The KZN CTC Competitiveness Improvement Programme (CIP) is an intensive programme of support designed to build the competitive capabilities of those Cluster members who have elected to participate. Seventy-five percent of programme costs will be covered by the South African Department of Trade and Industry. The CIP will run from 2017 to 2020. The CIP includes software investments, in-firm consulting and skills training, as well as joint research activities.
Core lean support
A key aspect of the CIP is intensive lean consulting that will be provided to each participating firm on an annual basis. Through this support, firms will be able to identify areas of significant production waste and then implement systems such as 5S, visual performance management, total quality management and total preventative management to ensure that this waste is kept to a minimum.
Firms will be provided with support modules to intensify the journey towards lean. The focus will be on developing systems to sustain overall lean performance through the establishment and facilitation of internal firm “lean teams” that will instill a culture of continuous improvement using proven change management principles and effective management control systems.
In some instances, firms will have more specific technical support requirements and so one or more of their 12-day support modules may be used in response to the opportunities and problems identified at the firm.
Joint competitiveness activities
Along with individual support, the CIP will also include projects that achieve joint benefits for participating members.
Two research activities will be conducted annually and themed according to emergent firm requirements and/or relevant learning from other cluster activity (such as lean implementation, study tours etc.).
Joint Systems Development
Through the joint systems development activity, manufacturing firms will participate in the development and rollout of systems aimed at enhancing the efficient management of their respective value chain.
International Best Practice Tour
International best practice tours have played a critical role in informing the strategic direction of the KZN CTC as well as informing member firms of practical improvement opportunities. Participating firms engage with best practice peers with a view to enhancing their own competitive capabilities.
Over the course of the CIP, firms will have the chance to investigate the sourcing requirements of foreign retailers or wholesalers. There is also provision to host potential customers in South Africa.