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UNDERSTANDING THE “CURRENT STATE”

AI2SA believes it is vital to understand some of the key industry drivers that exist at the moment:

  1. Supply and Demand
  2. The availability of experienced resources
  3. The commercial governance required for fair and unbiased tender process
  4. The introduction of new concepts and / or technologies to aid with growth
  5. The relationship between “the process”, “the product” (technology) and “the procedure”

Historically from a financial perspective the situation oscillates between to much work (good times) and not enough (bad times). In good times the focus is to deliver projects as fast as possible while in bad times the focus is generally around cost cutting. Normally cost cutting only features with solution providers who offer this type of service or product and normally these only prosper in bad times...

GOOD TIME – DRIVERS

If one was to analyze the current situation within industry (specifically South Africa) one would find a scarcity of specialist resources at a time when demand is at an all time high. While the reasons remain plentiful the problem is said to persist for at least the medium term with many clients as a result being left almost incapacitated. This may lead to client’s being unable to plan or to being able to specify written expectations. Often quality control on projects is at a lower priority.

For other clients it is almost impossible to even retain own intellectual property in how manufacturing and business processes actually work…

The same constraints unfortunately also apply to solution providers who also struggle with capacity constraints but still remain opportunistic and as a result often are incapacitated to deliver on client’s requirements. The capacity problem is further worsened by an imperfect tender process, adding additional time pressures and little value if done incorrectly.

BAD TIME - DRIVERS (The need for “optimization”)

Unfortunately the problem is compounded even further as a result of certain immaturity which exists specifically with the introduction of some new concepts and subsequently technologies such as “MES” and it being able to fulfill in the client’s optimization expectations…This in a time when there is a boom and optimization is often overlooked since client is already making lots of money…

Traditionally it is expected that either the client or a process specialist has the required process know how for which a host of technological solutions exist. Furthermore it is expected from suppliers / system integrators (SI’s) to have in depth product knowledge along with methodologies and process experience. However from their perspective it makes sense for SI’s to attempt to “realign” clients with specific technologies since it is in their interest due to replication advantages which exist. This would be an acceptable practice if the benefits were passed on but this seldom happens…For this very reason client’s are placing more and more focus on the approach which is a key component required to align macro requirements with respective offerings into a common purpose.

CONCLUSION

“GOOD TIMES” = Less Planning & More Action; “BAD TIMES” = More Planning & Less Action
(Both potentially equate to Lost Opportunities…)