In June, we focused on Productivity SA’s Business Turnaround and Recovery Programme (BT&R) and how it works. This month we’re unpacking the criteria as well as the stages involved.

As part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, Small, Medium & Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) need our support. We cannot express the fact enough that the BT&R Programme needs expansion to provide support during and post Covid-19.

This proven programme is strategically designed to effectively solve business challenges, and since its inception, 145 495 jobs have been saved, and more than 616 new positions have been created. We believe that this programme holds the potential to accomplish more with trusted methods to analyse distressed organisations and take practical steps to successfully revive and restore them to functional, profitable enterprises.

The programme provides non-financial assistance to organisations and companies to increase productivity, profitability, and services, and save and retain existing jobs. Some success stories that serve as a manifest to the programme’s promise – Eat Smart Organics, Promptique Trading 7 cc, and Sasekisani Primary Co-operative.

BT&R Programme Qualifying Criteria

The BT&R Programme applies to all sectors. In order to qualify for this programme, the enterprise applying must:

  • Be a registered entity with a two-year operation with a minimum of 20 employees;
  • The enterprise should have physical premises at which their business processes take place;
  • Be compliant with UIF regulations;
  • Have a valid tax clearance certificate; and
  • Have two years’ audited financials or independently reviewed management accounts proving the decline/distress of the business and its potential to turn around.

Pricing is based on the size of the enterprise, the challenges experienced, and the time spent on the enterprise. Below is the guideline used:

  • Small (average of 20 employees) R282 800 per enterprise.
  • Medium (average of 50 employees) R453 800 per enterprise.
  • Large (average of 80 employees) R624 800 per enterprise.

BT&R Programme Stages

The Business Turnaround and Recovery programme is fully funded by the Department of Employment and Labour’s Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and managed by Productivity SA – established in terms of section 31 (1) of the Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014, as a juristic person with a mandate to promote employment growth and productivity.

The programme targets businesses in financial and operational distress and includes the following stages:

Stage 1 – Nurturing: During the first stage, we contact potential clients; conduct a pre-assessment against the programme criteria; complete all the applications; collect all required supporting documents; confirm the financial distress through a financial assessment report; issue the acceptance or rejection letter; and sign off the agreement.

Stage 2 – Establishing the Future Forum (FF): During the second stage, we establish the FF once a project order number is issued; collectively identify problem areas and formulate, and debate strategies for saving jobs and the company with stakeholders; complete and sign the FF Constitution; and clarify roles and responsibilities.

Stage 3 – Training and Capacity Building: During the third stage, the FF members established in stage 2 undergo a day’s training covering the following: aims and objectives; parties to proactive future forums (PFF) and their roles; responsibilities of a PFF; suggested agenda items for a PFF; and dissemination of information.

Stage 4 – Productivity Champions Training: During the fourth stage, PC members (FF plus additional employees identified as champions) undergo three days’ training covering the following: an orientation on productivity, quality and organisation performance; the measurement of productivity, quality and organisation performance; organisation change and improvement; how to establish and use an early warning system; and how to orientate the improvement team.

Stage 5 – In-depth Assessment and Work Plan Development: During the fifth stage, we identify appropriate turnaround or redeployment strategies in the form of a work plan clearly outlining the business’s constraints and prioritising activities to bring relief to the affected company.

Stage 6 – Turnaround Strategy Implementation: During the sixth stage, we prioritise deliverables; divide deliverables between those to be implemented by an external service provider or internal resource; and sign off a deliverable report by the client for acceptance purposes.

Stage 7 – Project Close-out Report: During the seventh stage, we confirm that all deliverables are completed, record the impact made, benefits derived, and lessons learnt; and document the productivity champion improvement projects and its effectiveness.

Stage 8 – Post-Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation: We execute an impact assessment audit during the eighth and final stage.

If your organisation, or if you know of an organisation struggling and employees are at risk of losing their jobs, we can help. Visit our website for more information or email for application forms.