The increase in Covid-19 infections added more challenges to the academic year including loss of teaching times and children not having adequate facilities that allows for them to return to the classroom quicker. However, despite these challenges, the academic year has managed to move ahead.
Leading heavy-duty specialized printing company Lebone Litho Printers (LLP), which has been operating since 2011, was tasked with delivering over 60 million workbooks to South African schools, for pupils doing grades R to 9. This includes workbooks in subjects such as mathematics, physical science, and literature to over 6.5 million learners from 24 000 schools countrywide.
LLP is a 100% black owned and managed business, which is well recognized for its excellent and consistent service delivery. It is an end to end printing supplier, achieving a 99.9% quality delivery rate every time the books leave the warehouse.
“We did not get here by chance, but through extensive operational planning, investment on the right machinery, skills and a lot of patience and hard work. We believe this national project cannot be compromised, so we give our best to deliver on it every year,” says Keith Michael, CEO of Lebone Litho Printers.
Once the books have been printed, they go through a stringent quality control process to eliminate the need for books to be recalled, ensuring uninterrupted teaching and learning when the school year begins.
According to Michaels, the company utilizes top of the range machines which print, fold and staple documents at the same time. “Our machines help us to be proficient by producing documents with bar codes so we can determine when they were printed and where they should be delivered in a timely manner.”
However, LLP does not only rely on the machines to deliver this mammoth task but has put in place risk mitigating systems and business continuity plans, which covers all eventualities. “At the end of the day, the department has to be satisfied that books will be at schools whether there is Covid-19 disruption or not. Whether there is a truck strike or a building or factory burning down, the books must be delivered to schools at the appointed time,” says Michael.
Thanks to its partnership with logistics company DSV, LLP manages to fulfil two workbook deliveries per year. Volume 1 covers January to June, which is teacher-learner work material and is delivered between October and mid-November for the following year, while Volume 2 which covers the July to December period is delivered between mid-November and end of February.
LLP has already delivered 35 Million workbooks to 24 916 schools countrywide. The consignment in the warehouse being delivered by Lebone Litho Printers and its consortium partners- Novus Holdings and DSV. Deliveries are being done currently and the next phase will deliver 30million books.
Even though there is still a long way to go within the education system, through choosing committed and result driven service providers they are certainly on the right track.
“We don’t take lightly the responsibility the department has thrust on our shoulders. We know that millions of children’s’ lives and thousands of teachers depend on us delivering a quality product that can be trusted with shaping the future of this nation,” concludes Michaels.