01 February 2007
In African culture, “Injobo Enhle Ethungelwa Ebandla” means that a beautiful outfit is one made in the presence of others.
And it was this theme that permeated through Elvey Security Technologies’ 60th anniversary functions, which took place at various exclusive venues around the country recently. The grand finale was held at Emperor’s Palace in Gauteng, where more than 400 clients, employees and their partners attended the dazzling affair.
Before the sounds of the band Denim kicked in for the evening, CEO Jack Edery highlighted some of the of the company’s major achievements in his welcoming speech. Founded by Charles Elvey in 1946, Elvey Security Technologies grew steadily to the point where, thirty years later, Elliot Wainstein joined the company, purchasing a 50% share and bringing new dedication and direction to it in the process. In 1981, Elvey started its security distribution division after being asked by a leading USA security product manufacturer to represent it in South Africa.
Nineteen-ninety-nine was another red letter year for Elvey, when it successfully listed as Elvey Security Technologies (Pty) Ltd on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Then in 2001, the JSE listed company Hudaco Industries (Pty) Ltd, acquired Elvey, which has since become an integral part of the Hudaco Group.
Attributing the company’s success to three core areas, Mr Edery said that since profit was indisputably the reward for taking care of customers and creating a motivating environment for employees, Elvey had trained its focus on not just one but three bottom lines. These included being the “provider of choice”, “the employer of choice” and “the investment of choice”.
Said Mr Edery: “Maintaining the position of provider of choice is becoming increasingly challenging in the face of fierce competition and ever-more demanding customers. They expect to get what they want, when they want it, and they want to have it customized to suit their needs. The world has changed in such a way that today the buyer, not the seller, is sitting in the driver’s seat. These days, nobody has to convince anybody that the customer reigns supreme. People realize that their organizations will go nowhere without the loyalty and commitment of their customers. Companies are discovering that the new rule, namely if they don’t take care of their customers, somebody else will.”
He added that being the employer of choice was equally challenging. With highly mobile, competent workers in demand, employers needed to find ways of attracting and keeping their best people. “Good pay is no longer the only answer. It is true that some competent workers will go elsewhere for a higher wage; however, today’s workers generally want more. They seek opportunities where they feel their contributions are valued and rewarded, where they are involved and empowered, are able to develop skills, can see advancement opportunities, and can believe they are making a difference.”
“You will get little argument today if you tell managers that people are their most important resource. Some even argue that the customer should come second, because without committed and empowered employees, a company can never provide good service. You can’t treat your people poorly and expect them to treat your customers well,” he said.
Thanking clients and employees alike for their loyalty and support, Mr Edery noted that growing or expanding required investment. “If you develop committed and empowered people, you can’t help but increase your revenues - because customers want to brag about you. They become part of your sales force or PR department, which increases your sales and visibility and makes your organisation more attractive as an investment.”
Finally, he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to sharing information within an open communication forum, embracing its vision, sharing power and high level involvement and helping unleash the power and potential of people and this organisation for the greater good. “We understand that vision without action is a daydream, and that action without vision is a nightmare,” he said, concluding with the words: “Xandla famba xandla vuya – in order to receive, the hand must stretch and give.”
Written and distributed by Ingrid Smit Communications
Tel: (011) 312 1021
Cell: 082 657 6530
On behalf of Jack Edery, CEO of Elvey Security Technologies
Elvey head office: (011) 401 6700
Elvey website: http://www.elvey.co.za/