Over the years, as the company has evolved, collaboration has emerged as a core value. Whether interacting with our international partners or customers, viewing our product offering in terms of a collaborative supply chain or managing supplier relationships, we are convinced that it is by working together that we achieve the best results. The same applies to the way Zetes assumes its active role in civil society, where the company seeks, among other things, to contribute to better human interaction in education and environmental protection.
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.
All this makes the knowledge and know-how of the company’s personnel a crucial asset, which 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 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.
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.
Given the success of its 2014 and 2015 programmes, Zetes' South African subsidiary renewed in 2016 its commitment to the project in partnership with MICT SETA. This organization partners with business companies in educational programmes to enable young people from formerly disadvantaged communities in South Africa to gain skills and qualifications with which to move ahead on the job market. In 2016, Zetes doubled the number of young people attending its programme. Ten of them worked for a year for the company within the customer service, logistics and IT departments. Compared to previous years, the geographical coverage was broadened with learners not only in Johannesburg, but also in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
At the end of their placements, the students sat their National IT Support Diploma exams, which they all passed, and all were hired in different teams. They will now work another six months to one year before being offered permanent contracts if both parties are satisfied.
Still in South Africa, sponsorship of the Sizanani mentors programme has also been extended. This initiative enables a number of students in Alexandra, a disadvantaged area of Johannesburg, to obtain better training and to prepare effectively for higher education. For this, the programme sets up a system of mentors, to whom the young people can turn to guide them with study techniques and training options amongst other things. Thanks to corporate donations, courses are also offered to some fifteen young people, enabling them to inform themselves properly about the choices to be made and the steps to be taken for launching their own businesses.
Year on year, the fields of application for identification technologies widen and, increasingly, citizens and consumers are the drivers of change. Zetes' Goods ID division meets the requirements for quality assurance, traceability and also consumer comfort. The development of e-commerce and multi-channel distribution are forcing companies to review and improve their processes to bring them nearer to end users and provide 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, in particular in order to ensure better interaction with the administration, the exercise of democratic rights, and guaranteeing 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 to ensuring democratic rights, such as electoral participation and the personal data protection. It answers needs relating to:
Preparing a democratic electoral processes
Combating identity theft
The processing of 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 and 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 concerns of the supply chain. Food, pharmaceutical industries and other similar sectors need to comply with increasingly stringent national and supranational regulations. The portfolio of solutions that Zetes has developed meets these societal issues.
A significant budget was released in 2016 for renovations to the ZetesCards secure document personalization centre in Belgium. The first stage involved the administration building, housing in particular the IT and helpdesk staff. The old building has been completely dismantled to make way for a new one, ideally combining the highest security levels and a working environment of optimal quality. Being located in a residential area, the old building had to be demolished in such a way as to minimize the impact on residents. By bringing in a specialist selective demolition company, this objective target was easily achieved. In a second stage, in 2017, the personalization site itself will be upgraded, more specifically in terms of luminosity and ventilation. All these works take due account of the ZetesCards' ISO 27001 and 14001 certifications. Along with improving working conditions for our employees, our neighbours, security and the environment were also central in our site transformation projects.
Parts of Zetes headquarters in Evere have also been refurbished, in order to improve employees' working comfort.
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 and travel cards and documents site. This makes it possible to monitor the impact of its industrial activity on the environment.
As part of this initiative, a volunteer GreenTeam has been set up to develop initiatives and to ensure the achievement of the following objectives:
For the ninth consecutive year, Zetes partnered with the "Nos Enfant Cardiaques", co-founded by one of its employees, for the annual Brussels 20 km half-marathon. This organization is composed of parents of children with heart defects and members of the healthcare team at the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels. It aims to improve the well-being of children with heart defects and their families.
This 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.