A South African company is exploiting a gap in the market by offering to assist companies prepare bids for Armscor and other defence and government organisations.
INTS System Management was established in January 2011, after its founder, Ian Serfontein, realised how difficult it was for defence companies to complete the bidding process by themselves.
Serfontein was hired by Rheinmetall Man Military Vehicles (RMMV) for the sole purpose of completing a bid for Project Vistula, the South African Army’s requirement for new logistics trucks. When this bid was never released, Serfontein set up a business dedicated to providing such services.
“It is generally known that the preparation of bids/proposals is a very time-consuming, expensive process. Companies do not really have resources to execute the task,” Serfontein said.
“INTS Systems Management saw this as a huge opportunity and started to provide this service to companies. We help companies in a highly competitive market to complete and prepare winning bids based on a predefined bid strategy agreed on before the start of the actual work. The success lies in connecting our experience and knowledge in defence to complement bid strategy for that particular bid.”
INTS recently completed a bid to Armscor for Southern African Shipyards (SAS) on Project Canter, which is seeing SAS supply two tugboats for the Simon’s Town naval base. Serfontein said his company was in discussions with a number of South African and African countries regarding bid assistance. “Currently, we are linked to companies in theUK,Austria, Middle East andIndiafor similar assistance for future military projects in SA and southern Africa and theMiddle East. We are currently involved in discussions with various commercial companies for similar assistance for bids/tenders and proposals.”
Serfontein was confident about the opportunities in the South African defence industry, saying it “is still one of the major and most effective defence industries in the world. The value of the of the SA defence industry and capabilities is clearly reflected in the number as well as increase in contracts with DOD/defence forces/governments from countries in Africa, South America and the Middle East, to name a few.
“The SA defence industry is here to stay, and will, as in the past, play a major role in the SA defence capability, and will continue to play a major role worldwide.”
Serfontein has a strong military background, being an officer in the South African Army for 17 years before leaving the service in 2003. During his time in the military, Serfontein was involved in more than 20 projects involving logistics support, and worked with a number of large companies, including BAE Systems OMC (Olifant Mk 2) and Reutech Solutions with Denel Integrated Systems Support (Ground Based Air Defence System).
During a three-year stint with Land Mobility Technologies (LMT – now part of Denel), Serfontein assisted Patria inFinlandwith logistics for the Denel Land Systems’ Project Hoefyster. He has also been involved in the Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System for the Canadian Army with Mercedes Benz AG inGermany.
Due to his extensive work with logistics, INTS Systems Management also offers through-life support solutions, starting from the acquisition process.
“The current Sub-Sahara African military environment has a current challenge related to supporting and maintaining military hardware. The support infrastructure within the region has a limited capability. The result of this is that the operational availability of the military hardware systems in operation, or deployed, is negatively impacted,” Serfontein said.