office furniture, motor vehicles, and gardening equipment. Libra has also sent staff on occupational health and safety training and promoted existing staff into supervisory positions.
In addition, because Sasol has had difficulty finding local suppliers in their geographic area(s), Libra Landscape decided to open an office in Secunda, where Sasol has significant operations, to meet SASOL needs locally.