http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.69Change: -0.02
R/$ = 10.96Change: 0.00
Au 1195.22 $/ozChange: -3.23
Pt 1225.00 $/ozChange: -4.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 17, 2006

Engineering firm rides the waves of technological progress

Back
Engineering|Pretoria|Africa|Consulting|Defence|General Electric|Industrial|IST|IST Holdings|IST Telecom|Nuclear|Africa|Europe|North America|South Africa|Building|Chemical And Metallurgical Engineers|Energy|High-tech Products|Nuclear|Products|Solutions|Technology Wave|Turnkey Solutions|Consulting Engineers|Derrick|Harry Coetzee
Engineering||Africa|Consulting|Defence|General Electric|Industrial|Nuclear|Africa|||Building|Energy|Nuclear|Products|Solutions||Consulting Engineers|
engineering|pretoria|africa-company|consulting-company|defence|general-electric|industrial|ist|ist-holdings|ist-telecom|nuclear-company|africa|europe|north-america|south-africa|building|chemical-and-metallurgical-engineers|energy|hightech-products|nuclear-industry-term|products|solutions|technology-wave|turnkey-solutions|consulting-engineers|derrick|harry-coetzee
© Reuse this This is truly an intellectual-capitalcompany,” enthuses IST group chiefexecutive Harry Coetzee.

“We see intellectual capital as the ability to generate one’s own intellectual property (IP) or to put other people’s IP to good use through the employment of highly-skilled people,” he explains.

“As the demand for different engineeringsolutions arises in the economy, whatever they may be, IST will adopt them, master them, and offer them to the market,” heassures.

“We are first and foremost an engineering company – we are led by engineers,the majority of our staff are engineers,supported by other disciplines,” heelucidates.

IST’s primary skills sets are electricalengineering, electronic engineering,computer engineering and software, and then mechanical engineering – it hassome work which requires chemical and metallurgical engineers.

“There is no other company in SouthAfrica that has the breadth of engineering,the depth of skills, and the breadth and depth of experience that we have, under one roof,” he maintains.

The phrase ‘under one-roof’ is almostliterally true; except for IST Industrial,located in Centurion, in the Tshwane Metro, south of Pretoria, all IST’s otherdivisions are located in a single building in Menlyn, eastern Pretoria. “It is important to stress that we are not consulting engineers; rather, we deliver turnkey solutions – we don’t do just advice; we dodesign and delivery; and our investment ineffort has always been on getting a continualinflux of new, skilled people from universitiesand technikons, and on the continuous acquisition of new, high-tech products and solutions,” he affirms.

Technologies have always changed over time; once those time periods could bemeasured in centuries then in decades and now in years.

The company does not seek merely to keep up with these changes; it seeks to ride the crest of the technology wave and bring the latest to the South African market.

The company is able to do this because its diversified nature means that, while onedivision is spending money and time onabsorbing and mastering new technology, it can, if need be, be kept afloat by the profits generated by the other divisions.

“This allows us to take on new technologiesin their early gestation phase: we are committed to supplying leading-edge technologiesat the front of the learning curve and we do so with a blend of our own IP and imported IP which we adapt to local conditions,” points out Coetzee.

That also means that the group is constantly evolving and adapting. Founded 25 years ago, today’s IST bears little resemblance to theoriginal company, except in spirit.

“IST started as a defence company; if ithad remained a defence company, it would not have survived – but it adapted; by its nature it continues to adapt, and it will always adapt,” he states.

“In a smaller company like ours, whichhas a flat managerial structure, a culture offrugality, and an egalitarian ethos, instilled by IST founder Derrick du Toit, you have theadvantage of quicker decision-making, and a more entrepreneurial approach,” he highlights.

These factors, plus one more, also explain how the company can survive, in fact thrive, in the face of competition by giant multinationals.

That extra factor is location.

IST is not a global player – it is an African player; it does some work outside Africa but its core markets are South Africa and Africa: the company’s skills base is here, and not in Europe or North America, and that gives IST its competitive edge, as its clients do not have to wait for its people to fly in from across the world.

Further, the company has established a strong relationship with one of the biggest and most powerful of the world’s great technology companies: General Electric.

“I think we have ample evidence that this strategy is a good one,” he affirms.

Today, the IST group comprises IST Holdings, which controls the group; three branches or wings; and eight divisions orcompanies.

The three branches are: Electronics, Intellectual Property and Development (IPD), and Industrial.

Electronics comprises IST Data, IST Energy, IST Otokon, and IST Telecom.

IPD comprises IST Dynamics and IST Nuclear.

Industrial is now composed of IST Industrial and IST Technik.

“Provided we continue to build our skills set, which we are committed to doing, this company has a fantastic future,” concludes Coetzee.
Edited by: Keith Campbell
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Science and Technology News
DISCOVERING MATHEMATICS An effective teacher can make mathematics concepts accessible for children, enabling them to discover mathematics principles
Electronic engineering research and development company Keystone Electronics notes that many of the engineering graduate candidates it interviews lack a firm grasp of key foundational mathematical and scientific concepts. Keystone Electronics subjects candidates to...
FRANS JOHANSSON The only risk to companies’ sustainability is doing the same thing over and over
Logic alone does not confer a competitive advantage and companies must increase collaboration to capture latent potential innovations that will improve the business, says entrepreneurial and innovation consultant Frans Johansson. Expertise is not a sufficient...
The Space Science division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) is focusing its attention on space research in the South Polar region and in the upper atmosphere, with particular interest in phenomena called Transient Luminous Events (TLEs), but more...
More
 
 
Latest News
South Africa’s National Treasury on Friday reissued its amended request for proposal (RFP) for the five-year multibillion-rand project to replace the legacy systems currently in use with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for an integrated financial...
Systems Automation and Management Durban manager Weyers van der Merwe, Richards Bay dry bulk terminal manager Mandla Mpungose and Umfolozi TVET college principal Sam Zungu.
The handover of specialised computer equipment to the Umfolozi Technical and Vocational Education and Training College would address one of the greatest challenges faced by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) at the Port of Richards Bay – a lack of skills in a highly...
Through hosting the WorldSkills 2014 competition’s mechatronic pre-national finals, industrial control and automation company Festo would promote and support skills development. Festo said the mechatronic competition would give schoolchildren, trainees and students...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
As the City of Ekurhuleni continues its bid to develop the largely industrialised metropole into the continent’s first aerotropolis, executive mayor Mondli Gungubele has committed the city to creating a predictable, stable and enabling business environment in which...
While Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) did not have “significant issues” with power supply in Gauteng, it was a different story in the Eastern Cape, said FMCSA and American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa president Jeff Nemeth earlier this month....
In 2000, exports into Africa from South Africa represented less than 5% of the turnover of Federal Mogul Motorparts Africa, with sales largely centred around Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Today, African exports represent 30% of sales, with trade expanded...
The Malawi government has launched a $50-million project to upgrade the Kamuzu barrage, on the Shire river, an outlet of Lake Malawi, which is used to control the flow of water from the lake to the lower Shire area. The project will run from this year to 2017 and...
  Our new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges will replace the Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges which have served us for the past twenty years.  The buildings will be the same and most of the staff will be the same but as the...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks