Business & Economy

Monday, 10 December 2018 10:32


Written by 
Kishan Singh, MD of GI Business Solutions

The packaging and design industries have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years both locally and abroad.  In order to deliver market-ready materials to an end-market that continues to grow both in its demands and its appetite for innovative packaging solutions, material suppliers and packaging companies are investing heavily into new technologies in the hope that it will give them a competitive edge.

“In this constant race to the top, business process engineering is one area that is often overlooked and neglected, despite the fact that it offers obvious benefits and savings to the entire company,” says Kishan Singh, MD of GI Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd – a Durban-based consultancy that specialises in implementing business management systems that meet the unique needs of its clients.

GI Business Solutions is a DNV.GL/ISO9001:2015 Certified, level one B-BBEE company that specialises in the design, development and implementation of business management systems, auditing systems, process re-engineering and packaging optimisation solutions.  They also offer various business-related training courses, as well as accompanying competency evaluations, through formal written assessments. This year, the company celebrates its fifth year since it opened its doors for the first time, after Kishan identified a need in the market for expert guidance in the packaging industry specifically to assist companies with their business processes.

“With more than 32 years of experience in automotive and packaging manufacturing/quality management arenas, I realised the need for effective business support by consultants with the correct experience and competence,” Kishan says.

Amongst his many accomplishments, Kishan is the Global Ambassador of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and National Education Officer of the Institute of Packaging SA (IPSA) and has achieved the coveted designation “Certified Packaging Professional” (CPP) by the international Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), based in the USA.  His in-depth knowledge of the industry sees him often being called upon to conduct global training on behalf of the WPO on issues ranging from packaging technology, graphic design and supply chain management. He has also been wearing the hat as CEO of MetPac-SA – the Producer Responsibility Organisation responsible for representing the interests of the local metals packaging industry in South Africa.  He is also an academic who is frequently called upon to facilitate lectures and workshops on Supply Chain Management, TQM and Lean Six Sigma at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Extended Learning.

“However, my passion is business process engineering as well as designing and implementing tailor-made solutions that are ISO compliant for clients, because I have seen what a difference it makes to companies that we have helped, including Amcor, Hulamin, Bidvest Silveray Stationery Company, Bleistahl Engineering, National Brands, and Polyflex to name but a few”, Kishan says. As proof of this passion and drive to pass on his knowledge and expertise, Kishan also recently acquired the Lean Six Sigma Black Belt status through Dr Mikel Harry’s Six Sigma Management Institute, USA, and is currently busy with his Masters/PhD degree in Quality Management in South Africa, focussing on Business Modelling to Extract True Financial Value from ISO9001:2015 (as opposed to current ISO9001:2015 Business Models that lack positive financial impact.)

The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems standards help ensure that organizations meet the needs of their customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service. It fundamentally deals with quality management systems, and there are various requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard, must fulfil.  If done and implemented correctly, Kishan and his team advocate that ISO certification helps ensure that companies implement lean, profitable business processes that not only saves money, time and resources, but also unlocks many other benefits for companies.

“We want to make sure that the process is as easy and hassle-free as possible for the clients, but very thorough and in-depth. We hold our clients’ hands every step of the way, and become integrally involved in their operations”, says Kishan.

The first step the GI Business Solutions team takes is to begin with an in-depth, baseline reporting. Once they have identified the client’s needs, they consult with the client and together decide upon the best business management system to implement, such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45000:2015 (OHAS 18001), FSSC 22000, ISO 31000 or ISO 50000. They develop affordable, tailor-made, yet practical solutions for the effective implementation of such systems, coupled with the necessary training and education support their clients might need to sustain such systems.  Obtaining third party certification of processes is also an important part of the service offering, and GI Business Solutions engages with various Certification Bodies (i.e. DNV.GL, SABS, SGS, Lloyds of London and BVQI) on behalf of their clients.

“We ensure that systems we have implemented continue to deliver ongoing improvements and benefits. The best way to measure success, is to record an improvement on a company’s financials or balance sheet and this is achieved through effective value analysis and value engineering,” he says. 

Judging by the company’s growing list of clients and track record of successes, it is clear that they are busy making a name for themselves and carving out a niche role in the local packaging industry.  “Consumers have become more aware of food packaging and are demanding unquestionable standards when it comes to their safety, the environmental impact and the protection of their rights.  Packaging companies who are hoping to not only survive, but flourish, will need professional training and support of their businesses. GI Business Solutions is this link that has been missing until now. We have the proof to back up our claims that our solutions work and are ready to lend a helping hand to anybody who might need it, and look forward to the next five years of growth,” Kishan concludes.

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