Amid increasingly competitive industrial and fluctuating economic environments, quality and service excellence has not only become a significant advantage, but also a vital performance differentiator, defining and enhancing long-term business success.
Notably, service excellence is paramount in ensuring sustainable financial and operational management; as well as facilitating and securing all-important customer relationships – and in creating new business and organisational growth opportunities.
As such, Rand-Air – an established leader in the field of air, nitrogen, power, flow (pumps), steam boiler and lighting solutions, and part of the global Atlas Copco Specialty Rental division -consistently incorporates service excellence, along with its other guiding brand values of partnership, care, action and passion, in every interaction with customers and suppliers to ensure long-term, sustainable value.
“In particular, excellence signifies a dedicated and continuous improvement of ourselves, our solutions and our processes to deliver what is required – and what has been promised – with nothing but the best quality service the first time, every time to all our customers – both internal and external,” says long-standing and highly experienced Rand-Air Business Controller Ahmed Badat.
Incorporating the company’s five brand values in the strategic financial management of Rand-Air and within the greater Atlas Copco Specialty Rental division, Badat explains that his team works hard to achieve strict financial deadlines in the most professional manner. This includes adhering to systems and processes, managed on a daily basis and featuring specific tasks to ensure customer service is never delayed.
“By adopting this approach, we respond to customers immediately, while remaining up to date with all tasks – thereby providing a seamless, professional service,” he points out.
“Customer relationships are therefore greatly enhanced, as they can rely on Rand-Air to meet their requirements for an optimised, easily accessible, appropriate and trustworthy rental solution in a timeous manner,” Badat explains.
Excellence – as an invaluable merit and one of the company’s five brand values – significantly impacts on success, particularly for Rand-Air as a specialty rental company:
“Despite Rand-Air being a rental solutions provider – and therefore producing no tangible end-product or asset – we are always remembered for our service excellence, and for solutions which help our customers to meet their daily operational challenges.
To ensure and sustain lasting and positive customer impressions, we always aim to be ‘one step ahead’ and ‘go the extra mile’ in service. With this strategy, we strive to become ingrained as ‘first in mind, first in choice’ – and ultimately the preferred local rental equipment solutions supplier,” Badat points out.
‘Growing’ in excellence
A recent example of the company’s continuous improvement ethos is the digitisation of some of its administrative and financial processes, to achieve increasingly paperless operations and efficiencies.
To achieve the utmost service excellence, however, continuous improvement – not only through service and technology, but through personal and professional growth – is essential, Badat believes.
Complementing Badat’s belief is Rand-Air’s firmly embedded culture of employee development; which sees the company place strong emphasis on regular training, development and upskilling to not only add value, but to grow passionate people to take on future roles and become future company leaders.
“In the finance department, I firmly believe in the value of development, and follow an approach of allowing staff to grow. I encourage staff to work independently yet also cohesively – and to make their own decisions – for the benefit of the company and to make agility count for our customers. Furthermore, they are encouraged to develop, and grow their careers – be it academically or practically, with excellent training and learning opportunities,” he enthuses.
Badat believes that in this manner, employees can enhance their own confidence to address new or different challenges in the future, and develop the most optimal product and service solutions for customers.
“By combining growth opportunities with the Rand-Air brand values of care, passion, action, partnership and excellence, we ensure that our people – tomorrow’s leaders – are passionate, caring and accountable in what they do – taking action to develop themselves and excel in their work,” he comments.
In turn, Rand-Air demonstrates the brand value of partnership and support by partnering with staff and customers to grow, he adds.
“Consequently, customers can benefit from the advantage of interacting with motivated employees, who possess a differentiated approach and aspire to create and deliver successful, ‘out of the box’ solutions to exceed expectations and satisfy customer requirements,” Badat says.
This innovative approach further aligns with Rand-Air’s ethos of flexibility, agility and adaptability: not only in sales and operations, but in financial management and administration.
“As each customer and supplier has different needs and varying expectations, we strive to be flexible enough to adapt and appropriately meet their requirements; while always adhering to high ethical standards, within the bounds of legality and compliance and with no compromise on quality or safety,” Badat emphasises.
Milestones of success
For Badat, as a highly experienced Chartered Accountant (CA) with more than 20 years’ experience in operational and strategic positions and as a long-serving Business Controller and custodian of the Rand-Air financial services department since 2007, the company’s excellence is exemplified in key milestones:
These include the passion of the Rand-Air team in achieving ultimate company objectives through shared mutual support and to exceed customer expectations; as well as the company’s exponential growth, resilience, agility, swift flexibility and proactivity over the years.
“Underpinning the company’s success as a reputable market leader in Africa and leading brand in South Africa, is our leadership within the specialty rental sector and contribution to sustainable profitability within the Atlas Copco Group; as well as the production of exceptional financial and also non-financial returns, such as high targets of gender equality, diversity and more,” Badat advises.
To build on this success and continuous service excellence, Badat envisions future plans such as organic and potentially acquisitive growth – and a greater diversification of the company’s product portfolio.
“These objectives, when effectively linked with consistent partnership, care, action, passion and excellence, will unlock even more market and growth opportunities where Rand-Air can realise our ethos of making agility count through exceptional service,” he concludes.