You hear a lot of negativity these days about the world, the economy, the weakness of the rand and so much more. Everyone seems to be looking for an alibi to explain why their business is down and generally how bleak the future is. Well, I don’t buy into all of this negative stuff at all!

I’m not saying that there are no tough times. There is no doubt that we are currently going through a very challenging time in terms of the local business environment and our industry is not exempt. But during times like these we have a choice: to be defeatist, negative and angry or: to be positive, creative and innovative.

This may all sound a bit hackneyed to some of you, but the fact is that the former choice can destroy a business while the latter one can help a business to not only survive but also to grow in leaps and bounds because of the motivational energy created by overcoming significant challenges.

The theme of our recent national sales and service convention was: Tough times don’t last; tough companies do! I completely believe in this and, moreover, the entire company has shown what can be done in tougher times with the right attitude. It is not luck that, while the forklift market has fallen by 25% in terms of equipment imported into the country, Goscor Lift Truck has grown its market share from 18.5% to 21%. That is a great effort and so motivating, as we all know that if we can perform at these levels in market-shrinking times, when the boom comes, as it always will, we will be well prepared for unprecedented growth.

As you know I am always looking for ways to improve our service to customers and for some time now I have contemplated the separation of Johannesburg from Head Office in order to improve our efficiencies in both divisions. Well the decision is made and from the 1st August 2016 Johannesburg officially became  a separate branch headed up by Anthony Fouché who has done sterling work in the Cape Town branch.

Head office will be remain a lean structure and will comprise: Patrick Barber (sales); Ryan Nortje (logistics); Sylvan Moodley (parts); Pieter Wessels (finance) and myself. Anthony will fill the role of Regional Director Gauteng and oversee National Service in order to bolster the initial liaison between the two divisions. Congratulations Anthony and good luck in your new your new role which is well deserved.

So my message is simple. Change, like taxes, is inevitable and, especially when it is constructive and aimed at improving the overall customer experience, is a good thing. These structural changes are in this category of ‘good for the business’. Let’s make the most of them and show the world what we are capable of.

Darryl Shafto