Centurion Systems has won the South African 2004 Sustainable Growth Award in the Five Year Private Company category.
The Gauteng-based gate and access automation equipment manufacturer was established in 1987 and last year came second in the same division.
"The success of our business is based on three principles," explains the company's marketing director, Richard Rohman. "These are the loyal support of our customers, the continued efforts of our staff and the competitiveness and success of the products we produce."
The company's customer base has changed over the years, where it used to deal mainly with installers; distributors are now responsible for a significant proportion of the business following the introduction of a distributor 'layer'.
Centurion Systems offers training for installers on a monthly basis and its local and international distributors - based in many countries around the world - also run training courses for their customers.
"Staff members need to be looked after," says Rohman, moving on to the second point of the company's success. How the company does this is by offering pleasant working conditions - in an impeccably clean environment - and good remuneration for the staff, which has grown over the years to number 230, based mostly in Johannesburg and the rest in the offices in Durban, Pretoria, Nelspruit and the East Rand. "Our teambuilding efforts include the staff members based in the branches as well," Rohman adds.
"We develop and manufacture products, investing heavily in research and development of the equipment we produce," he continues, referring to the 12 on-site engineers whose job it is to not only develop new products but also to upgrade existing ones. "Sustainability is the ability to keep coming up with world-class products, which is not a simple process - we cannot simply copy, we have to innovate.
"Innovation is feature-driven so there are a lot of new developments from the electronics side rather than the mechanical. We have to keep interacting with our clients, understanding their needs and continue to come up with products that are ahead of the pack."
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