Only one first impression

People are the mainstay of any business, from customer-facing staff to back office support teams; they make a company successful.

brainstorm Only one first impression

By Adrian Hinchcliffe – Copyright Brainstorm & AccTech Systems.
Photo credit: Suzanne Gell, Mariette Landman

The importance of people in any business cannot be overlooked. AccTech’s success is not only contingent on the consultants who are able to identify and solve companies’ problems with customised solutions. It also relies on a team of people who support these consultants, engaging in back office functions like marketing, human resource and administration.

Nick Botha, marketing director, is responsible for building and promoting the AccTech brand. Botha believes that the old adage rings true – there is only one first impression, and it’s marketing’s responsibility to ensure that the first impression is a good one. With the continued growth the company has experienced, this increasingly means marketing to the rest of Africa, promoting local services to countries across the continent.

International marketing doesn’t stop there. As the leading global Accpac solution provider, Botha and his team also promote some of AccTech’s ISV solutions into a worldwide channel.

“My clients are the vertical directors in AccTech,” Botha says. “We need to create new leads and customers for them. I need to show ROI to the company and provide business to the different divisions within AccTech,” he says.

The most valuable asset: people

Another of the back office functions that is concerned with promoting the AccTech brand, albeit to an internal audience, is human resources. Marie-Louise Zitzke, human resources director, is responsible for ensuring that AccTech attracts and retains a talented and skilled workforce.

“It’s a very vibrant company to work for, and there’s never a dull moment. This is largely down to a combination of the staff and directors’ attitudes. The staff, and as a result the company culture, is young, dynamic and progressive,” she says.

The working environment is important, says Zitzke. AccTech gives staff members personalised birthday cards and presents, arranges team socialising events and has a strong sports culture.

“We have staff teams who play against other clubs in rugby sevens, action cricket and netball, and the rest of the company goes out and supports them. This helps with staff bonding, and we encourage that,” Zitzke states. “To enhance this sense of unity, we even call our staff AccTechZanians.”

Money matters

A common idea that is shared across all back office departments is that the employees of AccTech are its biggest asset. They are rewarded as such, with market-related, if not higher, salaries and commissions to encourage and reward productivity.

Eric van der Merwe, chief financial officer, is responsible for ensuring that the commission structures and salaries are realistic. “AccTech realises that it is important that we reward and look after our staff. We see every single employee as a profit centre and we are all measured by personal and productivity goals.”

Van der Merwe believes that the company’s strong cash flow, and the compensation levels it allows for, means that it can attract the best people. Financial strength also allows the company to take on big projects that smaller companies would struggle to fund.

“We have the resources to tackle larger projects. We have skilled people and the resources to sustain us during the development phases,” he states.

Like the role that marketing and HR departments play, van der Merwe concludes: “We are the backbone that ensures that everything is running well, that allows the directors and consultants to go out and perform.”