Reaching new milestones
Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs
Valmé Stewart, owner and managing director of Swift Micro Laboratories (Pty) Ltd, has forged an ongoing business relationship with Business Partners Ltd over the past seven years.
Swift Micro Laboratories provides a "onestop" product-safety service to the food and related industries by addressing needs such as microbiological testing in Swift's ISO 17025- accredited laboratories, the design, implementation and auditing of quality management systems, staff training, as well as on-site technical consultancy.
The company was originally established in October 1991 but in April 2001, Mrs Stewart, who had joined the company as microbiologist in 1991, acquired ownership during a management buy-out financed by Business Partners. This marked the beginning of a new era for Swift Micro Laboratories.
Building on the strong foundation and loyal client base established during the first decade, the company changed its focus to service improvement and meeting industry needs. This necessitated further business expansion in 2004, when Business Partners financed their acquisition of the training and technical consultancy division of one of their competitors.
During the seven years since the management buy-out the company has flourished, with its staff compliment increasing from 12 to 75 employees and the company's turnover from R2.6 million to R23 million per annum.
In September last year, Business Partners helped the company reach yet another milestone by financing the purchase of its own custom-designed premises in Cape Town, with the purchase of Gauteng premises on the cards for next year.
Swift Micro Laboratories' core business goal remains the continued building of its brand name and reputation, which has become one of the strongest in the industry over the past 17 years. Mrs Stewart believes the phenomenal growth of the company in a very competitive service industry is inextricably linked to the quality of its service, which, in turn, is directly attributable to the quality and dedication of its staff.
For more information contact Swift's offices on 021 683 8436 (Cape Town), 011 805 4310 (Midrand) or visit www.swift.co.za
Courtesy of Cape Times, August 2008
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