Fan specialists take the risk up front and blow competitors away
A small company facing stiff competition from major multinationals has to do things differently, especially in a niche market where a competitive edge can quickly vanish into thin air.
Air Blow Fans have carved out a nice slice of the African industrial fans business for itself in the past 15 years, but it knows better than to settle into a comfort zone. In fact, there’s nothing like taking risk upfront to keep an enterprise on its toes, says Gavin Ratner, its managing member.
“We go out to the site, find out what the problem is and do
the investigation for free,” he says. “This really means putting our money
where our mouth is, and clients appreciate it that we take the risk upfront.”
The Kempton Park-based company’s clients are usually mining
houses, power plants and manufacturers that use industrial-strength fans for
ventilation and can ill afford the production downtime that goes with faulty or
poorly functioning fans.
Their problems typically revolve around fans that someone
else supplied and installed, so Air Blow Fan’s arrival is a breath of fresh
air; it has a talent for fixing legacy problems.
While the fan concerned might not be brand new, Air Blow
Fans’ approach is stat-of-the-art.
“We are continually improving our skills and solutions, and
are very strong on the engineering side,” says Gavin. Air Blow Fans – which won
no fewer than five tt100 awards in 2018 – has invested heavily in engineering
software for analysis, design and systems monitoring, and is one of a handful
of small South African companies with ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.
It should not come as a complete surprise that
the company is also a fan of the TIPS™ framework. “What I like about TIPS is the way
it ties everything together,” Gavin says. “There is no one component of
business you can focus on in isolation. You have to look at all of it. That’s
what TIPS helps you to do.”
notoriously difficult to make and there aren’t too many companies confident
enough in their forecasting abilities to claim a near-perfect accuracy rate. A
rare exception is SVA Holdings, an asset protection and risk management company
with a track record of being right 99% of the time when forecasting its
clients’ risk problems – months and even years ahead.
“For instance, we can
predict non-compliance issues in a retailer’s stock-take two and a half years
in advance. It’s been tried and tested, with 99% accuracy,” says Derick Deyzel,
chief commercial officer at SVA Holdings.
However, clients need
not wait for any length of time to see the benefits of implementing the
improvements SVA suggests when it detects risk or compliance loopholes in their
systems or processes, from the supply chain to health and safety. “We feed back
to clients in real time so that they are able to make quick decisions about
their risk profiles,” says Derick. “We are constantly hunting to improve
gets it right
The uncanny accuracy
of SVA’s risk-related forecasting is rooted firmly in its Infoman technology
platform, developed in South Africa and patented in 43 countries.
It all starts with
gathering the client’s operational data 24 hours a day and feeding this into
the SVA platform, where it is weighted, rated, prioritised and escalated
according to the client’s risk profile, all in real time and without getting in
the client’s way.
“Infoman tells us
when there is a challenge, where it is, who needs to fix it and when this can
be achieved,” says Derick. “Our competitors may offer comprehensive audits but
they are largely based on historical information. We bring current and more
relevant information, right now.”
The benefit of
real-time analysis is that the client can take immediate action to correct any
non-compliance. If the driver of a logistics company, for instance, deviates
from the approved route, Infoman will pick this up while it is happening and
alert the client, who can deal with this straight away instead of after the
will pick it up immediately if one branch of a 300-store retail chain is
neglecting to do the required daily count of high-value items such as TV sets
What SVA’s technology
also does extremely well is to adjust and align with the client’s risk policies
and procedures as these evolve. “It changes and improves so that it’s as
relevant to the business in five years’ time as it is today,” Derick says.
What likely also
impressed the tt100 adjudicators about SVA Holdings’ management of innovation
capabilities is that its technology is as relevant to small enterprises as it
is to large ones. “The technology platform works just as well with a company of
five vans as it does with a national retailer with 300 to 400 outlets,” he
Perhaps it’s time to
make a bold prediction: this won’t be the last time that SVA Holdings comes up
with innovative technology that changes the face of risk management.