Management of Sicad South Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sicad Italy, ascribes the company’s success over the past 25 years – as a local manufacturer of high-quality and cost-competitive self-adhesive tapes for the carton sealing and packaging, stationery and DIY sectors – to investing in world-class people, technology and systems.

‘We are a business driven by family values with a management team that is passionate about tape and people, and values employees as assets. This is reflected in a dedicated workforce with a staff turnover of almost zero and an approach that backs them 100% because we know that a happy and content workforce will support our goals and boost our long-term success rate,’ remarks director Robby Burns. ‘During the height of 2020’s Covid pandemic, for instance, we stood together by not retrenching or short paying staff and issuing 13th cheques when sales improved in the final quarter. This speaks volumes about the company, which was guided by a dedicated doctor who examined staff and helped us control the situation alongside optimised protocol measures.’

MD Chris Kruger, who took over in March, is being mentored by Robby. He headed up the operational and technical functions at the Germiston manufacturing facility for six years, and adds that with a strong succession plan in place and a company built on solid foundations, everyone knows what to do. ‘Our flat management team structure enables quick and effective communication as well as responsiveness to situations and opportunities. The exceptionally knowledgeable and highly productive sales team, headed up by Gina Pereira in Johannesburg, Nivesh Sewpersadh in Durban and Vishal Mahadev in Cape Town, embodies the fact that Sicad understands customers’ needs, is easy to deal with and offers a flexible approach,’ Chris asserts. ‘They are backed up by increased stock holding capacity and two extra delivery vehicles that cater for customers who order more frequently and value quick turnaround times.’

Sales manager Gina Pereira continues: ‘We are always striving to expand the Eurocel tape range to meet evolving technology and customer needs. Innovation is backed by on-site customer product training and factory tours for knowledge improvement, as well as international technical support and an in-house laboratory to assist with quality control measures plus customer testing requirements.’

Tapped into technology

Robby adds that consistent investments in the latest technology over the past 25 years have allowed the local subsidiary to operate sophisticated machinery to coat and convert imported self-adhesive tape for the southern African market to ISO 9001:2015 standards and Italian specifications.

The latest round of investments includes a state-of-the-art automated slitter-rewinder, which was commissioned in May to double capacity, as well as a thermal oil heater with an automated control system that delivers operational and environmental benefits compared to the original, manual model.

The company has also scheduled a total electronics upgrade of the continent’s only hot melt coater for the end of the year.

Systems forward

Part of the drive to find innovative ways of providing better quality products and decreasing costs includes implementing an SAP management system and an electronic warehouse management system.

‘Our Italian shareholders and French subsidiary have already switched to SAP to enable the group to be more responsive in decision making and improve communication between the subsidiaries,’ Robby reports. ‘We are due to go live in September and have undertaken a comprehensive training schedule for admin and production staff.’

Chris adds that the electronic warehouse management system will allow Sicad SA to automate its material movement processes and better control inventory processes.

These improvements all tie back into the company’s commitment to quality, with technical manager Leon Byrne and operational manager Vusi Ngwenya, investigating further improvements and optimising all compliance standards and processes.

Company milestones

1996 – Sicad SA founded

1998 – Hot melt coater installed

1998 – Durban branch established

1999 – Cape Town branch established

2002 – ISO 9001:2008 certification

2004 – Expansion project: new admin offices and finished goods warehouse

2004 – Solvent recovery plant installed

2017 – ISO 9001:2015 certification

2019 – Cape Town branch storage capacity increased

2020 – New mezzanine floor doubled Germiston storage

2021 – State-of-the-art slitter-rewinder installed

This article first appeared in Packaging and Print Media.