Solly Case Study
Filpro began identification in the Vaal area beginning of February 2013. Townships identified included Sharpeville, Bophelong, Ratanda and Sebokeng. The programme officially rolled out in March in the small township of Bophelong. Solomon Mncube was one of the identified mechanics in the Bophelong Township; this then informal mechanic has shown initiative and has grown his business. The following case study will share his humble beginnings and highlight is growth and achievements to date.
Solomon Mncube better known as “Solly” around the Township was born and bred in Vanderbyl Park. Unlike other informal mechanics Solomon received a formal education. After he matriculated; He enrolled for a motor mechanic course at the Champdore training centre in Krugersdorp. His passion for cars led him to attend advance training at BMW; this inspired him to start his own business in 2003 specializing in BMW cars. He joined Filpro in 2013 and through the programme he registered his business as “Khambule’s Motor repairs”.. He operates his workshop from home in Bonani, Bophelong.
Solly faces a few challenges daily. One major challenge is delayed payment form customers, who will rush to have their vehicles fixed or serviced but delay when it comes to payment. This made him set certain standards. He does not deal with the taxi industry, reason being taxis don’t want to do proper fixing, they want temporary cheap solutions and Solly says this kills one’s reputation. Another type of vehicle he refuses to deal with is Mercedes, this is due to the fact that the spares are expensive and to get the spares is difficult as the controlling system is strict, owner’s registration is needed when purchasing spares.
According to Solly, his business “Khambule’s Motor repairs” and “TMT Project cc” are the biggest in the Bophelong township, the industry is competitive with the smaller informal mechanics offering cheaper prices and not always doing quality work. He believes in the referral system and this is what both companies do to assist each other. He says Filpro has assisted in setting up a platform to discuss such issues especially when attending the trainings as all the mechanics are present and they get to mentor each other.
Solomon joined the Filpro Enterprise Development programme In March 2013. He is humbled by what Filpro has taught him through the trainings. Solly learnt the importance of proper pricing through the Finance and Bookkeeping trainings and through the business excellence he learnt the importance of customer service, housekeeping and managing turnaround time, By joining the programme he has managed to register his business “Khambule’s Motor Repairs”.
He currently has two staff members and two motor mechanics interns from Vaal University of Technology (VUT).He services 3 vehicles a day and offers services such as engine overhaul, vehicle service, suspension and Brakepads.
Overall Solly implements all he has learnt from the programme, he now offers payslips to his employees and he keeps a register of all cars serviced ; this helps keep track of all finances of the business.
Solomon has witnessed his business grow since joining the programme, he now fixes newer models, he has achieved better customer service and improving his bookkeeping has helped him see his profits better. The highlight was winning the “Filpro most improved company in 2013 for his company “Khambule Motor Repairs”.
Figure 1 Two of the interns from the Vaal University of Technology
Figure 2 Solly’s premises and Shelter whereby the Vehicles get diagnosed