pinpoint one & Artist Proof Studio

Established in May 1999, pinpoint one human resources focuses on the recruitment and assessment of professionally qualified, middle through to executive management placements, across all industries and sectors, on a permanent, contract and project basis. The solution options offered by pinpoint one include search and headhunting, contingency recruitment, and advertising response handling, all of which are underpinned by a drive to partner with clients in building outstanding management teams. Strong emphasis is placed on three dimensional people resourcing, which takes into account the leadership attributes of candidates in addition to their competence acquired through qualifications and past experience.

Wanting to comply with B-BBEE, pinpoint one sought a relevant CSI project which could be integrated into the business and marketing strategy. With a limited marketing and CSI budget, the CSI programme and the marketing strategy had to integrate seamlessly.

Pinpoint one found an appropriate partner in Artist Proof Studio (APS), a community printmaking centre founded by Kim Berman and the late Nhlanhla Xaba to “reflect the spirit of a healthy democracy” and the non-racial ideals expressed in the new constitution. The organisation focuses on all aspects of professional printmaking: creation, sales, training and community engagement. The studio is divided into four business units, the Education Unit, Special Projects, Professional Printmaking Studio, and Exhibitions curated by the Gallery. APS is now one of the largest and most vibrant community and professional printmaking facilities in Southern Africa, accommodating up to 50 students per year, hosting, publishing and undertaking collaborative projects with many artists and organisations each year.

The partnership between pinpoint one and APS was more than simply a CSI initiative – the relationship was personal and interactive, and extended into HR. Reciprocal learning and equity was evident in that bi-annually the sponsored artists handed over their art pieces at pinpoint one’s offices, explaining their art work to the staff and growing their understanding of and appreciation for the arts; while the artists attended pinpoint one operational meetings, learning about the challenges of managing a small business in a recession. Directly, the partnership sponsored 20 artists from their first year to their third year. In 2007 the partnership was extended to include a fourth year known as an internship.

Furthermore, pinpoint one supported the artists once they graduated from APS, providing career advice, supporting their entrepreneurial art projects and careers as professional artists, and sponsoring, arranging and hosting solo and joint exhibitions for them, to which pinpoint one’s clients were invited. The sponsored artists created corporate gifts and multiple art applications for pinpoint one’s clients, which also provided sources of income for the artists. Prominent examples include Nelson Makamo (pinpoint one sponsored his first solo exhibition, a joint exhibition, and his second solo “investment artist” exhibition, and introduced him to Browns Jewellers where for two years he produced thank you cards for their clients’ jewellery purchases), Philip Modibe, Themba Khumalo (pinpoint one sponsored his first solo exhibition), and Bambo Sibiya (pinpoint one and Clive Viveiros sponsored him for four years from his second year through to his internship, and thereafter for four exhibitions - two shared and two solo. Sibiya also designed a company T-shirt for pinpoint one), among others.

The partnership was leveraged as a key contributor to the socio economic development score for the Level 1 B-BBEE accreditation, which allowed pinpoint one to be a preferred supplier, and created a defined business platform which APS could leverage for its continued fundraising.

The long term partnership with APS demonstrated that pinpoint one was an established and well-run SMME supporting the same project consistently for many years, and showed its commitment to business relationships based on integrity, trust and practiced values. It cemented long term business relationships; resulted in repeat business (70% of clients from 2002 were still clients in 2012); pinpoint one scored 25/25 for socio economic development for the B-BBEE score; the CSI project facilitated the opening of sales oriented conversations with consultants and clients; and the partnership tangibly demonstrated the commitment of pinpoint one to broader transformation of the role of an SMME in society. pinpoint one successfully integrated its CSI project into its business and marketing strategy, leveraging a small marketing and CSI budget of 10% of operational costs to achieve the business objectives of increasing turnover (288%), expanding its client base (66%) and, together with the other elements, obtaining a Level 1 B-BBEE accreditation for three consecutive years at that stage.

19 APS students completed the three year accredited education programme for print making in the period 2002 to 2012, and were successfully encouraged to use the print making art form in multiple initiatives as alternative revenue generators. The partnership allowed for continuity in the education of all the sponsored students over this period, greatly increasing the achievement of excellence within the education unit as a whole. It exposed APS and the students to good business practice and improved their business acumen, as well as facilitated corporate investment in printmaking and the careers of young artists. Furthermore, all 19 artists have successful economically sustainable careers as professional artists, community art project leaders and entrepreneurs.

Many of pinpoint one’s clients have forged independent relationships with APS and the artists, resulting in additional funding for them. The long term support, confirmation of value and recognition of talent from pinpoint one has given many of APS’s artists the ability and conviction to explore their possibilities and realise their potential. It has tangibly demonstrated to their communities, APS partners and society at large their talent and viability as artists. Additionally, it has given APS validation in the eyes of potential partners, sponsors and investors, and enabled stability of income.