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INSIDE AXIS HOUSE

Axis House in Leadership Magazine September 2018

In 2001, Axis House started as small company with one client, today they are the technical partner for more than 80 companies across the world. Group General Manager Justine Stubbs talks with us about her and the company’s journey and where they see the future taking them.

Could you please give us a bit of information on your education and working history?
I was educated in Sweden and arrived in South Africa in 1993. My background is in supply chain management. My first job here was for a trading company dealing in bulk commodities into Africa. It was a good learning ground. I had a few more jobs like that before Axis House was started in 2001

Who are some of your mentors?
Many people have influenced and inspired me. Most recently, my friend and mentor Johan Kuhn has inspired me to seek a new growth vision for the company, focus more on training our team, and converting problems into opportunities.

Axis House has clients all over the globe, what are the biggest challenges you face with clients abroad?
The biggest challenge is finding local people who understand the philosophy of Axis House. South African companies have a special go-getter work ethic that is sometimes hard to translate into other cultures and languages.

Please tell us a bit more about the services Axis House offers?
Axis House offers a complete service to all our partners and clients. From reagent scoping, opti-misation and on-site technical problem-solving, support and training, to stock holdings transport and supply solutions. We take full responsibility for our products. Not only delivering them in a safe and excellent condition but also ensuring that they perform once in the plant. Our regional technical teams spend their time on site ensuring that the performance is kept at optimum levels.

Axis House specialises in the flotation of copper and cobalt, but what other minerals do you have a hand in?
Our current growth areas are platinum and gold.

Where do you see your biggest future growth markets?

I feel that Africa still has great growth potential and we are investing a lot of time and effort into growing in our current markets. South America is also a great growth opportunity.

We are currently seeing the 4th Industrial Revolution in full swing with technology and innovation being the name of the game – how has Axis House evolved with the times?
Yes, this is a very exciting time. We find that a lot of the plants we work with have implemented new monitoring systems which make it easier and quicker to understand the chemical performance. This has eliminated some of the guess work and delays in understanding results. It makes us more efficient and allows more time for on site problem-solving. I feel you have to use technology to your advantage, which at Axis House means spending more time with our clients.

What does your role as Group General Manager specifically entail?
My role is very much strategic and managerial these days. With a number of companies in the group it is important we all swim in the same direction. As we are a growing company this makes my role very exiting and challenging.
For you, what does good leadership entail and how to get the best out of one’s staff?I believe in setting realistic goals and supporting the staff with coaching along the way to reach those goals. Most people work really well when given a fair chance and clear direction.

You call Axis House a problem-solving company, rather than solely a chemical supplier, please elaborate on this.
If our clients have a drop in recovery, grade or other problem we immediately go to the site to investigate.
We find the root of the problem and find a solution that works for the client. This could be running test programs with newly developed chemicals, reagent optimisation or operator training.

For you, what does good leadership entail and how to get the best out of one’s staff?
I believe in setting realistic goals and supporting the staff with coaching along the way to reach those goals. Most people work really well when given a fair chance and clear direction.

You call Axis House a problem-solving company, rather than solely a chemical supplier, please elaborate on this.
If our clients have a drop in recovery, grade or other problem we immediately go to the site to investigate.
We find the root of the problem and find a solution that works for the client. This could be running test programs with newly developed chemicals, reagent optimisation or operator training.

In your opinion, what sets Axis House further apart from its competitors?
I think that our problem-solving focus, our willingness to work with clients to improve their process and our many years’ experience of working in and delivering reagents to places that are not always easily accessible has given us an edge on our competitors.