Endeavor selects SA’s Retail Engage at Dubai ISP

Endeavor selects SA’s Retail Engage at Dubai ISP

Retail Engage in Johannesburg has recently been selected by Endeavor, an entrepreneurship organisation that mentors and accelerates high impact entrepreneurs, to form part of their global network. Andrew Weinberg, CEO of Retail Engage was one of 22 selected entrepreneurs from eight countries who attended the 77th International Selection Panel (ISP) in Dubai.

Retail Engage currently offers a shopper rewards programme, bonsella®, which is targeted at 2nd tier independent FMCG retailers and benefits all stakeholders in this environment, including customers, store owners, brands and other 3rd party service providers. This accolade will benefit all stakeholders not only on a local, but also on a global scale. Weinberg took some time to share his experience of the journey to the ISP with Endevor South Africa.

Andrew Weinberg, CEO of Retail Engage

How did you find out about Endeavor?

We are always looking at increasing our global networks with leading individuals, and Endeavour provided an excellent platform to serve this purpose.

Comment on your journey leading up to the ISP.

Endeavor challenged us from both an internal and external perspective, with regards to ensuring that our business model was not only robust, but most importantly that we can deliver on our aggressive growth forecasts.

What other value have you received from Endeavor in the process, and how did it equip you for the ISP?

The support and mentoring in how to position our business was great. Being exposed and meeting industry leaders/champions has provided very useful insights. Once such example was accelerating our growth ambitions, to ensure we captured a global audience at an early stage of the model.

Comment on your experience of the ISP, and the value you received.

Exposure to international business people, leaders, and innovators has made me look at our business with more a global view. The ISP was very useful in the feedback from these international business people. Looking forward, this network will facilitate the business with regards to funding, strategic positioning and potential operational partnerships.

Why are you proud to be an Endeavor entrepreneur?

The Endeavor process has shown that my business can really be global and the development to date has potential for massive growth. I am proud to be part of an organisation that shares the business drive and support of others, of which I would like to support other businesses.

What are you most looking forward to on you Endeavor journey?

The interaction and guidance from experienced people and sharing my learnings with others. The network link to industry leaders and support companies like funding and mentorship is exciting.

What is in store for your company for the next five years?

We have set-up our business for accelerated growth on an international scale over this period, with a diverse and customised range of services and products, that will satisfy a number of stakeholders with regards to direct access to an ever-maturing LSM 3-8 consumer base.

Do you have some sound advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

If your business concept is not supported by main line corporate businesses in that it is too bold or ambitious, but you believe in it, then do it, as it will be a transformer in your industry. Also ensure you have specific goals in terms of funding and revenue targets that are achievable.

On a personal note, what is your motto and how did it influence your Endeavor journey?

Never give up or slow down! Every obstacle has a way round it, you just need to persevere in finding it. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, generating billions of dollars in revenues, and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor will host ISPs in 2018 in Manila (April 4-6), Louisville (May 7-9), Milan (June 27-29), Detroit (July 30-August 1), Buenos Aires (September 5-7), Athens (October 24-26) and South Africa (December 11-13).

ENDEAVOR SOUTH AFRICA – A CULTURE OF BIG THINKING

Endeavor South Africa’s values are deeply entrenched in “A Culture of Big Thinking”, what this means is the ability to think, work, act on ideas and philosophies that encompass the magnitude of a dream. For many, dreaming big is a fantasy, a myth, but at Endeavor South Africa no dream, idea, innovation or concept is too ambitious to realise.

Endeavor South Africa opened its offices in 2004 and has lead high-impact entrepreneurs to success by catalysing long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs South Africa has to offer.

March 2018. This report and Q&A by Endeavor http://endeavor.co.za/

 

Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, generating billions of dollars in revenues, and building sustainable growth models in their home countries. Endeavor will host ISPs in 2018 in Manila (April 4-6), Louisville (May 7-9), Milan (June 27-29), Detroit (July 30-August 1), Buenos Aires (September 5-7), Athens (October 24-26) and South Africa (December 11-13).

ENDEAVOR SOUTH AFRICA – A CULTURE OF BIG THINKING
Endeavor South Africa’s values are deeply entrenched in “A Culture of Big Thinking”, what this means is the ability to think, work, act on ideas and philosophies that encompass the magnitude of a dream. For many, dreaming big is a fantasy, a myth, but at Endeavor South Africa no dream, idea, innovation or concept is too ambitious to realise.

Endeavor South Africa opened its offices in 2004 and has lead high-impact entrepreneurs to success by catalysing long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs South Africa has to offer.

How safe is your brand online?

How to build a 21st century brand

Joint CEO of SPARK Media and Head of the Publisher Council of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Marc du Plessis attended the 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting from 11-13 February in California, which focussed on how to build a 21st century brand. The event explored how the new direct-to-consumer (DTC) economy will drive growth in 2018, how DTC brands are building up their own supply chain ‘stacks’ using Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS) partners.

How safe is your brand online?

A popular burger chain’s logo appears above an uncomfortable close-up of a naked woman on a porn site, while a food retailer’s banners appeared next to fake news articles on a highly disreputable website. Chances are these brands have no idea that their brand adverts are appearing in such brand damaging environments. Which is why one of the biggest reservations that brands have when it comes to programmatic buying on the open market, is that marketers aren’t aware of what sites their brands will appear on until the impressions are served.

Joint CEO of SPARK Media and Head of the Publisher Council of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Marc du Plessis

“In this DTC age, the supply chain has expanded, with most brands now working directly with technology partners and media partners, or even going directly to consumers with in-house developed content,” says Du Plessis. “As an industry, there is much opportunity for collaboration between media and publishing agencies, where brand safety is a clear mandate for all.”

The uncontrollable proliferation of content generated on the internet has brought with it huge issues around trust and truth, which can seriously undermine the relationship between consumers and brands. “No trust equals no data which equals no brand. A brand without trust is just a product, so brand safety is vital for brand sustainability. We need to take action now before ‘viewers stop viewing, advertisers stop advertising and publishers stop publishing’,” says Du Plessis.

IAB aims to create a more brand safe, fraud-free internet by demanding brand safety from all publishers. The conference highlighted the importance for brands to only partner and invest in responsible platforms and publishers with a responsible approach to supply chain.

It calls on brands to take action on issues in the digital supply chain, like global brand giant, Unilever, who warned Facebook and Google that it could pull its digital ads if these platforms don’t do a better job of monitoring objectionable content and fake news. Unilever vowed to work with these platforms to collaboratively find solutions. Unilever has now also partnered with IBM to use blockchain technology (a distributed ledger technology) in the media to ensure that they solve the transparency and trust issue.

“SPARK Media has a direct relationship with all publishers of the more than 100 websites that we represent, serving almost 15 million page views and 7 million unique visitors each month. Our Local News Network’s (LNN) websites offer brands a safe environment. These secured sites are trusted sources of news for local communities and have an established journalistic network of more than 400 people on the ground that are often first to break local news,” Du Plessis says.

“SPARK Ignition SELL, our programmatic sell side solution, offers hyper-targeting by demographics, location and interest categories. We offer advertisers a brand safe environment with private, protected, owned inventory. Our technology allows us to exclude adverts that feature next to breaking news that could impact on advertisers’ brand identity/safety,” says Du Plessis.

“As an industry, we need to develop firm criteria for evaluating trusted publishers and educate and drive awareness through members of the IAB, publishing partners and the media.”

SPARK Media DNA

Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents myriad print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

Shoprite’s star performance

Shoprite’s star performance

Shoprite produced stellar performance in the half year to last December, with a total turnover growth of 6.3percent from R71.297 billion to R75.823 billion.

This is according to a report by Sizwe Dlamini of IOL.

This came on the back of 3.9percent growth in volume of products sold and 3.6 percent growth in the number of customers. Africa’s largest food retailer said in its interim financial results released yesterday that its trading profit was five percent higher at R4.104 billion.

Chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht said this was a satisfactory performance given that Shoprite South Africa’s internal inflation dropped seven percentage points to just 0.4percent compared with the previous year. “Group results were boosted by a strong performance in our core South African supermarket operations, which grew turnover by 7.8 percent.”

Engelbrecht said the performance by the South African operations, boosted by the continued success of Checkers’ sharpened focus on high-income group customers, helped offset the effect of a challenging year for non-South African operations. “In SA, where we sold 4.1percent more products, we managed an 11.7percent increase in trading profit despite our internal inflation with more than 5000 of our products selling at lower prices than last year.

The group will continue to shield South Africa’s poorest consumers Initiatives aimed at protecting those most at risk from the upcoming VAT increase are also planned,” said Engelbrecht. An increased dividend of 205c a share was declared, 13.9 percent higher than the 180c of the corresponding period.

South African footwear brand celebrates 100 years

South African footwear brand celebrates 100 years

Olympic International toasts its centenary by looking to the future

Stuart Hopwood, Head of Group Marketing at Bolton Footwear, custodian of the Olympic International brand

Few South African companies can boast 100 successful years in business. It remains a big deal and for good reason. It is reported that less than half of all new business ventures survive their first five years.

Morné du Plessis in action

Leading footwear brand, Olympic International celebrates this incredible milestone this year – 100 years of excellence in sports footwear, design and manufacturing. When the company opened its doors in 1918, the brand was inspired by the two biggest sports in South Africa at the time – football and rugby. Today, Olympic International continues to be inspired by and inspire the excellent sportsmen and women who are changing the face of sport in our country, on the African continent as well as abroad.

Says Stuart Hopwood, Head of Group Marketing at Bolton Footwear: “Olympic International continues to be a passionate supporter of some of the fastest growing and more technical sports locally, including netball, hockey, athletics, road and mountain bike cycling, tennis as well as hiking. The brand is sought-after for its lightweight, durable, trendy and affordable selection of sports shoes that cater to both the beginner as well as elite sports enthusiast.”

Inspired and spurred on by the proud and brave tradition of the World Olympic Games Movement, the brand boasts a long list of achievements. “The original five famous rings, symbolic of the Olympic Games movement and each representing a continent of the globe, originally appeared on every shoe manufactured. To avoid a clash of interest, a sixth ring was later added to the original logo,” he explains.

In the early ‘70s, South African rugby union football player, coach, and administrator Danie Craven, one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of the sport, approached the company to manufacture specialist boots for scrummaging and place kicking. Hopwood adds: “Our company initially came up with the idea of the ‘place kicker’, but Mr. Rugby, as Craven was known, also requested the design of the ‘scrum boot’ and ‘schools boot’ for boys, which we developed, tested and manufactured.”
Morné du Plessis, a former South African rugby union player often described as one of the Springboks’ most successful captains, also helped with the development of the boots. “Morne was our Sales Manager at the time, in what he described as ‘a highly competitive market’. He also helped with the development of specialised soccer boots and training shoes, which were enthusiastically received by the sports mad population of South Africa. We soon added running spikes and road running shoes when road running became such a huge craze during the eighties and nineties, which fed and fuelled the popularity of Olympic shoes, making them a major brand of choice,” he says.

During the period in the eighties and early nineties when South Africa was isolated from world sport, some international shoe brand names desisted from allowing their products to be sold in S.A. During that time of boycotts, the Olympic brand became even further entrenched in the psyche of local athletes and sports people of all genres. “This time also saw school sports and club sports rapidly become the popular focus of attention, gaining many participants. The attention was on local sports now, due to our national teams being banned from world competitions,” Hopwood adds.

After normalisation of South African sport in 1994, the world focused its attention on South Africa, tours and visits of all sporting codes becoming the order of the day. A massive surge forward in shoe technology emerged all over the world and this has remained unabated ever since. “The Olympic sport shoe range became engineered to the very high standards demanded by the sporting public. New world records were set almost on a monthly basis, and massive financial sport sponsorships became popular,” he explains.

“Since then, our ranges have kept pace with the times and today include all the latest performance enhancing designs and technology, thus gaining popularity and increased sales due to more acceptance from our sporty nation. Leading world technology is standard application in all our shoe designs, backed up by an international quality assurance system.”

Every new project is designed to meet with international standards, and then rigorously tested and controlled before being launched locally. “As an example, we’ve signed a two-year partnership with the South Africa Hockey Association and Netball South Africa. We continually strive to grow awareness around the improved technical capabilities of our sport shoes and there is no better way to raise this awareness than amongst the top athletes who use them. As a brand, we look towards the future. We have a great team that always stays ahead of the latest developments to offer our clients only the very best!” concludes Hopwood.

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TLC and Hubble sign new advertisers

TLC and Hubble sign new advertisers

    

Primedia Unlimited’s indoor lifestyle advertising specialists TLC and Uber’s preferred in-vehicle entertainment partner, Hubble, have jointly signed advertising deals with Samsung, VISA and Nescafé Gold.

   

“TLC has the exclusive rights to sell high viewability video on Hubble’s interactive touch screens in Uber vehicles,” says Greg Bruwer, TLC’s Managing Director. “It’s an ideal platform in which to engage on a one-on-one basis, with tech-savvy, early adopters in the high income market, and we’re thrilled to have signed on these three fantastic brands.”

Samsung has secured 500 of Hubble screens in Uber vehicles around Johannesburg, showcasing a brand channel and TV reel to promote the launch of two new phones, Nescafé Gold has created a game that consumers can engage with during their commute in 100 vehicles, while VISA is showcasing a TV reel promoting various products.

“The levels of engagement on Hubble’s screens never disappoint,” says Greg, “we’re constantly receiving positive feedback from consumers who regularly interact with the screens, all displaying a high level of brand recall.”

Hubble’s Devon Brough backs these findings: “Statistics have shown the level of engagement on Hubble’s screens to be exceedingly higher than traditional digital advertising. Considering that the user is always in control, it virtually guarantees a positive experience from interested passengers.”

The fully interactive advertising platform offers high quality video and interactive content in a captive environment with measurable ROI. Content includes documentaries, comedies, neighbourhood insights, news, sport, weather and things to see and do within Johannesburg and Cape Town. Like the traditional media platform on television, commercials are flighted in between standard content without being intrusive.

“We work extremely well with Greg and the team at TLC and these campaigns are no exceptions – two heads are always better than one, and in this case, we have double the infrastructure, selling power and industry insights,” says Brough.

TLC Unlimited
TLC (Targeted Lifestyle Communication) introduced the concept of washroom advertising to the South African market in 1996, and has since become the sole player in this media arena offering a plethora of in-mall and washroom advertising platforms such as standard and talking frames, cubicle wraps and treadmill branding to mention a few. More recently, TLC has expanded its portfolio to include a number of new businesses which are housed in TLC Unlimited (under Primedia Unlimited) namely TLC; Salon Media; and Fitting Exposure.

Hubble DNA
Hubble provides an interactive marketing opportunity direct to Uber passengers with a measurable ROI. Hubble launched as Taxi Media Group in Uber vehicles in Cape Town in September 2016, followed shortly thereafter in Johannesburg.

Advertisers are able to create brand awareness campaigns, call-to-action promotions or share stories through branded content on an interactive platform offering an unparalleled depth of engagement.

Growthpoint posts 6.5% growth and delivers strategic retail milestones

Growthpoint posts 6.5% growth and delivers strategic retail milestones

Extracts of retail-related aspects of Growthpoint’s recent results.

Growthpoint Properties Limited has posted distribution growth of 6.5% per share for its six-month interim period to 31 December 2017, confidently achieving on-target performance.

Norbert Sasse

The company increased total distributable income by 10.6% from its prior half-year to a substantial R2.9bn. Group property assets increased 4.4% to R127.7bn and group net asset value grew 3.9% to R25.93 per share.

Norbert Sasse, Group Chief Executive Office of Growthpoint Properties, attributes this positive performance to the strong contributions from the V&A Waterfront and Globalworth Real Estate Investments (GWI), solid performance from the South African property portfolio, and stringent cost controls.

Growthpoint owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 559 property assets including 463 properties across South Africa valued at R80.1bn and Growthpoint’s 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, valued at R8.7bn. Growthpoint owns 56 properties in Australia valued at R31.2bn through its investment in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and 39 properties in Romania and Poland, 100% valued at EUR1.8bn through its investment in LSE AIM-listed Globalworth Investments (GWI).

“In South Africa, Growthpoint made good progress in our recycling of capital. We have sold assets of around R3.2bn since the beginning of January 2018, which are waiting to transfer, including Investec Sandton, Hatfield Plaza and Turbine Square. In addition, about 5% of our South African property assets by value have been assembled into four portfolios for sale. The deadline for expressions of interest was 13 February, and 23 offers were received from various parties, which we are evaluating,” reveals Sasse.

Growthpoint owns 91 properties in the Western Cape, which is facing a severe water crisis. Its main focus until the end of 2017 was reducing water consumption. Growthpoint decreased water use by 41.0% in its office portfolio and 27.0% in its retail portfolio. Its priority now is to include alternative water sources, with solutions varying from boreholes to chemical toilets where there is no water security.

Distributions from Growthpoint’s 50.0% stake in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, made a steady 6.9% contribution to its EBIT, compared with 6.8% at the prior half-year. This asset continues to deliver robust performance and is achieving strong demand, with essentially no vacancies or arrears.

Development in the Canal District continues apace. Waterway House is complete and houses blue-chip office tenants BAT and EY, and signature retail tenants Porsche, Ducati and Ferrari. The 1 400-bay Battery Park parking garage will open by mid-year to support the V&A Waterfront’s growing office sector. The three-acre urban park above the garage will be family-friendly green space with pockets of destination retail activation. The Dock Road Junction office node has been let to Regus and its adjacent Queens building is awaiting heritage approval for a vibrant retail concept.

“We expect continued strong growth in the office and hotel sectors at the V&A Waterfront, and steady growth from its retail, marine and residential components. With strong property fundamentals in place, its development pipeline is well matched to demand. We are, however, mindful of the risk the water crisis poses to tourism spend,” adds Sasse.

Sasse concludes: “Growthpoint will remain opportunity-driven and seek ways to outperform while conserving our risk profile. We will continue to create value for all stakeholders.”

Growthpoint is the largest South African primary listed real estate investment trust (REIT). It creates value for its stakeholders with innovative and sustainable property solutions that provide space to thrive. It is the most liquid and tradable way to own commercial property in South Africa. Its size and diversity make Growthpoint strongly defensive, and its quality earnings are underpinned by high-quality physical property assets.

Construction of mixed-use Loftus Park in Pretoria nears completion

Construction of mixed-use Loftus Park in Pretoria nears completion

The first phase of Loftus Park, a new mixed-use precinct currently being developed by JSE-listed diversified Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Redefine Properties’ (JSE: RDF) together with Abland, one of South Africa’s top property development companies is nearing completion.

Phase One includes approximately 34 000 m2 of A-grade office space, a premium gym, open air piazza with restaurants and a convenience retail offering. A new 152 room hotel by Marriott will also début at the site.

Located within walking distance from the University of Pretoria and the Pretoria Boys and Girls High Schools, the newly developed precinct provides an integrated work and play environment in what will be a market defining mixed use concept.

The retail component will be anchored by well-known brands like Checkers and Dis-Chem amongst others while Virgin Active will open a premium health club at Loftus Park.

The centrally located precinct lies within shadow’s length of the iconic Loftus Versfeld stadium, enjoys good access and is in the epicentre of Pretoria’s key suburb, Arcadia. With the Gautrain bus stop adjacent to the precinct, Loftus Park connects seamlessly to Centurion, Sandton, Rosebank and OR Tambo International Airport via Hatfield.

“The precinct reflects our proven track record of creating bespoke communities that focus on connectivity, walkability and green spaces. Our investment in enhancing access to the Gautrain network was the final piece of puzzle that is going to unlock the true potential of the development,” says Pieter Strydom, Commercial Asset Manager, Redefine Properties.

The precinct will be accredited as a 4-Star Green Star Building.

“Abland worked closely with Redefine Properties to bring this unique development to life and will set a new standard for quality mixed use precincts in the node,” says Grant Silverman, Marketing Director, Abland.

Loftus Park also enjoys excellent proximity to a vast number of embassies, the Union Buildings and museums. Phase Two, which will add another 7 600 m2 to the development will see the inclusion of a hospital on the precinct’s footprint as well as 13 000 m2 of office space in Phase Three.

“Loftus Park offers tenants a unique work and play environment, a one stop avenue from convenience shopping to schooling as well as on-site amenities. The mixed-use precinct is ideally located to ignite the greater node around it,” adds Strydom.

“The proximity of the precinct to the stadium will also energise retail and restaurants on game days as well as provide additional parking.”

“The precinct is a rare opportunity for tenants to acquire office space in one of Pretoria’s upcoming nodes. We are seeing robust interest given the attractive dynamics of Loftus Park and corporates can benefit from the unrivalled amenities including excellent linkages via the Gautrain feeder bus,” says Strydom in conclusion.

How retailers can apply platform business thinking to magnetise customers

How retailers can apply platform business thinking to magnetise customers

By Mpumi Nhlapo, Head: Demand Management at T-Systems South Africa

Platform thinking should be the foundation of local retailers’ digital journeys

With platforms, value flows in many directions (not the traditional one-way, linear model)

Mpumi Nhlapo, Head: Demand Management at T-Systems South Africa

Platforms allow retailers to connect with their ecosystem in new ways, and facilitate greater flow of value between parties

Local retailers have an incredible opportunity to get a head-start on competition, by applying the science of digital platform thinking, to transform decades-old practices and deliver new value to customers.

Platform businesses – the likes of YouTube or AirBNB – facilitate the flow of value in a multitude of directions. This is in sharp contrast to the typical retail model: a linear, one-dimensional flow of value from the manufacturer, to wholesaler, distributor, and retailer and finally to consumer.

With platform thinking, this linear model is replaced by a three-dimensional approach to the ecosystem – where the retailer considers how it can harness the power of digital technologies to give customers, suppliers, partners and others the right tools to engage and exchange value.

The example of schools
In practice, what does this really mean?

Let’s look at a classic example of school wear, stationery and textbooks. For most parents, the beginning of the year is a mad scramble to assemble all the requirements that the schools ask of their learners.

With so many of these items ‘standardised’ for everyone, what’s stopping retailers from partnering with the major schools in the area, and preparing pre-bundled offerings that encompass everything the parent needs? This entire ‘basket’ could be queued up, paid for at the touch of a smartphone app, and readied for in-store delivery at the customer’s convenience.

Platform thinking asks what are the new stakeholders and role-players that can be ‘plugged into’ the retailers’ platform – such as a network of schools in this particular case.

“Deepening of the digital journey – retailers need to think differently about how they interact with their ecosystem”

Connecting the dots
For this new approach to gain traction, a retailer may well need to start integrating what has traditionally been a fractured landscape of disparate systems: the likes of transactional engines, loyalty programmes, store credit systems, debtor management, stock management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing tools.

By adopting a new breed of loose, decoupled middleware applications and micro-services, retailers can ‘glue together’ these systems to start exposing services to external third-parties in the ecosystem.

This also helps to build richer customer profiles, as the very heart of any good platform strategy must be the focus on getting to know customers better.

To this end, new beacon technologies, facial recognition, geolocation and other technologies can help to better identify and understand customers.

In fact, by better understanding shopping habits retailers experience an important value-flow back from the customer. They know what they need to change (such as new items to stock) and position themselves to provide hyper-personalised services to customers.

Deepening the digital journey
In South Africa, ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retailers are still very much the predominant force in the market. While many local retailers have made concerted eCommerce efforts to serve customers online, there hasn’t generally been great orchestration between their physical and digital presences.

Platform business thinking represents a deepening of this digital journey – where it isn’t simply about taking the old linear model of retailing and ‘porting’ it into a digital space. Instead, retailers need to think differently about how they interact with their ecosystem.

From a technology vantage point, this requires that they ultimately move away from the traditional approach of building high-cost monolithic systems, in favour of more flexible architectures and interfaces that can adapt to ever-changing business and customer needs.

In our example, this means that schools have an easy way of on-boarding themselves with the retailer and creating their line-up of required clothes, stationery and books. This would trigger automatic engagements between the retailer and the relevant wholesalers, to ensure that the necessary stock is ordered.

With this in place, the retailer can automatically provide such a ‘pre-packaged’ offering to parents – saving them hours of hassles and gaining a key advantage over competitors that don’t have such advanced integrations into the (circular) value chain.

 

Since the inception of T-Systems in South Africa in 1997, the company has cemented its position as one of the most successful T-Systems companies outside of Europe. A leading ICT outsourcing service provider locally, T-Systems offers end-to-end ICT solutions in both the ICT Operations and Systems Integration markets. Their extensive portfolio of services covers the vertical, horizontal, IT and TC space. T-Systems South Africa’s head office is located in Midrand with another major office in Cape Town, and 20 further representative offices in locations throughout southern Africa.

Easter: more cash, more crime

Easter: more cash, more crime

Last year Easter, at least six shopping malls were robbed in Durban alone, and that goes without mentioning the spate of cash in transit heists and retail armed robberies that occurred over the same period. What can South Africa expect over this upcoming Easter period?

Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect

“March 2017 leading up to Easter, was the worst month for armed robberies in 2017,” says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect. “Given the unprecedented increase in cash related robbery over the past 12 months we expect that the month of March will most likely see more cash and more cash crime.”

As consumers get ready to enjoy the Easter holidays, so do criminals. Despite the availability of electronic transacting options, consumers still choose cash as their preferred means of payment with close on 84% of all transactions still conducted with cash.

Highly organised and audacious criminals are aware of this. They also know that around 72% of retailers deal with their cash takings in a traditionally manual way. These retailers present easy and lucrative targets to criminals who have sophisticated resources at their disposal and are often fully informed of what goes in inside their targets.

Phillips stresses that the law enforcement, crime intelligence and criminal justice community has failed to respond adequately to this “economic warfare”. The inability to contain these organised gangs threatens the very core of our cash economy and all who depend on it.

The Cash Connect bulk deposit ATM (BDA) is a revolutionary and secure cash counting and verification alternative for retail distribution centres which is four to six times faster than a manual process

As a result, the cash economy is increasingly under attack. Conservatively speaking, the cash-in-transit industry suffered at least 256 armed robbery attacks in 2016, and 367 in 2017.

Similarly, there was a total increase of 10.3% from 2016 to 2017 in shopping centre incidents and while there was a marginal decrease in day time armed robberies against high street retailers, late night armed robberies rose by over 30%.

As the leader in automated cash management solutions, Cash Connect’s robust cash vault technology has proven to be the most effective deterrent in the retail market. The reality however is that many retail businesses still trade with large volumes of cash on site and to add to their vulnerability they lack any form of robust cash device to protect their cash.

Although Phillips believes that an automated cash management and payments platform is an essential element of any modern successful retail business, he says that business owners who do have manual cash handling processes are not without options. Security professionals identify several steps retail owners can take to safeguard their businesses this Easter season.

The bulk deposit ATM makes self-service deposits a breeze for depositors, drivers, cashiers and other users. The machine can count up to 800 notes and 800 coins per minute.

Smart and safe cash handling
Make use of electronic transfers to avoid paying wages in cash to your staff.
Avoid broadcasting when cash will manually be taken to the bank for deposit.
Alternate the days and times on which you deposit cash.
Do not openly display the money you are depositing while you are standing at an ATM or in a bank queue.
Avoid carrying money bags or briefcases when approaching an ATM or when standing in a bank queue.
Alternate between bank branches or ATMs so your banking pattern is not easily recognisable.
When your cash is being collected, consider closing shop for a few minutes before and during cash-in-transit collections. Alternatively, isolate and close the cash office area during the collection time.
Assist the cash-in-transit collection team by being prepared. This keeps the collection service time window short, sharp and safe.
Take the time to investigate converting to an automated cash management service and take away all the risk inherent in the above and realise meaningful savings and efficiencies.

Research has shown that a staggering 90% of attacks on businesses are carried out with information gleaned from employees or contractors. “Stores using our cash vaults were attacked far less than any other despite an over 30% increase in attacks against the industry in the past year,” says Phillips. “The fact that more than 87% of these attacks against our customers were unsuccessful, clearly demonstrates the success of our strategy to deter, deflect, and defend.”