Umbondo Trading Joins Forces with Hesto Harnesses

Who is Umbondo Trading?

Umbondo Trading is an innovative automotive and industrial packing supplier. Their services and products are mainly focused on injection molding, tool and die making and general engineering. They have capabilities of producing cable joint kits, cat eyes, bonnets, aluminium brackets, conveyor cleaner, engine lifts, Putco headlights.

Their previous customers include Toyota, Braceable, Evernu, Shadai, Energy Capital, Old Foundry, Comix dynamic fluid, and indirectly Man, Volvo, Sasol, Transnet and Trident.

Support required from the Business Accelerator Programme

The main challenges facing Umbondo Trading when they entered the Accelerator Programme were:

  1. Compliance- Umbondo Trading wanted to be ISO9001 compliant to attract additional clients, but they did not have enough cashflow to finance the investment.
  2. Market Access- Without compliance in place, it was difficult to acquire new customers to supply and grow the business, and with COVID-19 in effect, the company required new clients.
  3. Systems- Umbondo Trading identified that to compete in the global market, they need to be efficient, which included building systems and standardising some operations to eliminate waste which required assistance.
  4. Partnership- Umbondo Trading was looking for a long-term partner to support them with their compliance requirements, and provide guidance and strategic insights on their operations

Hesto Harnesses, one of the Automotive Accelerator Programme’s lead firms, was looking for SMEs in the automotive manufacturing value chain to support and develop as suppliers. Hesto Harness identified Umbondo Trading at the Dragon’s Den event during their business pitch. They recognised Umbondo Trading’s potential but understood that development was still required to reach the standard required by Hesto Harnesses and other OEMs.

Hesto Harnesses has thus far identified three opportunities with the SME which are currently in various stages:

  1. Incubate Develop Umbondo Trading as part of their Enterprise Development spend. Umbondo Trading will relocate to the Hesto Harnesses facility and will perform sleeve cutting for Hesto under the supervision of a Hesto quality manager. For the time being, they will not be required to be ISO9001 compliant because all parts manufactured will be subject to Hesto Harnesses’ compliance standards. During the incubation period, Umbondo Trading will be introduced to Hesto working methods and will be trained in lean manufacturing, visual management, just-in-time manufacturing, and efficient production. This incubation is expected to start in September until Umbondo Trading can operate independently.
  2. Fabrication of FIFO racks- Umbondo Trading will be fabricating FIFO racks for Hesto Harnesses between July 2022 and September 2022
  3. Umbondo Trading has been provided the opportunity to do the sleeve- cutting process for Hesto Harnesses for the Ford business opportunity.

This intervention has a significant impact on both the lead firm and the SME. Hesto Harnesses will use their Enterprise Development funding to grow the SME while also supporting the automotive industry’s transformation. Allowing Umbondo Trading to handle the sleeve-cutting process will allow Hesto to concentrate on harnesses manufacturing.

Umbondo Trading will be empowered by the process and developed to be an independent Tier 1 automotive supplier, with finances to invest in compliance. Umbondo Trading will create 21 new jobs as a result of this opportunity.