The diverse expertise of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) federal enterprise is in demand around the globe, with the German government, European Union institutions, the United Nations and governments of other countries all benefiting from the services of GIZ. The Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise in Hatfield is their loyal marketing services provider in South Africa.
With no previous experience of the printing industry and armed only with the knowledge gained from the Minuteman Press International training school, Minuteman Press Hatfield opened its doors on 11 October 1996. The Snyman family took this award-winning training and local support and merged it with its own keen leadership and interpersonal talent to create a digital print, design and marketing centre that is celebrated by their many loyal clients, all of whom directly benefit from their expertise and unwavering dedication to the best interests of customers.
A happy customer is the one that comes back with re-orders and Gerhard, Miemie and Daantjie Snyman lead their team in a way that ensures fostering happy customers through personalised service that yields measurable results. They say, “After 20+ years our customer no. 9 is still ordering from us monthly. We aim to give all customers a pleasant experience, delivering on time at a competitive price. You then find that dependable customer service becomes more important than the lowest price in the market. Being a family owned enterprise, two of the owners are free during the day for personal visits to customers and suppliers, while the third owner serves customers via the telephone and email and attends to the daily business in the store.”
The staff at Minuteman Press in Hatfield has expanded along with their collection of happy customers over the years and the Snyman family knows the secret to continued growth is proper planning. They explain, “Today we are blessed with three owners involved full time, four graphic designers/counter people, two digital press operators, a litho press operator, six bindery staff members and two general assistants. Every morning the work in progress reports are printed out, priorities determined, deadlines communicated to all responsible staff members, and the graphic design/ digital printing and bindery supervisors keep their fingers on the pulse of every job.”
There is a constant motivator that drives each work day, one that serves to benefit both the Minuteman Press Hatfield growing bottom line and the community they and their team serve so well and it is the satisfied expression of a happy customer. They explain, “The smile on the face of a customer when you deliver a quality job in time and helping them look successful in their business environment is most gratifying. And when they come back to order more, then you know you have a long-term customer that will spread the word regarding your products and services.”
They maintain their focus on the relationships that are behind each work order, a philosophy honored for decades by their franchisor, the leader of the modern printing industry, Minuteman Press International. “Personal contact and communication is by far the most effective way to build trust and long-term relationships. That is why we, as owners, still deliver work in person and many times come back with the next order. Especially with bigger and more involved projects, customers prefer to explain their needs to a senior person with the authority to make things happen. Give your customers personal attention and the rands and cents will look after themselves,” they add.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has over 50 years of experience in a wide variety of areas, including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security.
Marianne van der Merwe, Head of Unit Public Relations, Logistics and Security for GIZ Office Pretoria, offers key details about her company and the important work they do: “The registered offices of GIZ are in Bonn and Eschborn. In 2015 our business volume exceeded 2.1 billion euros. Of our 17,319 staff in over 130 countries, around 70 per cent are national personnel working in the field. In our capacity as a recognised sending organisation, we currently have 730 development workers in action in partner countries. In addition, CIM, a joint operation of GIZ and the Federal Employment Agency, placed almost 1,000 integrated and returning experts with local employers abroad in 2015 while providing them with financial support and advisory services.”
She highlights some of the reasons why the service they provide is so critical and to whom, “The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is our main commissioning party, but we also work for other German Government Ministries, with the private sector, fostering successful interaction between development policy and foreign trade.”
Marianne adds, “All these commissioning parties place their trust in GIZ by working together with us to generate ideas for political, social and economic change together with our partner institutions in South Africa, mostly government but also NGOs and the private sector. Such ideas are then further developed into concrete plans and implement for the envisaged change processes. Since we are a public-benefit federal enterprise, German and European values are central to our work. This makes us a reliable service provider that people can trust. Together with our partners, we work to deliver flexible and effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.”
Gerhard reflects on the time during which he first made contact with staff of the company that was known then as GTZ, InWent and DED, now GIZ, years ago: “Following the Minuteman Press International marketing programme, we met their staff at least 15 years ago. Through all these years a mutual beneficially relationship developed and the staffs of the different projects know the management of Minuteman Press Hatfield personally, resulting in extremely tight deadlines (sometimes) which are met in time and with a smile.”
Hailing from the most proud brand in the modern printing industry, Minuteman Press Hatfield is the perfect partner for GIZ, an organisation that adheres to very strict corporate identity directives. Gerhard explains, “We print business cards for all the different programmes for GIZ, using artwork supplied by the head office in Germany so we can make certain to respect their corporate identity directives. Being an international developmental organisation for South Africa and far beyond, most of the printing work done is for training seminars and conferences. We provide materials like ring binders, manuals, CDs and DVDs, fact sheets, booklets, brochures, pull up banners and so forth.”
GIZ uses a very specific planning methodology which is based on visualization. They apply the so-called metaplan methodology which requires large pieces of brown paper mounted on pin boards and then different sizes of rectangular, round, oval and cloud shapes in different colours to record ideas, structure contributions and come up with implementable actions. Minuteman Press Hatfield respects their demand for precision and supplies exactly what they need on a regular basis. Of course, ordinary administrative needs for rubber stamps and file dividers are also supplied on an ongoing basis, as well.
Bilateral Cooperation with South Africa started as early as 1993 and is of particular strategic importance. In 1996, GIZ established a country office in Pretoria and today employs some 200 staff members of which more than 50 per cent are local personnel. They support the South African government in the implementation of its development agenda.
“Minuteman Press has been a loyal service provider to GIZ since 2001 and the working relationship has been nothing less than exceptional,” according to Marianne.
Besides publications, business cards, posters, year planners, pamphlets and brochures, Minuteman Press have also produced pull-up banners, canvas prints, DVDs, block mounted pictures and board games for the GIZ Office in Pretoria, as well as for the below bilateral and regional programmes of GIZ South Africa:
- Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP)
- Centre for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS)
- Climate Support Programme (CSP)
- The Regional Programme for Implementation of the Eastern and Southern Africa Commitment (ESA)
- Good Financial Governance in Africa (GFG)
- Governance Support Programme (GSP)
- Multi-Sector HIV and AIDS Prevention Programme (MHIVP)
- South African German Energy Programme (SAGEN)
- Skills Development for Green Jobs (S4GJ) and Skills Development for a Green Economy (SD4GE)
- Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (VCP)
- Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (E4D)
A highlight from the good work that is yielded from the partnership between GIZ and Minuteman Press from Marianne van der Merwe:
One of the recent highlights we wish to emphasize is that Minuteman Press has been instrumental with the development of learning aids in the Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (E4D) Programme, a project in partnership with Vodacom to form part of a toolbox for selected trainers who will conduct Training of Trainers. The focus is on extension workers from Agribusinesses who need to support their farmers to establish their farming as businesses. This is many times very difficult as many of the farmers are illiterate.
As the South African people and people worldwide continue to benefit from the extraordinary work of GIZ, Marianne is pleased to credit their marketing services provider at Minuteman Press Hatfield. She concludes, “Mr. Gerhard Snyman and his staff at Minuteman are always friendly and extremely flexible in terms of orders – from designing to printing. Minuteman Press delivers timeous feedback and is always willing to go the extra mile in order to meet tight deadlines.”