FASA member Silverline Group is going places! Not only did they win the Sanlam/Business Partners Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award but they are breaking new ground as one of the first franchisors in their field. Silverline is a construction business that provides, high-performance environmentally-friendly alternative building solutions, such as Light Frame Steel Construction as well as conventional construction services. When Silverline Group, could not cope with all the business that It was attracting, Jonathan Pepler decided to franchise the company. Silverline is now the only franchised construction business in South Africa, and one of very few in the world.
In addition to conventional construction services, the business specialises in light frame steel structures, which are modelled on international best practices used in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This method of construction produces no waste, offers 80% less carbon footprint than conventional building methodology and is environmentally friendly. It also cuts the construction time down significantly, which ultimately benefits commercial and residential clients alike.
Silverline provides significant support, mentorship and skills training to its more than 30 franchisees, which is why Jonathan believes the concept is so successful. “As the largest light steel frame company in Africa, the Silverline Group compliments the construction industry with quality projects, project management and excellent service to its customers. “We’re excited about the future of the local construction industry, particularly the opportunities available for our franchisees.”
Light weight steel frame construction is an accepted alternative building methodology in South Africa and has a building code of compliance SANS 517. “This has essentially been regarded as the new energy efficient way of building and in most cases exceeds the new energy efficient building code,” explains Van Zyl. Frame building systems are ideally suited to the energy efficient code, which revolves around composite insulation systems in buildings.
The Silverline Group has successfully created a marketing and business platform that takes this building methodology into the market and creates a national footprint of alternative building choice. “We currently have 30 franchisees and will grow this to a membership of 42 by year end,” says Van Zyl. “Long term aspirations are a national footprint of 70 franchises, although we are already extending into Africa and Australia.
The marketing platform that Silverline Group supplies to franchisees creates immediate access to the construction industry, as well as market intelligence that will lead to projects thanks to a system that pinpoints activity in each region of South Africa. “We have created a professional platform that is made up of architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, and cold steel roll formers that have experience and knowledge in this building method. Our team also takes projects from concept stage, drawings, municipal approval to engineer sign off stage onto completion.”
The franchise also supplies information on the building methodology, offers a complete choice of building products at negotiated, cost effective pricing, delivers products to the building site, offers an online ordering system, as well as a building costing programme. “The building costing programme template is particularly useful for franchisees, as it includes measurements, prepared rate build up, extrapolation of quantities and rates needed to formulate a quote, as well as how to take that quote to a fully fledged building contract in a few easy steps”. Silverline also has in-house quantity surveyors to assist in the costing process and offers in-house engineering services. Strong relationships with banks and financial institutions also help prepare financial packages and solutions for franchisees, and the building methodology is endorsed by all banks, insurance companies, municipalities and government in South Africa.
Reference: The Franchise Association of South Africa – www.fasa.co.za.