"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela once said. At Zetes, we are convinced that empowering individuals and sharing knowledge make for better and stronger societies. For this reason, education is a central feature of the way we manage innovation and a key dimension of new project development and team expansion.
Zetes' main driving force, its employees
Zetes owes its success first and foremost to its employees. As a service company, its main strength lies in creating strong relationships with customers and creatively finding solutions to their problems. To achieve this, an in-depth understanding of the markets in which these customers operate is essential, as are mastery of various automatic identification technologies and an excellent understanding of local cultures.
Capitalising on know-how
All this makes the knowledge and know-how of the company’s personnel a crucial asset, and one that Zetes makes every effort to retain and strengthen. Faced with a rapidly changing world, it is vital that these skills are regularly updated. Zetes has therefore introduced structures for sharing knowledge and capitalizing on existing experience. For several years, internal training and the recruitment of highly qualified personnel have enabled Zetes to significantly strengthen its skill levels and customer service effectiveness.
This is an essential component of our People ID projects, particularly on the African continent. By hiring local employees, Zetes transfers technology to the country of implementation, gaining in return a better knowledge of the local terrain.
Respect for the individual
Zetes is vigilant to ensure that its personnel are not subjected to discrimination of any kind, whether racial, physical, political, religious, or sexual. The company respects all employment legislation within the European Union and in countries outside the EU where it has activities. Zetes offers its personnel proper social benefits, often over and above statutory requirements. The company seeks to contribute to the development of less favoured regions, such as Africa, by recruiting and training local workers and entrusting them with technical and managerial responsibilities.
Skills-building for underprivileged young people in South Africa
In 2015, Zetes' South African subsidiary ran its partnership project with MICT SETA, a specialist training organization in the information and communication technologies sector, for a second time. MICT SETA partners with businesses involved with educational programmes to enable young people from formerly disadvantaged communities in South Africa to gain the skills and qualifications they need to get ahead in the job market. As in 2014, Zetes hosted five young people who worked at the company for one year. Expanding the scope of the original project, the 2015 group worked in a wider variety of departments, including Customer Service, Logistics and IT.
At the end of their placements, students completed their National IT Support Diploma examinations, achieving a 100% pass rate and were subsequently recruited by different teams within Zetes. They will now complete a further six – twelve month work placement, with the potential to secure a permanent employment contract at the end of this period.
Given the positive results of this programme, MICT SETA and Zetes have decided to extend their partnership in 2016, by doubling the number of young people welcomed by the company. Geographical coverage is also being expanded, with trainees coming from Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, as well as Johannesburg.
Zetes also sponsors the Sizanani mentorship program in South Africa, which gives pupils from Alexandra, a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Johannesburg, an opportunity to gain access to better training and prepare for higher education. A key feature of this project will be the guidance provided by mentors, who can help young participants with study techniques and their choice of courses.
Year on year, changing consumer expectations accelerates the pace of change within the field of identification and its many applications. Zetes' Goods ID division meets the requirements for quality assurance, traceability and also increased consumer convenience: the development of e-commerce and multi-channel distribution are forcing companies to review and improve their processes, bringing them nearer to the end user and providing optimal service.
In People ID, where customers are mainly public authorities, the first concern is to obtain visibility of the individuals that make up a country's population. The primary objectives are to improve a citizen’s interactions with the administration, increase their ability to exercise democratic rights, and guarantee the authenticity of citizens' identities at border crossings. But here too, fields of application are gradually extending. In Africa, social welfare projects and national registers are beginning to emerge, while biometrics is proving its value for supporting clinical studies.
People identification is vital for ensuring democratic rights, such as electoral participation and personal data protection. It satisfies needs relating to:
Sensitive data protection.
Processing citizen-related data calls for a very advanced level of protection, including secure data management systems. With this in mind, Zetes became one of the first businesses in its sector to be awarded ISO 27001 certification for producing eID and eTravel documents (e.g. passports, visas). This is the only internationally recognized standard that defines security prerequisites for the implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS).
In recent years, consumers and, more specifically, consumer health, have become central supply chain concerns. The food and pharmaceutical industries plus related sectors need to comply with increasingly stringent national and supranational regulations. The portfolio of solutions that Zetes has developed meets these societal issues.
Protecting health: a project in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson
According to the World Health Organization, more than 10 000 people died in 2014 from the effects of Ebola, a devastating and highly contagious disease. Janssen Pharmaceutica, (part of the Johnson & Johnson group), developed the first commercially available vaccine for Ebola and wished to establish a clinical study in 2015, to test its safety and effectiveness. The company turned to Zetes to identify study participants and support the data gathering process. For the results to be conclusive, it was essential to ensure that the vaccine, which would be administered in two phases, was inoculated properly. Biographic and biometric (iris) data permitted optimum visibility and monitoring over time of the entire participant group.
Zetes provided registration kits, an ABIS deduplication solution, operator training, maintenance and support. From a technology standpoint, the company achieved an industry first, by facilitating real time data centralization, which is more suitable for small population groups.
The use of biometrics in a clinical study is also a first for Zetes and the process can potentially be applied to studies of other infections or large vaccination campaigns.
Out of a concern to respect the environment and despite a relatively small ecological footprint, Zetes has introduced an environmental management system and obtained ISO 14001 certification for its ID, travel cards and documents site. This makes it possible to monitor the impact of Zetes’ industrial activity on the environment.
As part of this initiative, a volunteer GreenTeam has been established to develop initiatives and ensure the following objectives can be achieved:
Commitment to the "Nos Enfants Cardiaques" voluntary association
For the ninth consecutive year, Zetes has partnered with "Nos Enfants Cardiaques” for the annual Brussels 20 km half-marathon. A voluntary association co-founded by one of its employees, Nos Enfants Cardiaques, aims to improve the well-being of children with heart defects and their families. Its members include parents of children with heart defects and members of the healthcare team at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels.
The collaboration is an opportunity for the Group's employees to participate in a sporting event as part of a team of 250 runners, in support of a charity.