Power of 10
As we celebrate 10 years of publishing FOCUS on Transport and Logistics, this issue of the magazine pays tribute to the people who keep the wheels of this industry moving and also the paramount commercial vehicles on our roads …
FOCUS is, of course, much older than 10. I believe that it was started well over 30 years ago, making this magazine the industry’s oldest. For those of you who have not been in the industry that long, it commenced life as a newsletter published by the Road Freight Association (RFA). In time, it evolved into a fully-fledged magazine – always with a bottle green cover.
About 15 years ago, I took over as editor – and my first task was to ditch that green cover, which truly positioned the magazine in the last century. It was thus that the current cover was born. Ten years ago, the title was acquired by Charmont Media and, while it has undergone a nip and a tuck here and there, the current cover format has remained pretty much unchanged.
You will have noticed (cue the trumpets) that, for the first time, we are featuring a person on our cover. Traditionally, we have always featured vehicles – anything and everything from bakkies and trucks to buses and coaches. A minor exception to this rule was last month, when we chose to feature a particularly revolutionary trailer. But, through thick and thin, we have always spotlighted products on our covers.
We’ve broken that mould this month, taking the decision to feature Casper Kruger, vice-president of Hino in South Africa, on our cover. Kruger joined Hino in 2009, replacing another industry stalwart, Piet van Wyk de Vries. I believe that our decision to have an individual on the cover was a sound one; people buy trucks from individuals – this is a people’s business! I am sure that we will receive a deluge of feedback on this decision, mostly positive. (As an aside, we plan to feature a captain of the industry on each of our December covers; we are already pondering who to pick for our December 2012 cover.)
The cover ties in with our annual “Captains of Industry” feature. We have profiled a number of leading personalities in this issue of FOCUS – and we will repeat this effort in December 2012. I am sure that it’s going to become a very popular and eagerly-anticipated annual feature.
The same can, no doubt, be said of our decision to include a bumper road test feature. The people and the products within our industry work hand-in-hand. Thus, we are profiling the crème de la crème of both – those astute individuals at the leading edge of their game and also the reliable, robust and dependable products out on our roads.
I have to tell you that I am pretty chuffed with this issue – as I am with the past decade. The industry was completely different back then and, truth be told, business was much easier. Double page spreads (DPSs) were a dime a dozen; it was simply a given that some companies would book a DPS in each and every issue of FOCUS. Things are tougher now; bookings for those DPSs do still arrive – but they are as a result of lots of hard work by the highly capable FOCUS team. They are also thanks to the enduring loyalty of our customer base; we work with an incredible bunch of truly amazing people, many of whom have become friends.
That same FOCUS team has seen the magazine entrench itself as the leading commercial vehicle publication in South Africa – a statement born out by our circulation figures. Over the past decade we have also launched numerous industry-leading initiatives – from the Caring Truckers Aids Drive (which saw us build and support homes for Aids orphans around the country) to the ongoing Focus on Excellence Awards programme (which continues to reward excellence within the industry), to the Transport Manager’s Handbook (THE reference guide in our industry) and EduTrans (which aims to address the extremely worrying skills crisis). And, as they say in the direct marketing advertisements, there’s more! We will conduct a massive truck test next year – bigger, better and more useful than anything ever achieved before. Watch this space!