with a strong focus on Southern Africa. Aramex is well established in North and East Africa and now has a strategic entry point into Southern Africa through its South African operation.
In addition to its business goals for 2013, Aramex SA has two primary focus points: ‘to become the employer of choice’, and ‘to change the mind-set of its stakeholders to be more internationally orientated’. The company is launching an internal ‘Worldwide–Worldclass’ theme for 2013, the purpose of which is to instil a culture whereby it celebrates being an international company (not only with regard to its vast international footprint, but also its technological and innovative capabilities). It has a dedicated team managing the roll-out of the 2013 theme, which involves biweekly communications and events nationally at its 16 branches.
“With regard to staff growth and development, we have enlisted the services of an external business coach to develop leadership skills amongst managers and have started a mentorship programme in order to build a succession plan within the company,” explains Chamberlain.
“Another unique offering that we are proud to have is our Business Solutions Team. This is a dynamic and innovative team consisting mainly of logistics graduates. Their main purpose is to analyse processes, identify inefficiencies and propose solutions,” explains Chamberlain. Aramex SA recently embarked on a graduate-recruitment drive at a number of the major universities in South Africa, a drive that has resulted in the hiring of eight new graduates in 2013. “The new graduates on our team bring fresh ideas and different trains of thought – something which is so important in ensuring that we stay ahead of market trends,” emphasises Chamberlain.
Expansions are underway with regard to various areas within South Africa, such as the recent branch opening of Richards Bay. The number of Drop Box locations is also constantly increasing throughout South Africa, with Aramex SA currently having 218 of these in Pick n Pay stores nationwide. Moreover, there are plans to install another 200 boxes before the end of the year. Further to these expansions, its logistics centres (warehouses) in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are also being upgraded. Another exciting development will be the introduction of motorbikes for intra-city and urgent deliveries. This will also allow smaller items to be delivered faster and more conveniently within the major cities. Aramex SA will also be launching a packaging division shortly. This innovation was the brainchild of a Johannesburg sales team member. The division will offer generic as well as personalised boxes for customers. The idea stemmed from the need for improved functionality and aesthetics in respect of packaging options in the market.
The world of online shopping will soon be further enhanced for South Africans who want to buy items from the United States, the United Kingdom and China. Shop and ShipTM is an established service offering for Aramex globally and will be launched in South Africa in the coming months. The concept of the service is simple. Online shoppers register as a lifetime member and are given a delivery address in the United States, the United Kingdom and China for their online purchases. Most online stores offer free shipping within their country, and Aramex then ships your purchases to your door in South Africa cost-effectively and effortlessly. It is indeed an exciting year for Aramex SA, what with new services and systems on the horizon.
This growth, however, is only possible by ensuring that employees are motivated and geared to providing superior customer service at all times. With this in mind, a number of programmes and incentives have been put in place to reward and recognise excellence. “We are thrilled that we are part of the bigger picture and that everything is coming together quickly and efficiently,” concludes Chamberlain.
Onwards and Upwards
Berco Express has been making the transition to Aramex SA since December 2011. Dianne Chamberlain, Country Manager of Aramex SA, enthusiastically expresses how the transition has been a smooth and hugely successful one. Chamberlain attributes the success of the transition largely to the company’s constant communication with both staff and customers.
Aramex SA had a good financial year in 2012, with the majority of its growth being in the areas of international express and freight. The company has aggressive plans to expand into Africa this year,
CASE IN POINT | ARAMEX SA
by Shalane van Rensburg