17 of 2018

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Newsletter No. 17                                                                                    11 May 2018

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Textile dye & chemical producers to review ZDHC

A group of nine sustainably oriented textile dye and chemical producers has issued an open letter to the Stichting ZDHC Foundation defining some principles and expectations that require clarification/commitment in order to officially contribute to the ZDHC Foundation. The signatory companies will review the progress made by ZDHC after a 12-month period.

Under the banner of Evoxess GmbH, the nine signatory companies, viz Archroma, Colourtex, DyStar, Huntsman, Jay Chemical, Protex, Pulcra, Rudolf and Tanatex, have consulted on the issues of the increasing complexity and resultant cost burdens for the textile value chain, which are proving an obstacle to the overall goals of the elimination of hazardous chemistry from within the textile supply chain, the letter said.

“The signatories recognise that the ZDHC Foundation is the most appropriate platform for the industry to progress towards a more harmonised approach. However, before the companies can become Value Chain Affiliates of the ZDHC a number of concerns need to be addressed,” the letter added.

“It is our intention to work towards a greater harmonisation of an industry standard and challenge the proliferation of standards and approaches which the industry is now facing which, through complexity, duplication, and misunderstanding, hinder the elimination of hazardous chemicals from within the supply chain.

“It is our intention that the ZDHC Foundation give more recognition to those industry players who continue to demonstrate competence and a serious commitment to the sustainability agenda, thus giving further motivation for the industry to improve,” the letter stated.

The signatories confirmed their willingness to actively engage with the ZDHC Foundation, in particular with the ZDHC Gateway Chemical Module and also as a ZDHC Contributor. However, they would do so on the basis that their expectations regarding accelerating the industry towards the elimination of hazardous chemistry within the textile value chain are fulfilled.

As of September 1, the signatories would join on a trial basis for a period of 12 months. At the end of the trial period, the companies will review the progress made by ZDHC towards driving the necessary change and harmonisation of the industry towards the objective of ‘zero discharge of hazardous chemicals’. “If we are satisfied with the progress, we will further commit to a long-term partnership,” they said. F2F

Don’t Just Satisfy Customers, WOW Them!

By Alan Straton

Service excellence is no longer just a competitive edge for businesses, it is the only competitive edge, according to leading South African customer service speaker and expert, Femi Adebanji. He proposes that the days when businesses could compete solely on their products or pricing are gone, and that consistent service excellence is the only remaining powerful differentiator for businesses.

Service excellence is no longer just a competitive edge for businesses, it is the only competitive edge, according to leading South African customer service speaker and expert, Femi Adebanji. He proposes that the days when businesses could compete solely on their products or price are gone and the only edge businesses now have is the ability to consistently provide distinct service.

Research conducted by the Service Excellence Institute (SEI), headed by Adebanji, revealed that intentionally building a culture of service excellence that aims to exceed customer expectations is not only a strong competitive differentiator for businesses but also a powerful catalyst for business growth. Global studies have shown that by being more service focused, companies can gain up to 6% more in market share and according to a study by American Express, 58% of customers are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service.

“The bottom-line”, says Adebanji, is that people don’t buy products, they buy expectations and because customers are buying ‘expectations’, businesses have to go beyond “satisfying” customers and start looking for innovative ways to “wow their customers.”

Adebanji believes that merely meeting customer expectations or merely satisfying customers will not drive customer loyalty, improve customer retention or make a brand stand out from the competition. “Building the business around the customer and exceeding their expectations, are what make a brand stand out.

Consequently, it is imperative that businesses don’t merely meet client expectations but exceed expectations – if they are to survive and thrive. However, to exceed expectations, businesses must be aware of what customers’ minimum expectations are.

“One expectation that clients have”, he says, “is that the product or service they purchase from the seller will deliver as promised; the next expectation is that if the product or service does not deliver as promised, the business will take accountability, make good on that promise to ensure that the customer’s expectations are met; and finally customer’s expect the experience of doing business to be easy, pleasant and seamless. If you’re not easy to do business with, clients will quickly find someone else who is”.

He further goes on to highlight that, “businesses need to at the very least understand the minimum expectations of their customers and seek to exceed those expectations and ensure a smooth, seamless and hassle free customer experience. Now more than ever, customers are looking to have their expectations exceeded and looking to be wowed at every level and every touch point with the organisation. This is what drives brand loyalty. This is what drives customer loyalty. Ultimately this is what makes a brand stand out from its competitors and is a powerful predictor of whether or not a brand will be distinct or become extinct.”

Entries are now open for the Fairlady Santam Women of the Future 2018 Awards

Fairlady and Santam are once again calling for female entrepreneurs: three amazing women who have taken the leap to work for themselves and are now creating opportunities for others – and boosting our economy!

‘South African women are such an impressive bunch – each year I’m blown away by what our entrants have achieved, and not only in “traditional” female businesses like design and PR. They’ve done everything – from starting giant construction firms to filling transport gaps with innovative ideas and a whole host of other genius businesses along the way. They are amazing,’ says Fairlady editor Suzy Brokensha.

The Fairlady Santam Woman of the Future 2018 award goes to an entrepreneur, 30 years of age or older, who has overcome the challenges of the first three (3) years as an entrepreneur and made it beyond 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R50 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.

Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at title sponsor Santam says, ‘As a company that has been in the business landscape for 100 years, we support entrepreneurship as it is vital to the growth of the country’s economy. Entrepreneurs are the bloodline of economic growth – they are the source of job creation and engines of innovation. We value our partnership with Fairlady in the Women of the Future initiative – now in its fourth year – as it gives us a platform to honour entrepreneurs who are positively impacting our nation.’

The Fairlady Santam Rising Star 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur between the ages of 16 and 30 whose business is older than six months but still within its first 1000 days of business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, a Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session.

‘There’s a new optimism in South Africa, but at Fairlady we have always been optimistic. We’re all about the future, and we believe in the extraordinary power of women to create the future we want for ourselves and our children in this country. We award success, but we also award potential (the Rising Star award). This year I’m delighted to say we’re also including the social entrepreneurs who are using their businesses to contribute to their communities.’ says Brokensha.

The Fairlady Santam Social Entrepreneur 2018 Award goes to an entrepreneur whose business is making a real difference in her community. She must be 30 years or older, and her business must have survived its first 1 000 days in business. The prize comprises R20 000 cash, an invaluable mentorship session with one of the judges, an Issey Miyake fragrance hamper worth R6 990, an IMM Graduate School short course worth R15 000, a Michel Herbelin watch worth R10 500, a Karissa Biz Bailhandle and Spinner from Samsonite worth R7 298, a Madrid ladies handbag and purse from Jekyll & Hyde valued at R4 799, a Cross pen worth R2 500 and one media training session

Entry forms and terms & conditions are available on www.womenofthefuture.co.za.
Entries close on 8 June 2018.

Did you know……..

Panniers

You’d think that by the time crinolines came along, women would have learnt from the earlier example of panniers. These can be seen in earlier portraits of Marie Antoinette (until she saw sense, and switched to simpler and more practical clothing). They were narrow, but extremely wide, skirt supports, which made it impossible to sit down or enter a door without turning sideways!

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