The South African Pace Plastics has applied to DANIDA for funds to modernise their factory. RIVAL has now been approved as the business partner to assist Pace Plastics to organise and implement the project and commission the modernised factory
“It’s a really exciting development project we’ve become involved in,” says Sales and Export Manager Jesper Andersen from RIVAL, who will soon pay his second visit to Pace Plastics in Durban, South Africa.
“Technology and production planning are non-existent at the factory. Recruitment consists of contacting the next in line of potential employees who sit outside the factory’s massive fence, waiting for a job. This is quite a challenge, as work procedures have to be made as simple as possible.”
At Pace Plastics, the production is in full swing. The factory manufactures plastic pipes and other fittings and supplies equipment to major projects like the one in Durban Harbour, where the basin is being dredged to increase the depth. The factory’s female managers, including Managing Director and Owner Lusanda Qupe, approached DANIDA in 2008 to apply for funds to modernise the factory.
The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently contacted RIVAL. The Ministry was of the opinion that RIVAL had the right skills and experience not only with the production of pipes but also with sales, logistics and management of a production company to be a good business partner and mentor for Pace Plastics in this project.
Lusanda Qupe and Andile Mdakanne from Pace Plastics visited RIVAL in both 2008 and 2009 to see how RIVAL works in practice and to make sure the mentality, attitudes and competences of the two companies match. Jesper from RIVAL has also visited Pace Plastics. RIVAL’s business partner for decades, Ole Andresen, accompanied Jesper on the trip. Ole has considerable experience with pipe manufacturing from years of employment with Wavin. DANIDA has granted Pace Plastics one million EUR for the project, which was approved just recently in January 2011. “It’s a real pat on the shoulder to be chosen as a business partner, and we’re extremely pleased with that. In addition, it’s a very enriching project, from a human point of view,” says Managing Director Henrik Holvad from RIVAL.
“The next step in the project will be to agree on common objectives,” says Jesper Andersen. “Those are some of the things we have to work on during my next trip to Durban. After that, the actual work of modernising the factory can begin. We expect the project to be completed by the end of 2012.”