Message from GLTC MD – Darryl Shafto

Like him or not, support him or not, judge him or not, you’ve got to hand it to President Jacob Zuma … he’s a survivor. After no fewer than eight no-confidence votes initiated against him, he’s still there, bright and chirpy, carrying on his daily duties.

There’s a lesson in this for us. Success is achieved through shutting out the noise and focusing on the job at hand … and persevering. We all encounter our own challenges of confidence, whether internally, from our peers or our bosses. At these times it’s important to focus even harder on what has to be done. Many just capitulate in a ball of self-pity but the champions become even more motivated to show themselves and the world around them that they are made of finer stuff.

The tough economic times that we have been experiencing have resulted in some relatively disappointing months for us and I am genuinely proud of all in the GLTC team who have shown the fighting spirit and the focus of champions. Now there are signs of a turnaround in the MHE industry and we will benefit greatly from our never-say-die attitude.

One of the best examples of this attitude is our investment in the service training department managed by Lex Winson. While many of our competitors have decided not to invest in an ‘uncertain’ future, we have used the relatively quieter times to improve the quality of one of our most important offerings – technical service.

We employed Lex, one of the most experienced ‘skills upliftment and service training’ experts in the country, and he has done super things. A new training centre classroom with a smartboard has been built; a practical area with cut-away machines and the necessary tools has been developed for, what Lex calls, “touch, feel and see training”; and two special bays for “direct participation training” have been created. New or current machines will be pulled into these bays so that our technicians, new or experienced, can be instructed – or refreshed – on the machines’ service requirements.

This is an investment by a company that believes fervently in the future and that understands that technical after sales service is at the foundation of giving our customers a world-class overall service.

While after sales technical service is obviously crucial to our success I want to emphasise that we ignore seemingly ‘less important’ things at our peril. Updating an example I have used before, take a look at this. On the US PGA Golf Tour this year, No. 1 in average shots per round is Ricky Fowler – a star of the game – at 68.9 shots. At 100 is J.T. Poston – unknown – at 70.9 shots! A mere two shots per round is the difference between superstar and unknown.

The same goes for our business. Dilly dally in making the effort to provide the info for PR stories, procrastinate in making the effort to help with a brochure here and there, slip up on making the best possible presentation to a customer or forget a customer’s birthday may, in themselves, not seem that important in the grand scheme of things. But these are the activities that add up to making GLTC a champion company. Ignore them and our ‘stroke average’ could slip us from ‘best in the land’ to ‘Who’s Goscor?’

So, let’s continue to be the Fowler of the industry by attending to everything, big or small, in a professional and focused manner. Continue to do your bit to keep GLTC the great company that it is, respected by the entire business community in South Africa and abroad!

Darryl