Aldon Konnight is a hands on, rugby loving bloke who cooks up a mean poitjie – that’s a South African stew! He is a devoted husband and a loving father to his daughter Jordan, who also has the real makings of a top class rugby player.
Aldon began his tertiary education in Production Management and followed this up with a Management Development Program from the University of Stellenbosch Business School. He later completed a Bachelors Degree in Project Management. He has married this tertiary education with robust practical experience, giving him a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.
He started his career at the Atlantis Forge, working his way through various roles and learning the ropes and in this particular case, the “in and outs “of running an efficient and safe plant – leading a team from the bottom up, in an industry that isn’t for sissies. And in the process, he gained in-depth knowledge of the running of a forge!
Aldon was able to lead the team from the front as he knew the detail of how the forge ran – his practical experience together with his leadership style, made him a highly valuable leader on the floor.
Mike Hayward – Atlantis Forge
Having “mastered the forge”, Aldon looked for his next challenge and joined the Pioneer Group, working in their Bokomo Weetbix flagship plant where he quickly rose through the ranks to assume the role of Production Manager and worked to further his tertiary education in general management and then later reading for a project management bachelors degree.
During this time he delivered some impressive achievements for the business: improving wheat yield from an average of 75% to 84% in his first 3 months as production manager with his implementation of a new waste management system. Under weights came down from 7% down to 1% and Aldon was seeing the impact of being intensively involved in launching “Mission Directed Work Teams”. Safety was also high on the list with a 97% Nosa safety audit score and the coveted Noscar award.
Aldon’s knowledge base in food production and food safety grew in this new role, as did his ability to manage and motivate teams and deliver excellent results with a strong aptitude for understanding how to identify faults and optimize equipment and machinery.
Aldon developed in Bokomo, both as a technical expert in food production but also in leading teams to deliver their very best and in optimizing the plant to deliver world class performances
Eugene Vosloo – Technical Manager (Bokomo Foods)
In 2011, Aldon accepted the challenge to join Freddy Hirsch as Operations manager. This was a B2B business which required a new level of planning to be able to manage the demands of both complexity and customer service.
In this role, Aldon was exposed to hundreds of recipes and hundreds of ingredients and developed a deep understanding of how to deliver a complex portfolio of products in an efficient way with a deep bias to customer service, steadily becoming a expert in spice mix formulations. He became a key “go-to” person for product development and new innovations and was actively involved with the setting up and commissioning a new production facility.
Using his knowledge of 20 keys, Aldon drove improvements in the plant and was able to refine his skills in “short interval control” to deliver some record breaking performances in volume through the plant while still delivering against the high complex mix required by the customer base. In 2017, Aldon was invited to attend a study mission to Cairo to promote Lean manufacturing for 20 keys.
During his time at Freddy Hirsch, Aldon also refined his hands-on understanding of GMP, quality controls, HACCP, micro / allergen risks and control measures and lead the production team to contribute to achieving an FSCC certification.
Aldon’s skill continued to grow in IR/HR, learning how to lead during times of high pressure. Having mastered the procedures around IR, Aldon never lost a case at the CCMA but was fair in his dealings and worked hard to develop his team to their full potential.
Aldon is a very astute production manager and a good communicator at all levels who inspires and builds confidence in all those who report to him.
He has great vision and is a good problem solver and the right person to have in your team when the chips are down and things need to get done.
Rob Doyle – Freddy Hirsch
Aldon also has a sharp eye on costs and initiated several highly successful cost saving initiatives – being a natural deal maker, he is able to see an opportunity and drive it to completion. By developing mini business teams on the floor, Aldon delivered a 20% increase in productivity without spending capital and was able to reduce rework from 7% to 0.5% over a 4 year period.
After 7 years at Freddy Hirsch, Aldon was ready for the next stage of his growth and journey and joined “Path to Peak Consulting” as an Associate in June 2018, bringing his considerable general production skills and food safety knowledge to the market place.
In his words..
South Africa, and Africa in general, is brimming with opportunity and possibility but we all need a little help to get to the top, at Path to Peak, we can share some of what it will take to get there!