SIH Artisan Training
Work with SME increases capacity, better targets customers and creates new jobs.
SIH is an accredited artisan training provider specialising in the training of coded welders. The company provides merSETA accredited training on different welding processes offering students an opportunity to become coded welders after a 3 month period of training. SIH’s trained welders then feed into industrial clients such as Sasol.
Ricardo Hood, a qualified mechanical engineer, with experience in several engineering project management roles, joined his father Stoffels Hood, who has more than 30 years experience in the welding industry to start SIH Training in 2011. SIH entered the SAB KickStart youth entrepreneurship competition with a well-run operational side and growing credibility in the industry. The company was awarded with a R167 000 grant through the SAB Kickstart Competition. SAB appointed Edge Growth to provide Business Development Support in tandem with the injection of financial support.
As both Ricardo and his father (Stoffels) come from a technical background and are passionate about the “nuts and bolts” element of their business, it was not surprising that the operational aspects of SIH were well run, however the company's marketing efforts were largely uncoordinated. Prior to the Edge’s SME Support intervention most of SIH’s energies were directed towards maintaining good training to students and improving the condition of the facilities in the training welding bays with little attention paid to developing a marketing and sales strategy and allocating resources to its execution. The interventions identified during the growth strategy workshop were focused around – (1) improving customer segment targeting (2) improving the communication channels to learners/industrial companies and (3) increasing the capacity to service more learners .
Edge Growth partnered with the entrepreneurs to assist them in understanding the importance of marketing their company in a way that reinforces the company value proposition and in approaching different customer segments according to their unique needs. The SME Support has resulted in a more effective approach to marketing and sales and positioned the company to better attract target customers.
The SAB KickStart grant injection has also enabled SIH to expand the number of welding training bays from 17 to 22, and thereby increase the number of learners that can trained at any one point in time. In addition, SIH has moved to a larger business premise in the Sasolburg region, where the demand for their services is high and likely to continue growing.
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