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Endeavour Magazine November 2019

Before moving forwards, sometimes a company must look back at what currently exists and re-think the elements that could be updated, improved, or simply aren’t working anymore. Years of success and experience aren’t enough – you must always be ready to change, adapt, and go back to the drawing board. Endeavour spoke with several companies this month who have done just that, investing time and work into innovating their internal systems, their products and services or, even, attempting to change their local industry entirely!

Bus body builders Marcopolo was one such company; within a tradition of buying from stock, Marcopolo’s South African wing is seeking to shift the market towards bespoke, made-to-spec buses – a push that it is developing even when the market for buses is slow. Yielding to such a dip by scaling down one’s operations is tempting, but unwise; instead, Marcopolo is pouring its efforts into expanding its operations and tightening up its turn-over time, in order to produce excellent bespoke products at record speed. Elevating itself above its competition like this is not only a profitable move now, but will position Marcopolo to soar when demand for buses rises in South Africa once more.

Another company working to improve its efficiency is SSR Mining. Looking internally, the company has spent the past two and a half years embracing a new system of digitisation in order to improve visibility between departments, and to support proper analysis throughout its operations. This sort of cloud-supported analytical system can save any company vast amounts of money and wasted effort, by allowing a full view of operations and a detailed breakdown into where the loose bolts currently sit. Many industries are already embracing this style of management, but for mining – arguably one of the industries that needs this kind of overview the most – it is still a new and
complex frontier.

Whilst companies are looking forwards, in our Amazing World series, we looked way back, to an ancient and still not fully understood feat of engineering and art – the Nazca Lines in Peru. If you haven’t heard of them, go to that story right now – they completely blew our minds! As we talk about innovation and change, this ancient artwork is a reminder that sometimes, an old way of doing things can stand the test of time.

About the author

Alice Instone-Brewer

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