The South African Bureau of Standards chose to conduct an assessment on a cement manufacturing company, Pretoria Portland Cement Company Limited (PPC Cement). Comprised of eight manufacturing plants and three milling depots, the company is a reliable supplier to the civil, commercial and residential sectors throughout South Africa. In additon to implementing product requirement, conformance and testing standards, PPC Cement implements management system standards for quality, the environment and for health and safety.
The assessment focuses on the business functions: Research and development, Procurement, Production/operations, Sales and marketing. The intangible aspects of standards, difficult to quantify but clearly recognized, are that standards enable the company to meet regulatory requirements and to produce quality products that match customer expectations. Making cement is an energy and resource intensive process with local and global environmental and health and safety impacts which standards help to manage. Application of environmental standards helps reduce energy use and waste and that of health and safety standards ensures a safe and secure working environment for employees. Ultimately, the use of standards should ensure safety of the public.
Standards generate cost savings in all four selected business functions and their contribution to the company EBIT is estimated at 2.5% of PPC Cement's total revenue.