CASE IN POINT | AOS Consulting
by Ilse Ferreira
Leaving an Indelible Mark
Not many companies can attest to having received a handful of awards in the first few years of their existence, yet AOS Consulting Engineers has done that and more: even in its first year it received an accolade that seemed to set it on a path which is continuing to take the company higher as it now enters its sixth year.
Founder and managing director Olu Soluade, who started the company from his home, has reason to smile. He emphasises that, if one lives out God’s vision, the details will fall into place. He explains that the company’s focus is to build men and women with a purpose. AOS Consulting has a steady growth in the number of employees with focus on core team delivering professional service to the clients. They work on projects all over the country as well as beyond our borders, such as in Rwanda and Uganda – in both these countries, they are currently involved in hotel projects.
Soluade believes that the sustainable growth of the company comes from staying faithful to its mission, which is to ensure that clients’ satisfaction is guaranteed through service delivery, professional excellence and personal attention. His personal belief concerning sustainability is that it all starts with a seed. “God created the seeds for each plant, and it is the seeds that provide the plant with future growth, and the entire plant family, into perpetuity, with reproductive capacity.” In the same way, he says, doing everything right leads to repeat business and referrals – which translates into endogenous growth. Thus, all the clients that the company has dealt with down the years are still with them.
One of the achievements he is particularly proud of is that the company worked on what became the first certified green building in South Africa, by the United States Green Building Council using the Existing Building, Operating & Maintenance Technical manual, namely the MTN 14th Avenue head office building in Fairlands, Johannesburg. For this project, the company undertook the energy audit and provided programme management services during the implementation of the various projects.
AOS Consulting offers, as its core specialist disciplines, mechanical engineering services, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems) services, electrical building services and reticulation, medical gas and refrigeration system services, fire-fighting system services, steam generation and distribution services, project management services, as well as maintenance and facilities services. These are augmented by the company’s expertise in sustainable green consulting and renewable and/or alternative energy generation. Soluade is particularly interested in green technologies and their implementation, since AOS Consulting aims to take care of what humankind has been given. This not only has economic implications, but also greater implications which include the long-term protection of our planet.
The company boasts a list of blue-chip clients and its professionalism ensures that it will expand this list in future. Among the company’s projects are the Midlands Mall Food Court upgrade in Pietermaritzburg for Liberty Properties and the extension of the Menlyn Mall in Menlyn, Pretoria for OMP, which included the expansion and rebuilding of parts of the shopping centre. Some years ago, in 2008/2009, AOS Consulting was involved with the air-conditioning and steam room facilities at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto – a project that Soluade is also proud of. Currently, the company is working at the National Archive in Pretoria on essential fire-protection and mechanical systems. The protection of records is a specialised field and Soluade says that AOS is involved in supplying and installing a system that uses environmentally friendly gas which is needed to care for old manuscripts and books.
Since its inception, the company has also been involved in the planning of the Pan African Parliament building to be built in Midrand. Although this project is currently on hold, Soluade remains confident that they will be working on it in the near future. “You need to remain human and remember that, if you are doing what you were intended to do on this earth, people will flock to you. If you are faithful to the little things, the big things will follow,” says Soluade, and AOS is a shining example of this. It started with a humble R80 000 project and now, after just more than five years, the average project size has grown into the millions. The company’s policy on quality is directed towards complying with all ISO 9001:2008 requirements and it continually endeavours to improve its effectiveness, with the overall aim of ensuring customer satisfaction.
“We are always striving to update our knowledge base with the latest technological breakthroughs and to complete all our assignments professionally and effectively on time, every time – all this with a commitment to transparency and honesty in everything we do,” says Soluade.
Multiple Award Winner
AOS Consulting has several international awards gracing its foyer, awards such as: the Bizz Award from the World Confederation of Businesses; the ESQR Award, which is the European Best Practices Award (2013) that the company received for its quality-management strategies; and the International Quality Era Award made by Business Initiative Directions in Geneva, Switzerland. Soluade also took home the award for Manager of the Year 2013. In addition, the company received the trophy for Best Enterprise 2013 in the category: engineering and consulting.
Soluade says that, although the awards are wonderful to have, they are of course not the focus of the business. He does mention, however, that these awards have been made to a humble company in an office in Midrand, hardly the type of business that is usually seen to receive accolades. Yet, he maintains, they are doing something right, in the right way. “Our people are what is moving us forward – that and our business principles.” Soluade says his family is part of his business. “There are not two pockets, one for family and one for business. For me, the two are an integral part of what I want to achieve, and credit must go to my wife and children for being a peaceful part of the bigger picture. And, of course, my strength comes from my Creator and Father God, without whom this business will not exist.”
Making a Green Footprint
The company won its first award in the first year of its existence
The first ‘green building’ in SA was the MTN campus on 14th Ave in Fairlands, Johannesburg Certified by the US Green Building Council under the EBOM technical Manual
There are now 50 ‘green buildings’ in South Africa, Certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa
SA leads the way with its own chairman of the Green Building Council of SA, being appointed chair of the global body, The World Green Building Council.