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Celebrating 10 Years of Excellence

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Published Date Written by Immo Blecher

10 years UISMessage from the Board of Directors

Ten years seems a long time, but in fact it is so short that we at UIS completely missed the five year mark. But maybe that was due to the fact that we were so busy expanding that we just forgot about our achievements so far. But now we are five years later on our journey over the highest peaks and through deepest valleys, and we never regretted being part of one of the finest teams of chemists, technicians and laboratory assistants in the country.

As with most successful businesses we also had a great deal of luck when we put together the business after over a year long negotiations to purchase all assets of the Environmental Technology laboratory of Kumba Resources. Not only did we manage to achieve a reasonable price for all the equipment and even more favourable payment terms but we also received a grant to relocate and establish the laboratory at the new site in Highveld Technopark, Centurion. Therefore our biggest Thank-you goes out to all the Kumba executives and their support staff who helped us to achieve a smooth start-up of the new UIS Analytical Services.

But with the take-over of also the staff, some of whom had worked for Kumba (and previously ISCOR) for their entire lives, the first challenge of making a mind-shift from a corporate (non-profit company internal) working environment to a private profit-oriented small enterprise appeared. A personnel evaluation process to assess capacity, capability and technical value against remuneration led to the retrenchment of several staff, which at that stage numbered about 18. After that process UIS went from strength to strength and with increasing capabilities increased its personnel to over 40 over the first 5 years and almost doubled its income.

Between all the challenges UIS had to endure the most challenging project was the establishment of the Mozambican laboratory in Tete in 2006, where all the mining activities were about to start at that time. Logistics, customs, legislation and work ethics provided sleepless nights but it was really fun! And when return-on-investment started to kick in the operation was sold and UIS could again focus on its core business in South Africa.

Due to space requirements and shareholder involvement in the environmental division of UIS a new associated company, UIS Organic Laboratory, was formed in 2007 to provide specialist environmental analysis of organic pollutants. That company has since then grown to a multimillion turn-over business, which is constantly expanding in the demanding environmental analysis sector.

The most recent milestone achieved was the opening of the Kimberley branch of UIS. That was a lot easier than the establishment of the Tete laboratory, but also not without challenges.

It seems that recruiting competent staff has become a demanding exercise, especially for areas outside Gauteng and UIS has therefore adopted a policy of employing the best people for the job and retaining their capabilities by offering competitive salaries, which are bench-marked on a regular basis.

I herewith use the opportunity to thank all our dedicated staff for their hard work to make UIS the success story it presently is. But I also need to thank our Human Resources consultants who have gone out of their way over the years to support management and staff to create a pleasant working environment at UIS.

I also want to thank all our loyal customers, large and small, who have equally contributed to our success and whom we promise that we will provide the best quality service at the best price and shortest turn-around time.

And last but not least we highly appreciate the services and products of our suppliers. Some of them go out of their way to provide UIS with the latest technology at affordable prices and payments terms in order for us to provide an efficient and cost effective service in an ever-changing analytical environment.

In order to celebrate our 10 years of existence we will publish a commemorative journal within the next couple of days, which will be widely distributed to our customers and suppliers, and which will also be available for download from our website in ebook format. Additionally we will have a number of functions planned for the year for which invitations will be sent out within a month or so.

On the next 10 years!

Immo Friedrich Blecher

Managing Director

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