SA Metal Group: Could Bigger Be Better?
Eulalie Metton; Grant Sieff
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Wits Business School
Family business, leadership, governance, strategy, human resources management.
In November 2010, Clifford Barnett – director and co-owner of family business, SA Metal Group (SA Metal) – put his hard hat down on his desk, looked out on the busy scrapyard below his window in Epping, Cape Town and pondered the company’s growth. In 2001, the company had expanded to Gauteng, and its operations there were fast exceeding his expectations. The question confronting him was multifaceted, given the high standards achieved by SA Metal in the Cape. Barnett knew that the company stood on the brink of growth from medium to large in size in an increasingly competitive national and international market. How were he and his brother – managing director Graham Barnett – to achieve the transition in size while, at the same time, retaining the company’s nature as a family business, its ethos of good customer service, its unique human capital formula, its ethical values and its financial success?